My Antidote for Book Hangovers
I recently read a book in one day. It's regrettably rare, considering how much I love doing it, leafing through those first pages with my morning coffee, marking my spot with a finger while I fix an afternoon snack, burning the midnight oil to linger over that final scene.
That novel was The Easy Way Out by Stephen McCauley (Washington Square Press, $19.99), the ridiculously funny story of Patrick, an irresponsible travel agent who must advise his brother Tony through an ongoing affair in the lead-up to Tony's Irish Catholic wedding. Not that Patrick is exactly a shining beacon of wisdom and reason, as he does everything in his power to avoid solidifying his own relationship with the man who wants to buy a house with him.
Afterward, I found myself wondering if another book could possibly feel as warm and satisfying as this again. Anyone who reads a lot knows that feeling of a "book hangover," a reading experience that just won't let go, a fear that nothing else will come close.
But then I remembered I felt this way after finishing Revolutions of All Colors by Dewaine Farria (Syracuse University Press, $22.95) mere months earlier. Farria's superb novel follows three young Black men from Oklahoma as their ambitions take them all over the world.
And then there was the way I felt after finishing Myla Goldberg's latest novel, Feast Your Eyes (Scribner, $17). It's the utterly dazzling story of a New York street photographer whose commitment to her art risked everything, including her relationship with her daughter, and it's styled as a retrospective exhibition of photos, which readers must imagine.
So, if I ever worry again, in the bleak midnight hours, that I'll never find another book as good as the one I just finished, I need only remember that if it's happened once, it's happened a thousand times. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness