This past weekend Billiam and I took a trip up to the North Coast for an artsy, rainy weekend. While Billiam went to “school” (at Mendocino Art Center) during the day, I had plans to walk around Mendocino, maybe Fort Bragg, and take in some leisurely paced window shopping. I was done with downtown Mendocino in about twenty minutes, and I ended up holing myself in our guest room buried in a book.
Perhaps my interest in writing misleads you, but I am really ill-read. I am a slow reader. I also like to take notes in my books (much to Billiam’s dismay – This act of annotation is one of sacrilege to him.). I like to think I’m pouring over some author’s words, when really, I’m just being a slow reader. And then I often don’t even remember everything. And then I usually don’t go back into the book to see what I’d underlined before. (To this date, I have never re-read a book.)
Anyway, while we were on our trip to the East Coast, Billiam’s airplane reading was The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Though it had somewhat of a pretentious title (It’s translated from Spanish, so maybe the American English version of the title simply obliterates all the art in the Spanish version.), he insisted that it was so good. At one point I was reading over his shoulder (This must not have been during the stinky ride into New York.), and I had to agree, it was so good. I really wished I wasn’t stuck reading over his shoulder. Later on during the flight I took the book from a sleeping Billiam and started in on the first chapter. Fantastic.
So since Mendocino proved rather uninteresting to me (and historic downtown Fort Bragg, too), I finished the second half of Shadow of the Wind. The first half I was relegated to nibbling during rarely uninterrupted lunches at work, and I truly never wanted to put it down. My ennui toward the North Coast paid off, then, because it turns out there’s no better place to read the final twists of Shadow of the Wind than in the one-room guest room attached to the barn of a Mendocino photographer’s house in the woods where you can’t get any cell signal. This entry, in case you haven’t noticed or were wondering what the Hell point it is that I’m trying to get out here, is all about my love for this book.
It is a rare occurrence that I block off time for a book. More and more, I’ve been trying to dedicate 15, 30, maybe even 60 minutes of my day to reading, but I just wanted to devour Shadow of the Wind without being dictated to the whole time issue thing. This weekend was so perfect for me to be a creepy person in a cabin, in fact, that I read until – Nay, past the point – of my ass falling asleep. This is really something. Forget what you heard about Asian girls being skinny, I have quite the considerable amount of ass. So when my ass fell asleep because I was reading a book? Well, that was a first.
My only regret about this Mendo-paced weekend was that I wasn’t reading my own copy of Shadow of the Wind. If I was, I would be chronicling my favorite lines and excerpts here, because I would have underlined and starred so many passages within the novel. Suffice it to say the language was beautiful and rich, and I think I’m totally turned onto the era of the gothic novel, and it’s so refreshing to feel compelled to do something so solo and hermetic because someone’s talent and work is so good. Even though I watched my sister graduate from Christopher Pike to Agatha Christie, I never really cared to get into mystery novels, but damn, Shadow of the Wind was the best mind-movie I could have ever read.
On Sunday, after I finished off the final chapter, I drove up to Fort Bragg and bought a hardcover copy of Zafon’s The Angel’s Game. I’m letting Billiam read it first before I rip through the pages and ink everything I like, which is fine, because I need a break from the darkness (as fantastic as it is) as I delve into my new current read, Memoirs of a Midget, which I bought for $1.00.