There was a time in France when it seemed wise to hop the next train from Paris to Marseille and then points south. And it was late afternoon and the train would arrive in Nice around midnight.
My seat was on one side and across the aisle there was seating for four. Directly across from me there were two men and a woman. They talked the whole way. But rudely, you know – in French. With absolutely no consideration that the person on the other side of aisle had only basics enough to order a ham sandwich, call a taxi, and say my husband will be arriving early tomorrow morning. Not necessarily in that order.
I hadn’t slept in two days. And usually the motion of a train is so soothing. But my brain kept trying to puzzle out the conversation on the other side of the aisle.
Worse, the woman was very animated, with “Oooo, la,” and “Non!” and “Oui, oui, oui.” I couldn’t puzzle out a story based only on punctuation.
Torture. Those were probably the most irritating hours of my life.
So that’s why Finnegan’s Wake is off my list.
Washed up on shore, with plenty of food, potable water, dry clothes, and eyeliner, I need these five books to survive:
Marcel Pagnol: My Father’s Glory, My Mother’s Castle
Defoe: Moll Flanders
Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Wind in the Willows
And then, what ho? Another box washes on shore with E.B. White, Huckleberry Finn, and a Secret Garden. Oh, that’s cheating, I know.
Well, let’s crack that coconut. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
Gimme your top five. Oh, please. Because I love to read, I almost live to read. But most especially. I love to read in summer.