This post isn’t about television, so it might not be that interesting (although, we finally finished Lost the other night. And I am making my way through this 80+ page document so that I might understand what I actually was watching all these years.)

This is about a book. Prologue: Day after day I was passing my favorite book store and I couldn’t ignore the entire window display devoted to Jonathan Dee’s The Privileges with a sign smack in the middle of it all displaying a large-fonted recommendation by none other than Jonathan Franzen. Now, I don’t feel happy admitting that The Corrections is my favorite book, as an adult, of all time- but it is. The not happy part is because about one zillion people share my opinion. So anyway, Mr. Franzen recommended a book and so it was a foregone conclusion that I would read it. And I did. In a day and a half. Committing child neglect. Hoping, waiting, believing. And The Privileges was okay. Just okay. That’s how I feel about almost every book I read. (Except The Road – which I despised. Have I mentioned that?)

So I needed a little break from my disappointment and finally finished Notes from a Small Island, which although it was published 15 years ago, gave me a better sense of the English peccadilloes that I might try and love (not hate) – but more on that another time.

And then to procrastinate further I finally succumbed for the first time in my life to a mass appeal popular fictional series. Da Vinci Code looked boring to me. Harry Potter too childish and fantastical. Twilight I had zero interest in. Correction: I had minus interest. To the nth power. And I even avoided Lisbeth Salander for as long as possible. But this weekend the first of the Millennium Trilogy swallowed me whole.

And now here I am, on the eve of it. Or so I thought. Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom does not come out in the UK until the 23rd of September – in the U.S., tomorrow. I wish someone could explain to me once and for all the reason for the delay between U.S. release dates of movies, tv and books and the rest of the world. Makes me cross.

And not that it’s the UK’s fault, but just to make myself feel better, here is a picture from a newspaper of some bank holiday revelers at the beach.

Positively autumnal: Holiday makers in north Yorkshire are battered by wind and rain as they stroll along a beach near Whitby

The people on this island are mad. Mad I tell you.



Filed under culture clash, product placement, tv, weather

4 responses to “bookish

  1. DM

    Hi Yael!

    I just relocated from New York to London, and I’m so glad to have found your blog! Thanks for sharing a bit about your life in the UK.

    Daunt is impossible to resist. I’ve been thinking about Privileges myself. Before becoming a full-time flat hunter in London, I was a young book editor (the kind without power or influence). Try The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Ignore the awful UK cover. It’s excellent.


    • yael

      Oh my, thanks for the book rec. Will pick it up definitely. I have been on a tear lately (is that a pun?). Am reading “To the Lighthouse” now. I am usually not so erudite in my choices but it was given to me by someone more literate than I (or is it ‘me’?)- for context, he reads poetry for fun.

      “Privileges” is a worthwhile and quick read. Esp as you arrive here via New York. I love reading things set in New York even more now that I don’t have it for myself. Also, it’s fun to imagine being obscenely wealthy, hard to imagine breaking ties with all family and finally, interesting to suss out what it was Sir Franzen loved so much about the book.

      If you don’t run into enough Americans when you’re out and about, give a shout and we would love to meet up!

  2. Brian B.

    1. The Corrections is also one of my faves (top 5 anyway) and I am also embarrassed by the fact, but for a different reason: Franzen is an asshole. Wickedly talented, but an asshole nonetheless.
    2. I wish I could tell you that the next two Millennium novels surpass, or even equal, … Dragon Tattoo. But I cannot.
    3. While I do not like to hear that you’re angry, I chuckle when you say that you’re cross… And the answer to your question is money. Books: authors need to be present for signings, readings, etc. and cannot be in two places at once. Movies: the physical film is very expensive to produce so the studios stagger the release dates to minimize the number of copies of a film they need to pay for. Once a film is through its run in the U.S. the reels are sent to the next destination and the film opens there. (Don’t you love literal answers to rhetorical questions?)


    • yael

      Brian B, see how I’ve missed you all these years?

      Please say it ain’t so about the Millennium series! I have heard the opposite from others and so I remain hopeful.

      As for your literal answer (and btw, thank you as I was actually not being rhetorical), I’ll accept it. BUT I don’t entirely see how a gazillion dollar industry can’t afford a few more reels. Whatevs.

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