Friday, February 13, 2009

Reading Wicked...

"A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it."

-William Styron, interview, Writer's At Work, 1958

The play "Wicked" is once again in San Francisco, at the Orpheum theater, and I would love to see it, but with the two furloughed days being taken out of Alan's check twice a month, it means that we are losing about $400 monthly. It's really not a good time to spend money on the theater, which is sad not just for us, but for the performers who are facing this recession right along with the rest of us. But just for the sake of argument, I took a look at the schedule to see if maybe we could go in a few months, and it turns out that if we went in June, a couple days before my birthday, to a matinee, it would be about $200 for two tickets, plus a convenience fee! We might be able to swing it, if we plan, but it doesn't seem like it is the most practical thing to do with our money, given the present circumstance.


Governor Schwarzenegger is planning on keeping the furlough days on the schedule until June of 2010! That's going to be hard on everyone. It will have the ripple effect of 238,000 state workers having even less to spend, but it's this or face the layoff notices of some 20,000 state employees. Alan has been in his job long enough that it is unlikely that he would be one of those facing a pink slip, but we know folks it could happen to, so everyone is just holding their breath and hoping for the best. Whatever that is. One thing is for sure, no one we know is spending money on trips to movies, let alone trips to broadway shows.


Oh well, I might not be able to see the play "Wicked" but I can read the book... right? I was just mentioning the other day it had been about 2 years since I had visited my favorite little book store, so I decided to drop in there and pick it up. I have always identified with the characters from the Wizard of Oz, particularly Dorothy, so why not jump back into the fantasy, this time as told from a different perspective, so I bought "Wicked, The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West" by Gregory Maguire, the book on which the play "Wicked" is based.

My reading usually consists of biographies, and non-fiction, the last book I read was Valerie Plame Wilson's book, Fair Game, I also enjoy reading mysteries, especially Mary Higgins Clark, and on occasion I read books with a humorous take on things such as "Bridget Jones' Diary" but fantasy isn't really a genre I have been too interested in. I read "The Hobbit" series when I was in high school, but that's been about it, well except for a few books by Alice Hoffman. "Practical Magic" remains on my desk as one of my favorite books of all time, but I think it will be having a little company with the book I am reading right now... I can't put it down.

"Wicked..." is a dark read. I will just say that. It turns out that the wicked witch of the west, and I, have a lot in common. I won't say what exactly, but I can identify... we'll leave it at that. What I will say is that she is a strong woman, who doesn't sit around waiting to be led... she makes decisions. She knows who she is, and makes no apologies. I admire that. :) I am about 2/3 of the way through, and I bought it a little over a week ago. I can't wait to buy more books in the series, because I want to find out what comes next. I always knew there just had to be more to the story. This book has been out for quite a while, and because of my reading snobbery I am only just now discovering it. MY BAD. Take it from me, if there is a genre of book you have been avoiding for whatever reason, take a step out of the norm and buy a book you might have never considered before, you never know what gem you might find!

If you haven't read it yet... go read it! If you have read it, tell me what you think! What was the last book you read? Do you have a favorite genre of book? If you have to choose one book to have the rest of your life, which book would it be?

Tell me everything! Let's talk books!

Wicked, The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West.



TJ said...

I should make a point to get at a good book.
My 9 year old grand daughter is knocking down 500 + page books like crazy. I want to read the Twilight book....oh I need to make time.
Thanks for the insight.

Laura said...

loved, loved, loved Wicked! The sequel Son of a Witch was good too. I sure hope you can figure a way to see the musical. It was amazing.

MyMaracas said...

I've been wanting to read that one for some time, and now that I've read your enthusiastic recommendation I'll make it next on my list. I'm sorry you're having to pass up the play. Theater isn't in our budget either, these days. In fact, I'll probably pick up the book at the library.

I'm currently reading Duma Key by Stephen King. I'm not a King fan, but a horror story just appeals to me at the moment. I'll read most anything, depending on my mood.

If I had to pick one book to keep, I'd have a hard choice to make between Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin and A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher.

alphawoman said...

Tried to read it and got about 150 - 200 pages into it and put it aside. I felt like I was being preached at. All that social commentary...not my cup of tea. Maybe if I had hung in there. 2008 (and 2009 is shaping up just the same) was the year of the half read book. I use to think that if I started it regardless if I like it or not, I had to finish it. I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. (hahah)