I’ve just gotten dressed so I can do Lisa’s questions about reading in style, liking to imagine that I’m being interviewed on television while I answer questions like that, or maybe that I’m at a really good dinner party, where the food’s great and the wine even better and people are laughing and talking and my husband looks so happy because he’s sitting next to his friend Olivier and they’re talking about soccer or skiing and he doesn’t actually have to discuss anything that doesn’t interest him. And then the gorgeous man or woman sitting next to me, the one with the dark brown eyes (or maybe they are green or blue or grey) and the nice smile turns to me and after telling me how great my outfit is, asks me……
What are you reading these days?
I consider saying that I’m not doing much reading these days because I’m trying to write as much as I can. And maybe I do say that, but my companion’s eyes don’t glaze over and they murmer, Oh, I’ll bet you’ve got something on your nightstand that you’ve been reading a bit of.
And they would be right, because they are generally right (and it is a good outfit, by the way, the one they’ve admired, consisting as it does of these really gorgeous microfiber thigh high boots (let it never be said that we neglect fashion here on bloglily), and a short-ish black pinstriped wool pencil skirt and a nice plain black v-neck sweater, which sort of compensates for the slightly bad girlness of the boots and skirt).
I am reading War and Peace, in the new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. It is a really, really good translation, and it has fabulous notes, including notes right at the bottom of the page that translate all the French party talk the Russian nobility indulged in. I am on page 94 and have just finished the part where one of the heroes comes into his inheritance, despite the machinations of his half-brother. Yay! My feeling about War and Peace, by the way, is that although it weighs in at 1215 pages, it is best thought of as four novels (it is written, in fact, in four parts) — four big, sprawling, wonderful novels, full of life. I think more people would read it if it came in four actual physical volumes.
And then I ask my dinner companion what they are reading, and how far they are, and what the book is about and whether they would recommend it. And who might that dinner companion be, you ask? Why, any of you, of course.