February 17, 2014

The Dinner, A Day Off, and Lots of Contentment


Do you know how it is when you watch something excellent, such as Volohozhar and Trankov skating, and you can rest in the performance? You sit back, breathing peacefully, because you can trust what they're going to do without making a mistake. This is how I feel in the hands of Herman Koch.

I am only on page 6 of The Dinner, and I am reading as slowly as possible because every line sparkles. Every page has a phrase which rings with truth for me.

"If I had to give a definition of happiness, it would be this: happiness needs nothing but itself; it doesn't have to be validated."

Or,

"I didn't feel like going to the restaurant. I never do. A fixed appointment for the immediate future is the gates of hell; the actual evening is hell itself. It starts in front of the mirror in the morning: what you're going to wear, and whether or not you're going to shave."

He has set the reader up perfectly, with a tension that is actually delicious, and I will be savoring a mug of Starbucks (my husband made a huge pot for breakfast with our scones) and my book all day.

More on The Dinner when it's finished...

17 comments:

  1. Oh, I envy you. I just finished a book that I loved and I'm a little restless, wanting the next one to be as good... But a day off is good, regardless!

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    1. What was the book you just finished? Would love to know, and add it to my list. The terrible thing about that wonderful occurence, for me, is that usually the next book never quite measures up. Even if it would be good under "normal" circumstances. (After a bad read...;)

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  2. I love it when I feel this way about a book. Just finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and read it slowly. I didn't want it to end. Enjoy your day off. I am!

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    1. Oh, I want to reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn ever since it was suggested as my birthday read. I've read it at least twice in my life,but one can never tire of Francie.

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    2. I have read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 3 times in my life and LOVE Francie. So happy to hear others loved it.

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  3. I tore through this book in just a couple of days. but relish the idea of a slow reread. Enjoy your day!

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    1. As I read, the faster I go. I cannot put this down, even to fetch another scone from the kitchen!

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  4. I love books like this one. I have a habit of reading them aloud. The last book I read that made me read it so slowly was This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett. Have a good week.

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    1. Ann Patchett's writing is so beautiful. (Somehow, I also connect her writing to Barbara Kingsolver's, not quite sure why.)

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  5. Keep meaning to read this book but just gets lost in the pile. Sounds really good. Glad you're enjoying it.

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  6. This sounds quite a promising book, I will place it on my wish list :)

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  7. Wow. That does sound reallly good and worth relishing.

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  8. I let a few iffy reviews sway me from trying this one, but I'm glad you've brought me back. :)

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  9. Oh I loved this book! I cannot wait to see what you think. The writing is just beautiful!

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  10. Sparkling sentences sounds wonderful...continue to enjoy!!

    Have a great week.

    Link to a post on my blog is below.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

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  11. Looking forward to you review. I've heard about this book because of the movie adaptation. Yes, it's a 2013 film but has not yet arrived here. Will it ever I don't know. Not much of a cinematic offering if you think of just one dinner. But, maybe they will dramatize it a bit more? I've put this book on hold at our public library. Thanks for the heads-up!

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  12. You can't have all the things. Where might you place it

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