This morning, I did what I do most mornings. Hopped out of bed, ran to the air conditioner, turned it off, and got back into bed. It takes me awhile to warm up in the morning so I always try to give myself ample time to do so. I turned on the Today show, checked my BlackBerry, poured a glass of milk, and ate some Teddy Grahams. I was sitting in my morning daze, listening to Mike Murphy and Rachel Maddow bicker and thinking how lucky I am to live in this glorious city even though I constantly complain about its lack of gentlemen and Southern charm, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Red Flash.
I retrieved my BlackBerry and re-opened my email. The new message was from Barnes & Noble, and it read:
This Week: Curtis Sittenfeld...
Well, there was more, but I stopped right there and let out a small shriek. Could it be? I'd been waiting years for this!
I leaped from out under the covers and was hit by the still-frigid air of my little apartment. I dashed to my desk to grab my laptop and darted back to bed. After logging onto the Barnes & Noble website, I was delighted to see that my suspicions were confirmed: The author of best-selling Prep has finally written another book.
I'm betting that most of you have read this, but if you haven't, RUN DON'T WALK to your nearest bookseller. I'm not going to lie; the cover art was the seller for me. (Not to mention the title. Clearly.) I honestly bought this book without knowing very much about it, and to this day I consider it to be one of the best things I have ever read. I feel that just about anyone on Earth can relate to the protagonist, and it's no easy task to create a character with that sort of depth. Sittenfeld's writing style is similar to that of what I aspire to for my first novel.
After finishing the gem, I knew I needed more. Luckily, I didn't have to wait too long for her second book, The Man of My Dreams.
I couldn't wait to get my hot little hands on this. The main character in The Man of My Dreams reminded me a lot of the main character in Prep. As I writer, I've discovered that you can't always have it all and sometimes a book is more about the writing than it is about the story. This book is more about the writing, which is beautifully poignant. If you appreciate that as much as I do, I recommend you pick this up. It's somewhat sad but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.
I read Man of My Dreams as soon as it was published, in May of 2006. I have been waiting since then for Sittenfeld to come out with a new novel since then. It's been a long two years but I'm happy to say that her third novel, American Wife, will be released on September 2, 2008.
The review from Publisher's Weekly was less than glowing, but I have high hopes. Her work is nothing if not polished. The main character again sounds reminiscent of both main characters from her previous novels. You can read more about the novel here. I've already reserved my copy. I suggest you do the same.
P.S. To briefly return to my love affair with the city as aforementioned in the first paragraph...
Reason 738 I love living in NYC: When I was dropping my gym bag off this morning, I saw a girl wearing a t-shirt with our sorority letters. I asked her if she was a sister and then told her that I was as well. I quickly learned that she was in the same chapter as my pal MBL, whom I know through my Book Club. She sounded interested in joining, so I ended up giving her my card. Curtis and Kappa... all before 9 AM!
(Also Reason 175,132 why I love my sorority.)