lovers and other strangers

Shhhh.  I have a new lover.  You know how it is, you think about them all day long and thoughts of them pop into your head at the most inopportune moments – like during a meeting at work, or worse, you find yourself tuning out of hum-drum conversations with your real partner to think about the new lover.  I can’t wait to join up with my lover every day at our usual time.  Sometimes we manage to hook up twice in one day.  Oh the bliss! 

Now, before you start wagging your finger at me and going on and on about what a great guy Ken is and how I’m playing with fire, blah, blah, blah, let me tell you who my new lover is…..

It’s a book.

Do you get the feeling, when you read a really good book, that you never want it to end?  You try to savor every word on every page in order to make it last, but then find yourself gobbling it up just because the words are soooo delicious?  That’s what this book is like.  I love that feeling, don’t you?

The book is The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver.  I recently read We Need to Talk About Kevin, her previous book, and that’s when I fell in love with her writing (yes, Lionel Shriver is a she).  Now I’ve got one of her previous books (Double Fault) waiting in the wings for me at the library, it’s going to be a Lionel Shriver love-fest at my house for several more weeks!

The PB World is about a choice the main character must make:  whether or not to give into a temptation to kiss her life partner’s best friend.  That’s when the book splits into two separate stories – what her life becomes if she does and what might happen if she resists.   This author has a talent for describing the internal lives of women in a way that rings absolutely true to me – our fears and fantasies, our (sometimes) willingness to give too much of ourselves to others, our own duplicity.   As I said before, her words are a delicious feast.

I’m often loathe to recommend books.  You tell a couple of people what a great book such-and-such is, they run out to reserve it at the library, or (horror of horrors), they actually buy it, then they spend several chapters trying to figure out why you thought it was such a bang-up read before abandoning it for something more to their own taste.  I recently had this happen when I recommended The Terror, and two people I know actually tried to read it.  They both hated it.  Loathed it, in fact.  Of course, I admit to doing the same thing with some of the must-read recommendations from my own friends and family.

Anyway, try it if you get a hankerin’.  Maybe The Post Birthday World can become your secret lover also.

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7 Responses to “lovers and other strangers”


  1. 1 V- June 27, 2007 at 8:01 am

    I loved “We Need to Talk About Kevin” I’ll definitely take your recommendations. Thanks, now I just need to schedule another vacation so I can find some time to read…

  2. 2 Simonne June 27, 2007 at 8:04 am

    I read a review of ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ and have been meaning to get it. After you mentioning your ‘new lover’ to me over at my site, and now this, I think I better just get on with it and get it! I trust you!

  3. 3 observantbystander June 27, 2007 at 10:36 am

    V/Simonne: Hope you enjoy it and don’t end up scratching your heads wondering WTF??? I felt the same way, as in my post, about Meg Wolitzer’s books (The Position was another get-lost-in-the-words reads for me).

  4. 4 poseidonsmuse June 27, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    I’m with all of you girls – “A new lover it is!” (although my “old” lover is such a gorgeous beast, I couldn’t bare to part – you know who/what you are…)!

    Makes me weak and gooey at the knees just thinking about it. Hopefully they [knees] are strong enough to let me walk to the bookstore….[crumple…]. “Don’t fail me now, stupid knees.” (yeah right – like ten years of mogul skiing did them any good).

    I digress. I am a lustful wench [Lol! grin].

  5. 5 observantbystander June 27, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    PM: OMG, 10 years? Of mogul skiing? You amaze me, girl Hope you like the book (knees don’t fail me now).

  6. 6 poseidonsmuse June 27, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Yes…isn’t that crazy (re: moguls)? I’m paying for it now though – a rise in barometric pressure can bring me to tears some days (my knees throb insanely – probably due to an increased pressure on my joint fluid?). Anyways, this freak of nature would love to explore your taste in books regardless of my quirky knees!


  1. 1 Observant’s Favorite Things - 2007 « Observant Bystander Trackback on January 1, 2008 at 2:16 pm

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