i stayed up late last night and finished "lone-some dove." wowser. i loved it. i read every word, never skimmed, never grew impatient with the pacing of the storyline, which jogged along steadily, like a trotting horse that never breaks stride.
i'm not interested in Westerns, as a genre, and i probably would never have picked up the book if it weren't for my brother. he lives in oklahoma, and has been to McMurtry's bookstore a couple of times and had mentioned how much he admired him.
(and if you read that times story that i link to above, you'll get a very different view of mcmurtry.)
anyway, not only was the book a great read, but since it had well over 800 pages it has the added benefit of earning me two, possibly three, credits in the competitive reading club.
the club is the brainchild of a couple of my nephews, shawn and mikey. it's beautiful in its simplicity. unlike most book clubs, we don't all read the same book, and we never have to meet. this is particularly important, since book club members are scattered from seattle to san francisco to oklahoma to minnesota. meeting would be fun, but expensive.
instead, it's all done on the Web.
we read whatever we like, and at the end of each month we shoot mikey an email listing all the books we finished reading that month. we give each book a star rating (one to five) and a five-word review. (it's very hard for me to say anything in five words, and i've tried to get away with six-word reviews by creative hyphenation, but they always catch me.)
each month, Mikey posts all of our books on this website. it's fun, because you can see what other people are reading, and get ideas, and sometimes trade books back and forth.
the only rules are: you must start all books no earlier than jan. 1, and you must finish all books by midnight, dec. 31; a book must be at least 150 pages to count; and any book of 500 pages or more is worth two, and over 750 pages is worth three. (i found the 150-page rule annoying last year when i read edna o'brien's memoir "mother ireland," which is 149 pages. but my nephews are hard, hard men and would not bend the rule for me.)
still, even without "mother ireland," i won handily last year, and was awarded a $70 gift card at amazon.com for my troubles. (each member chipped in $10 toward the prize.)
this year the field has broadened, though, and even though i have read 54 books so far, i am not winning. in first place is mike, mikey's dad and shawn's stepdad. he steadily reads five or six books every month, mostly thrillers, many of which are more than 500 pages.
the book club has been a lot of fun, and i have to say it's caused me to read a little more steadily than before, and to choose my books better. i no longer pick something up, read 50 pages and then toss it aside; i make better decisions from the outset, so as not to waste any time. mikey and shawn's younger brother, chris, joined this year, too, and while he's never been a reader (he's more of a skateboarder), he's been reading a book a month--more, he tells me, than he has ever read in his life.
the one downside: my magazine reading has gone completely to hell. magazines don't count. even if they're more than 150 pages.
6 hours ago