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Where Has This Book Been My Whole Life?

It’s crystal clear that my recent reading blahs are a thing of the past.  Despite knowing that A Reliable Wife was only published last March, I feel like so much time was wasted before I read it.  Hadn’t I read review, after review, after review, after review, after review?  I may have only myself to blame, but I feel like it’s one of those books that has been written just for me.  Have you ever felt that way?

I started A Reliable Wife on Saturday night.  Just before bed, I read the first chapter.  Hadn’t had to get to sleep in order to keep my points for Game On Diet, I would have read more.  Yesterday, I could not stand to put the book down.  This book is dark, mysterious, sexual, and thoughtful.  Today I was reading it in bits and snatches at traffic lights (a bad habit I try my best to fight), on the elevator between the 1st and 2nd floors at work, and any other spare moment I wasn’t working.  I cannot get enough of it.  I can tell right now by the way I’m getting distracted from writing this post to read one page more that I will be finishing this novel before I go to sleep tonight.

As I’m lousy at marking down passages I love to share with you in my reviews, I used a receipt to mark page 191, the page containing the paragraph that I got so engrossed in that my fellow traveler had to beep his horn at me.  Mea maxima culpa, sir.  I have a feeling you might have needed a little prompting yourself if you had a copy of this book in your car, too:

He had meant to be so many things.  He had meant to be a poet.  He had meant to be a lover and collector of art, to encourage young artists and have them gather around him.  He meant to live his life in an orgy of sensation, according to the sensual rules of attraction and seduction.  He had meant to be a father, to have children to inherit his love of the arts and the flesh.  Instead, he had lost his heart’s deepest passions; one day he woke up and realized they were gone, amputated as surely as an arm, cut off by the death of his little girl and the infidelities of his wife, the intractable rage he felt toward his bastard child.  His affections and obsessions had been replaced by clean shirts and half-slept in sheets and polished boots and clear soups.  The world of the body and its pleasures had closed over, as a scab closes over a wound.

The only downer about this reading experience is that I will be so close, but ultimately too far away to attend Robert Goolrick’s book signing at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond on February 11th.  I will, however, be taking part in the bookstore’s Twitter book club on Monday, February 1st at 6pm EST.  Thankfully a good buddy of mine has offered to get the book signed for me.  I’ll be pouncing on the book as soon as it gets back.

So there  you have it.  I have actually torn myself away from this book long enough to tell you to run, not walk, to the library or bookstore and pick this book up.  If you have a Kindle or Nook, it’s even easier.  You won’t regret it and I can’t thank Brittany from Algonquin Books enough for sending me a review copy.

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29 Comments

  • At 2010.01.25 22:15, Lisa said:

    I really liked this one, too. Such interesting characters and it was great to watch them grow.

    • At 2010.01.25 22:29, Kathy R (Bermudaonion) said:

      Wow! Don’t you just love it when you get so engrossed in a book like that? The only problem is that it’s such a let down when you’re through with it. I’m so glad you’re loving this one. I think I need to read it soon.

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      • At 2010.01.25 22:44, The Brain Lair said:

        I’ve been wanting to read this since March. I will now put it back on my to buy list for this coming March. That passage made me cry and I know exactly how that feels!

        • At 2010.01.25 23:19, A Bookshelf Monstrosity said:

          Gees, I really need to get on this one! I love reading reviews like this 🙂

          • At 2010.01.26 01:02, Kathleen said:

            I am intrigued and am going to download it to my Kindle right now!

            • At 2010.01.26 01:13, Valerie said:

              I have been wanting to read this one for a while, and have comethisclose to buying or ordering it several times but have not because I’ve told myself I have too many TBR books. I think I know what book I’ll be buying on payday ;-).

              When I read “The Book Thief” I wondered why I waited so long to read it– it had been in my TBR pile for at least a year. So, I think we all have those reading moments sometimes!

              • At 2010.01.26 04:45, Lenore said:

                I also have had this a long time without reading it(even loaned it out to two friends who loved it). Need to remedy this travesty! LOL

                • At 2010.01.26 09:27, Sandy said:

                  Wow! Now THAT is a glowing review! The next time I get on my Kindle, I may buy it. I just can’t argue with that kind of manic obsession over reading a book. I know what it feels like – the most wonderful feeling in the whole world, until you finish it, and you really wish there were 1,000 more pages.

                  • At 2010.01.26 09:44, Stephanie said:

                    Like you, I have read many outstanding reviews for this book. I hope to read it soon!

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                    • At 2010.01.26 11:58, Jennifer (Crazy-for-Books) said:

                      I have this in my TBR! It sounds like I need to pull it out and read it ASAP! Thanks for the glowing review! I’m looking forward to it!

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                      • At 2010.01.26 12:35, Andi said:

                        Yep, I have to read it. All those reviews are speaking to me.

                        • At 2010.01.26 13:08, nomadreader said:

                          I’ve meaning to read this one for too long. Thank you for reminding me how many other bloggers raved too. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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                          • At 2010.01.26 14:29, Ti said:

                            Wow! You’re really liking this one. I’ve wanted to read it for a long while but with all the other things on my list, it may be a tad longer before I get to it. I’m glad it’s out in PB now. For some reason I don’t care for hardbacks even if I can get them at a good price.

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                            • At 2010.01.26 21:57, Jennifer said:

                              Now after finishing it, I really, really think you should all read it. I’m still going over the last chapter in my mind. Such a great book!

                              Brain Lair – if you were touched by that paragraph, that is a great sample of all of the writing in this novel. It’s very much internal and gorgeous in the midst of the pain.

                              For those of you who read it, please, please let me know what you think. I know you won’t regret it.

                              • At 2010.01.26 23:21, Michele said:

                                I know, I know….I’ve GOT to get this book. I was going to download it to Kindle, but half the fun of reading such an excellent book is passing it along to someone else when you’re done, so I’m waiting till I see a copy in a bookstore. 🙂

                                • At 2010.01.27 01:10, Stacy said:

                                  You’ve convinced me, this one is going on my list. I have to say that reading at traffic lights is probably not a great idea 😉

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                                  • At 2010.01.27 13:16, Alyce said:

                                    I’m glad to hear it’s so good!

                                    • At 2010.01.27 18:58, bookworm said:

                                      Sounds wonderful. I’m adding it to my TBR. And the cover is beautiful.

                                      • At 2010.01.27 19:46, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

                                        yay! It really is such a great book. 😉

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                                        • At 2010.01.27 19:55, Pam said:

                                          wow okay someone finally convinced me to give it a go!

                                          • At 2010.01.28 01:42, Nicole said:

                                            I an right out and got a copy of this one when everyone was buzzing about it last spring and still haven’t gotten to it. It’s on my list for this year, but your review really makes me want to read this one right now.

                                            • At 2010.01.28 11:23, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

                                              I have this book in the TBR pile…and a co-worker said she was disappointed by it. I’m still on the fence about reading it.

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                                              • At 2010.01.28 15:19, Emily said:

                                                Wow. What an incredible passage. I don’t know that I would have necessarily picked this one up, but now I need to read it.

                                                I, too, read occasionally at traffic lights. I picked up the habit while living in Pittsburgh. I mean, really. What ELSE was I supposed to do when stuck in 5 o’clock traffic??? 😉

                                                • At 2010.01.28 22:29, b*babbler said:

                                                  I’m so glad you loved this! It was one of my favorite books of last year. Absolutely terrific.

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                                                    • At 2010.02.04 22:53, Lisa said:

                                                      That’s a review that makes me want to go buy a book! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

                                                      As for marking passages, I picked up a couple of packs of those little Post-It flags and I keep them handy for marking passages, quotes for Teaser Tuesdays, new words for Wondrous Word Wednesdays, etc. Very, very handy.

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