I was too distracted to read very much this month, and most of my library books went back into the return slot with hardly a chapter read. But one I did finish was Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Most of it I enjoyed, and parts of it I really enjoyed. Like this, from "On Going Home", written about her daughter's first birthday:
In the evening, after she has gone to sleep, I kneel beside the crib and touch her face, where it is pressed against the slats, with mine. She is an open and trusting child, unprepared for and unaccustomed to the ambushes of family life, and perhaps it is just as well that I can offer her little of that life. I would like to give her more. I would like to promise her that she will grow up with a sense of her cousins and of rivers and of her great-grandmother's teacups, would like to pledge her a picnic on a river with fried chicken and her hair uncombed, would like to give her home for her birthday, but we live differently now and I can promise her nothing like that. I give her a xylophone and a sundress from Madeira, and promise to tell her a funny story.
If you're a Joan Didion fan, do you have a favorite essay of hers? Or book? (The only other one of hers I've read is The Year of Magical Thinking, which was depressing but good.)