Sunday, January 4, 2009

Books, Books, and Talking about Books

I wanted to like Larry McMurtry's Books: A Memoir which tells of his experiences as a book scout and antiquarian book seller. I really wanted to, but I didn't. I quit reading it last week at Chapter 34. Before you get all impressed, most chapters are only a page or two in length. I was interested in the early stories of McMurtry's childhood, but the many tales of where he found certain rare books, what he paid for them, and what they later fetched at resale failed to hold my interest.

On Christmas Day, however, I had a conversation with a bright, poised, and much cooler than I was at her age 11 year old girl which could also have been titled "Books: A Memoir." We started by talking about the copy of Twilight she had received for Christmas and had already begun reading. She also received some of The Clique series of novels written by Lisi Harrison and aimed at girls in grades five to eight, as well as a box of Nancy Drew books from her grandparents. She had my full attention. We covered other old favorites including Eoin Colfer. I've said it here before, if you want to get a tween talking, bring up Artemis Fowl or Half Moon Investigations. We moved on to how she organizes her bookshelves, and I was hanging on every word. She may not have penned Lonesome Dove or the screenplay to Brokeback Mountain, but this sixth grader kept my attention with her reading autobiography longer than Larry McMurtry did with his. I wonder if he has a favorite Clique book.

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