A few weeks ago, I posted the list of bestsellers from the week I was born. I was quite intrigued by one of the books, A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. One of my LibraryThing friends called it her “favorite series bar none except for maybe The Raj Quartet.” I was sold, and pleased to see my library had it, just sitting on the shelves waiting for me.
About two weeks later, I decided it would be fun to read the book during February, my birthday month. I logged on to the library website, and couldn’t believe what I saw: two other people had requested the book ahead of me! What the … ? This book is composed of three novellas; it’s the first of a four-volume set (twelve novellas altogether). It’s more than 700 pages long. The first three novellas were written in the 1950s. This is not the latest trendy bestselling novel or self-help book. This is a somewhat obscure, albeit critically acclaimed, former bestseller (read more about it on Wikipedia). I just can’t believe that 3 of the more than 240,000 Chester County Library System patrons all requested this book at the same time !
I also can’t help being a bit curious. Do the other two library patrons live anywhere near me? What prompted their interest in the book? Are they, like me, celebrating their 49th birthday this month? Did they create their own list of birthday week bestsellers? My imagination is working overtime thinking about it. Let’s just pretend they were born around the same time as me. They might even have one of 1962’s most popular baby names. So just for fun, I’ve used the 1962 baby name list to name the two people in line ahead of me. I’ve decided they’re both women. Lisa is first; she’s reading the book now and needs to return it by February 25. I wonder if she will finish it sooner? Go, Lisa, go !!! Mary is waiting! Once the book arrives at Mary’s local library branch, she’ll have 5 days to pick it up and 3 weeks to read it.
Sigh. I guess it will be a while before I can read A Dance to the Music of Time.
It’s a good thing I’m really enjoying my current book, The Hills at Home, by Nancy Clark. This was a gift from my Virago Secret Santa, and it’s a delightful comedy of manners. An extended New England family descends upon their old family home, a bit of a ramshackle place, occupied by the 70-ish Lily Hill. Lily’s thrice-widowed brother Harvey arrives for a visit, followed by her niece Ginger and grand-niece Betsy, and then her nephew Alden and his wife and four children. Eventually the house guests settle in for an extended stay, and Lily’s hospitality turns to tolerance and quiet suffering. Details unfold through very descriptive prose, with much tongue in cheek. It’s the sort of book that keeps calling me away from all the things I should be doing this weekend.
That’s all for me this weekend. What are you reading?
Stay tuned for more Reading Adventures with Lisa and Mary! 🙂
Read more from The Sunday Salon here.