Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just finished writing the weekly BookNotes, folded a couple of loads of laundry and decided that having lunch would be a good thing. But meals also involve some sort of reading material. I like finding things to dip into while I eat, a book I've had in the stacks for awhile, something that looks good but maybe not something I wanted to spend a lot of time on. A part-time book. So I picked up How to Be Bad, by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski , and Lauren Myracle.

It's been on the shelf for at least a year and I love the authors, I don't know why I was so resistant to picking it up. Maybe it looked too much like short stories and I have a hard time with those; they just aren't long enough and I often don't know if I get them.

Anyway, lunch is a good time to start a book: there is usually a specific time limit, when you're done you can put it down and walk away from it, knowing you gave it a try, or put a bookmark in it and put it somewhere obvious when you have your next little break. Since today is my day off, I can, if the book is good, read until my butt hurts and that’s how How to Be Bad came into my life. Can’t wait to finish it-

Oh, right: How to Be Bad is a book told by 3 authors, each taking a different character. So far, it is really good, funny, and the dialogue is realistic. Three girls, two have been best friends for years, one is new to town and has no friends, who go on a road trip to Miami. As each girl takes her turn in the story, you get to peek into how and why she made the decision to be a part of this trip. I’ll let you know what I think when I get to the end!

Many hours later: I couldn’t stop thinking about the book so I took a few hours out of this most gorgeous day (the day after we had inches of snow) and went to Seward Park. Seward Park is a wild space, a thumb of land that sticks out into Lake Washington from the south end of Seattle, with a 2.5 mile walking and biking path that circles it. I took pictures of the walk so you’d get to see some of it but my phone photos are awful. Mount Rainier is at the south end of the lake, muscular and clouded, and a spider's web of floating bridge is at the north end. I saw (and heard) a couple of float planes, a French family (the older daughter counting off in French to give the younger one a head start) and an absolutely immense raccoon lolloping across the park and up a tree across the way. There were dogs and a hockey player on skates, complete with hockey stick and ball, and someone at the top of the hill playing a trumpet in the woods. What a pretty day. Cold in the air but the sun was warm.

It took two turns around the park and a few extra minutes in the car to finish How to Be Bad and it was GOOD! As I said earlier, it's a road trip story, 3 young women trying to make and keep a friendship, all three trying to find their ways through hard times. All told with a huge dose of humor and pathos. I am so glad I finally read it! Well worth the time and the walk. Well, the walk would have been good anyway, it was just better with a good book to accompany it.

How to Be Bad, by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle. Ages 14 older. HarperCollins. Available now in hardcover for 16.99, in April for 8.99.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rene, it's Julia R., saw this on one of my other favorite blogs and thought of you (though you've probably read the original story in Publisher's Weekly already). Hope all is well, keep blogging!