Thursday, February 08, 2007

The whole world over

I love the book I'm reading! I knew I would fall for it when the first section was called "A Piece of Cake," the epigraph was a Dr. Seuss quote about cake, and one of the main characters is a baker. (Along these lines, I also love the book Pastries by Bharti Kirchner, about two rival bakeries in Seattle. It almost made me want to jump on a plane and sample the goods, but I remembered it was only fiction and Seattle is pretty rainy. I'd take snow over rain any day, except maybe in the summer, because that would be strange.)

The book I'm reading now is called The Whole World Over by Julia Glass. I actually like it better than her previous book, Three Junes, which won the National Book Award. Part of it, I'll admit, is the baker thing and the fact that it's set in New York, a very familiar world for me. I'm always fascinated by the different ways people see New York, which makes it a million different cities all at once.

The Whole World Over has some similarities to Three Junes - multiple narrators (which some might find schizophrenic but I like relief from the same voice) and different narratives that start to weave together seamlessly as people from the separate stories cross paths and connect. That always makes a novel seem more real to me, because life (in New York, anyway) is full of meetings and connections. I ran into AT on the street shortly after 9/11 - I hadn't seen him more than once since college - and that was when D and I really got to know him.

(I remember that day, AT told me he was trying to have a discussion with his elementary-school students about 9/11, but they were just fascinated with his new beard. "How do you feel about 9/11?" he asked them. "Is that a new beard?" they asked him. "How long did it take you to grow it?")

In other news, I might have dinner with a 3-year-old (and her parents) on Friday. The 3-year-old is enamoured of V & T, a fun, unpretentious red-sauce place near Columbia. I wonder if she would like to share my baked ziti.

9 comments:

verniciousknids said...

Were you a baker in a previous life?!

kitkat said...

I agree that there's something alluring about the pastry business. Like in that movie Stranger than Fiction where Maggie Gyllenhaal is the eccentric, tax-evading baker. I was actually just thinking the other day that I should become one :)

You dislike rain that much? Seattle is not as rainy as people would have you believe.

Bearette24 said...

vk - i wouldn't be surprised! it's funny, a friend in fourth grade told me that, according to a fortuneteller/gypsy/someone like that, he was a pilot in a past life.

kitkat - i liked her character and job, too. i guess she's one of my favorite actresses. rain does bother me...something about all the grayness is depressing.

bdogg_mcgee said...

One of my dreams is to open an artisanal bakery. I love the idea of creating fresh, high-quality baked goods every day.

Then again, the prospect of getting up super early every day isn't too appealing....

I'm putting "Pastries" on my hold list at the library now...

His suzy said...

One of my absolute favourite books - The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins - has multiple narrators. I love how you get to see things from different points of view.

Elsa said...

I can TOTALLY understand the appeal of a book about bakeries - YUM! :-)

I agree with you - it's fun to read about a locale when you are intimately familiar with it. You can relate to it and you get to see someone else's perspective of it, too. I find that it's interesting to read novels that take place in Boston...and even NY for that matter (even though I've only visited NY a few times and never lived there).

BTW, you should try Mike's Pastry in the North End the next time you're in town. All the pastries I've had there are "to die for".

Bearette24 said...

Bdogg - sounds yummy! but i agree, getting up at 5 doesn't sound the best ;)

Suzy - thanks for the recommendation!

elsa - i'll have to try them!

Waspgoddess said...

I agree with you and prefer snow over rain any time, which makes me wonder why I left first Sweden and then Canada for England, where it rains ALL THE TIME (like right now). After all you can't make snow angels in the rain...

Bearette24 said...

Waspgoddess - but england has other charms ;) thanks for stopping by, i love your blog!