Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Is How You Get Her Attention

The book I'm reading at the moment is so delicious I wan't to gobble it all up and, simultaneously, take my time because when it's over, that's it. I'll be done.

In case you're not familiar with Junot Diaz's, This is How You Lose Her, here's a little taste.

You, Yunior, have a girlfriend named Alma, wo has a long tender horse neck and a big Dominican ass that seems to exist in a fourth dimension beyond jeans. An ass that could drag the moon out of orbit. An ass she never liked until she met you. Ain't a day that passes that you don't want to press your face against that ass or bite the delicate sliding tendons of her neck. You love how she shivers when you bite, how she fights you with those arms that are so skinny they belong in an after-school special.
It's writing so real and raw with such an amazing voice I almost can't bear the knowledge I'm halfway done. My only consolation is I haven't read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which now feels like the rainbow promise of an ice cream cone treat.

My absorption with this book was evident when my son found me last weekend in the living room, nose to page, curled in a ball on the couch.

"Whatcha reading, Mom?" he asked and then, when I didn't immediately respond, proceeded to slow read the title from the front cover. "This.   Is.   How.   You.   Lose.   Her." He thought about the name for a minute and then said, "I hear that's a great book."

"You do?" I said looking up, which is what he wanted in the first place. "Who do you hear that from?"

"My teacher. She's been talking about it a lot."

"She has." I said with a smile.

"Yeah," he nodded his head like the coolest kid on the block and added, "She's thinking about reading it to us out loud as soon as she finishes it."

"Really?" I asked and tried to stifle the giggle that threatened to escape at the image of twenty-two second graders assembled on the rug, eyes wide as their teacher reads aloud from a book about the ways humanity searches for passion and, all too often, settles for frail substitutes. Oh, and not to mention the sex and the drugs.

But it is kind of cool my kid wants to talk to me and knows how to get me to look up from my book without being obnoxious, so I smiled instead of laughed and said, "So This Is How You Lose Her is next on the list after Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?"

"Yeah." He climbed up in my lap and did that thing where he pets me like a dog.

I put the book down and surrendered to his gummy-fingered affections. "Okay. Tell me all your favorite parts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

Which he did and fortunately he didn't ask me to reciprocate.

16 comments:

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

That is so cute!
I haven't heard of this one yet. I'll have to check it out. :)

jaybird said...

Oh, I can relate to this. So many times my girls ask me "whatcha reading?" and if what I'm reading sounds interesting, they ask to borrow it when I'm done. Most of the time, I have to tell them, hit me up ten years from now, and then you can read it. LOL

Barbara Watson said...

This made me smile. =) Usually I'm reading a middle grade novel. Sometimes I forget there's other stuff.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Johanna,

That was some except... WHOA! I would've burst out laughing if my kid said that was the next book his second grade teacher would be reading them..

Sweet kid.....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Many years from now, he'll be really surprised when he opens that book.

Carol Kilgore said...

Treasure that second grade innocence and those gummy fingers. They're awesome :)

Alison DeLuca said...

Love it! Like when my kid begged to read the Dragon Tattoo series.

And hurray for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I loved that book when my third grade teacher read it to the class. It was completely rewritten in the movie, which is really a separate entity and a star vehicle for A Certain Actor *cough*

BTW, This is How You Lose Her: Give her a good book and she curls up on the couch and forgets about the world. Am I right?

Jan Newman said...

You have a very cool 2nd grader, and I can tell you treasure him. I've heard so much about the Diaz book but haven't read it yet. Obviously, you recommend it.

Naida said...

awww...too cute :)

I have This is How You Lose Her on my wishlist, it sounds fantastic. Glad you're enjoying it!

Diana Wilder said...

I love second graders. Absolutely non-judgmental (though they don't necessarily endorse your reading choices)... Cute!

Johanna Garth said...

Rachel, you should, its soooo good.

Jaybird, ten years would have made him want to read it now!

Barbara, I like that about you :)

Michael, I'm still giggling picturing it.

Alex, sooo surprised!

Carol, I know :)

Allison, you are absolutely right.

Jan, obviously!

Diana, it's a fun age :)

Shell Flower said...

That is an adorable story. You'll have to tell his teacher about it. Now I totally want to read How to Lose Her.

Chitty Bang Bang was my son's first favorite movie. It's really quite steampunk and groovy. I love the children catcher.

Chuck said...

That is an interesting post and caught me off guard when I read the passage. I do remember seeing Chitty at the movies when I was a kid!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That is sweet. My kids usually avoid the topic of my books, unless it grabs their attention. But that's because one reads some of the same YA books that I read.

I didn't know Ian Flemming wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I use to love that movie!

Arlee Bird said...

These days I almost wouldn't be surprised if a teacher read something like this to a class. From what my kindergarten teacher wife tells me, the kids are getting things taught to them too early.

Lee
Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Joshua said...

I'll have to put it on my wish list. Thanks for the rec.