The book I'm currently reading could be described as a pastiche and possibly as the kind of talking-down-to-the-kiddos YA that encourages blank looks and sarcastic thoughts. I feel a saccharine smile forming in my head, an animated smiley sun that narrates even the darker parts of the book, until the voice of the-narrator-that-could-have-been breaks through. At those points, I can focus on the story and not my reaction to the story. It seemed like a good idea when I found it, in a stack with its siblings on a rack tended by the writer. The writer assured me that not-just-kids would find the book fun to read.
Have you ever found yourself distracted by the book that the one you're reading could have been? I'm determined to finish this book because of that narrator-that-could-have-been. It could be that once the story gets going, that voice will stay for longer than a sentence or two. Meanwhile, I find myself once again at a B&N, eavesdropping and drafting a short story based on the picture of a wizard and too many nights of science-based TV. And continuing to read, as furtively as possible, the fluffy pastiche.
Which leads me to the sale table and a stack of books that I'm hoping will go unnoticed on the table at home until they're safely read and secreted on the bookshelves. What does despair of the fantastic lead to? One book on current scientific theories about the universe (too much math for me, but there are pictures), one book about the OED, and one book about a guy's love affair with his truck.
Books that are set firmly in this universe and that turn away from the siren call of the imaginary, the Celtic, and the wizardly. I was hoping to pick up some new books this weekend, but I think I'll just focus on taking notes and trying to avoid taking home any more cute but untrained strays.