Shelf Life: Rachael Mason
This week, my co-worker Tori Boone asked me what my favorite book was. I told her I wasn't sure what the answer was.
For years, though, I have been telling people that it's "The Sirens of Titan" by Kurt Vonnegut. It's been a while since I've read this book, but I know I'll read it again. The novel is an odd and intriguing story that keeps me coming back for more.
I've loved the book since college, when a guy I worked with recommended it to me. He even lent me a copy of it. His edition of "The Sirens of Titan" was a 1970 Dell paperback with a purple cover and an otherworldly illustration on the front.
I liked the book so much that I eventually got my own copy of it - the same vintage paperback. And when I found the same edition of "Sirens of Titan" at a used bookstore, I bought that one, too.
I like the book so much that I want to lend it to people, but I would be upset if it wasn't returned. This way, I can pass it on without a second thought. If I get it back, that's good. If not, that's fine too.
I haven't updated my answer to "what's your favorite book?" since college, so I'm not sure if "Sirens of Titan" is still No. 1 on my reading list. But there's no doubt that Vonnegut is one of my all-time favorite writers.
I wish I'd had a chance to see him speak before he died this week. Vonnegut came to the University of Georgia several years ago and I had planned to see his lecture there. I was living in Savannah at the time, but one of my friends was a UGA student. I begged her to get tickets, but when she finally got around to it, they were no longer available. I have always regretted missing that speech.
Since then, I have read a few transcripts of Vonnegut's lectures that have been posted to the Internet. From what I can tell, his personal appearances were just as entertaining as his writing.
Now, I'll just have to be content with his books. Luckily, Vonnegut left a lasting legacy of words.
The first item on my agenda is finding one of my copies of "Sirens of Titan" and rereading it. And from there, who knows where I'll end up? When you follow a Vonnegut story, there's no way to tell.
If there's a book you think I really ought to read, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.