decision time

Posted: October 18, 2011 in Arts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The time has come for a decision. What an exciting occasion! What a stimulating moment!

This is a moment filled with unbridled expectation and wild choices. With possibilities. What lies before us is a tableau shining with life and it winks seductively, bursting with promise and unlimited potential. We know our future is in play and we unabashedly love it.

This is a moment to weigh and understand what matters right now, to recognize and follow the proper course which will give our soul and our mind what they need. Of course the choice involves a measure of risk because every important decision carries risk. But it’s a burden we happily bear and willingly embrace. We relish this opportunity; we want to hold the key. Yes, my friends, it’s time to pick a book to read!

As I finished my last book I assumed the next one would be A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. I’ve never read it and every now and then I get a hankering to read a “classic.” I bought a copy over the weekend at a “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” sale to sate this latest craving. After buying a book there’s a certain amount of guilt to immediately get to it. I was still 97% convinced A Tale of Two Cities was the way to go until I started browsing through the scores of unread books sitting on the shelves, books which have been waiting in the queue much longer than this new volume of old Dickens.

I saw T.C. Boyle’s Talk Talk and remembered how much I’ve always enjoyed his verbal gymnastics and biting commentary. I flirted with James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential which appeals to my love of noir. I looked over the stuff recently purchased in England and fondled David Nicholls’ One Day, despite the critical panning the recent film adaptation received. (You’re forgiven, Anne Hathaway.) I considered rereading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because you can never go wrong with Twain. The decision got muddied.

More choices leapt out as I further scanned the bookcases. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Russo’s Empire Falls. I noticed a slew of John D. MacDonald mysteries and Janet Evanovich’s delightful Stephanie Plum adventures, each one begging to be picked up and enjoyed like a drunk on a Saturday night. This continued through Jasper Fforde and Jan Karon, Lawrence Block and Elizabeth George. I saw the half finished A People’s History of the United States and thought about the Occupy Wall Street folks. And on and on and on…

This is a thrilling moment and, as everyday moments go, one of the finest. Perhaps there is some risk involved, but it’s the best kind of risk – the risk between a great decision and a merely good one. I can’t wait to make it.

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Comments
  1. Kana Tyler says:

    I love it! Our 15-year-old regularly applies to me to “pick a book for him,” and laughs at how excited I get about combing through the shelves for something that will tempt him… (He’s the anomaly in our family: the one Non-reader.) I usually end up with half a dozen to offer, hoping one of them will get him hooked. No sparkling successes yet–he got into some Robert B. Parker once, but his English teacher “caught” him reading it and made him put it away because of an F-bomb. Seriously?! I had some words for her–but damage done…

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  2. H.E. ELLIS says:

    Because of the season I’ve decided to re-read GHOST STORY by Peter Straub. Loved it as a kid. I love how much enthusiasm you show toward picking a new book!

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  3. Another lovely post! For me, choosing the next book to read is more a matter of my mood and whether or not I can find it at our local library or on a friend’s bookshelf. It sounds like no matter what you choose, you have a great read ahead of you and more to follow.

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  4. sparklebumps says:

    I have most of those books! Yes, picking a new book to read is highly stressful to me- what happens if it’s bad? what if there’s a better one? I just KNOW there was something i was thinking of reading next!- What happens is I usually end up reading the first chapter of 3 or 4 books before I actually decide to finish one.

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    • John says:

      There’s always a better one – and that’s really a good thing. It’s rare I start a book and don’t finish it, especially fiction. Non-fiction I can bounce in and out of, but with fiction I become committed. Straightjacket and all!

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  5. Debbie says:

    With much anticipation that is a delight in and of itself, I can’t wait to learn what you decide upon and your comments as you read the new choice.

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