I went on a diet. I lost 10 pounds. Then I lost five more pounds. Fifteen pounds! Then I gained five pounds back. I didn't actually GAIN weight, since I'm still 10 pounds lighter than I was last summer. So I've lost 10 pounds.
I went on a bookstore diet. I cut up a credit card and swore I would not buy books for ten months. At a bookstore I considered Michael Frayn's My Father's Fortune, Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters, and Michelle Moran's Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the Revolution.
The odd thing is I find I don't really care if I'm fat or thin but I do like to buy books.
So last night I came up with the ultimate diet...the diet I know will work for me...because for every pound I lose I WILL buy a book!
"I'll go on a diet if you buy me a book," I said nonchalantly.
Now what husband doesn't prefer a svelte wife to a cozy one? He immediately agreed. He was ready to hop in the car and drive to a bookstore and buy me a book. But then I explained the beauty of the plan.
"I can download it onto my Nook."
"Really? You don't prefer the hard copy?"
"The cover is sort of embarrassing."
It's not really embarrassing. It's sort of pretty. But the truth of the matter is I don't want to be seen with a book that screams The Clan of the Cave Bear.
Crown has reissued Jean Auel's entire Earth's Children series (novels set in prehistoric times) to prepare us for the release of her latest book, The Land of the Painted Cave, in the spring.
In the '80s I stumbled upon three of these books, read them, and then lost track. I found them utterly absorbing but didn't realize more had been published. The bookstores have been pushing Auel online again this winter, but, to tell the truth, if I hadn't seen the attractive display of paperbacks at B&N I would not have considered them.
On the other hand, they are perfect for my Pop Fiction Vacation. Yes, starting today I am reading a LOT of pop fiction. Auel's prehistoric novels about Ayla, a Cro-Magnon girl who, after an earthquake, is adopted by a Neanderthal clan, are wonderfully and skillfully told. You know the people who read all the Twilight books to get ready for a new one? Well, I'm the Auel person doing the same thing.
I love the delineation of the character, Ayla, her resilience and strength that allow her to survive after an earthquake, and the intelligence and kindness of the two Neanderthals who adopt her, a medicine woman, Iza, and the clan magician, Kreb. There are also details about gathering herbs, making weapons, the difficulty of mathematics for a Neanderthal, and Ayla's Cro-Magnon quickness and daring to rebel. Fascinating!
I hope I'll enjoy all of them. I'll let you know. I'm still on the first book.