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reading tiger

Reading Wednesday is Early This Week

The summer camp that the kids' cousin is running this year, Abundant Summers, has a theme for each day of the week: "Messy Mondays," "Team Tuesdays," "Field Trip Fridays," etc. This is how I think of "Reading Wednesday," although to be honest I find the phrase a little awkward.

However, I will be spending most of tomorrow traveling to Michigan with my children in tow, so I am going to do "Reading Wednesday" on Tuesday this week.

I finished Rides of the Midway and, sad to say, the second half of the book is not as good as the first. The older the main character Noel gets, the more his dopey shiftlessness becomes irritating. Plus the whole affair-with-a-college-professor incident feels like it came from an entirely different book. The professor herself is entirely unconvincing as a character rather than a contraption, her relationship with her husband even more so. And then the one other interesting female character in the book gets born-again and literally left behind on the last page, while Noel drives off into the future he does not deserve. I am OK with him getting a future he doesn't deserve, mind. There's something in there thematic-like, even, with a little more work than the author put in. But don't leave the women behind. That's some tired bullshit. Not "well-aged" like my garden chicken manure. Just tired.

Yeah, I want to read the book about the (older? younger? twin?) sister of a kid left in a coma after a Little League accident. She may or may not have pinched off his breathing tubes years later but is convinced she did. She gets into a car accident that scars her face and turns her hair silver. Somewhere along the line she gets labeled as the school slut. She tries to kill herself, not because of the sluttiness -- that's OK with her -- but because of the brother-murder guilt, and is saved by a timely phone call from her spooky sort-of boyfriend who is *also* convinced that he killed her brother, and who also by the way is responsible for the accident that put him into the coma in the first place. She remembers her Ouija board conversations with her brother and the other spirits hanging around his hospital. She discovers that it was her brother's fingerprints on the pinched tube. How weird is that? While she's trying to sort out all this information, and maybe even flirting with being born again and definitely cutting off all her hair, her sort-of boyfriend's brother is killed in a car accident. She feels an emotional warmth born of literary parallelism. She bakes a pie and leaves it at his house. Then she steals his car and hightails it out of town.

Now I am reading How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon, having located it again.