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I’m a person who used to read a great deal, but who now watches TV on DVD and embraces the Internet with what little strength she has left in her withered hands. Imagine, dear reader, how I used to power lift War and Peace in one hand and Anna Karenina in the other while shouting like Lou Ferrigno getting a full back tattoo of Edith Wharton’s childhood home. My glutes so glossy; my brain so buff. But now, my little atrophied fingers twitch lightly over a touch pad while I wonder if @MindyKaling will ever Tweet back to me. I’m not sure (I GOT PREGNANT) how it happened (AND HAD A BABY). Maybe it happened when I moved to California (AND TURNED 40).
Even though I claim to have been reading Emma for the last two months (and it’s good! I like it! Don’t hit me! Ow!), last week I took a break from taking a break from the bonnets and parasols and snuck off with Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty. I succumbed to the hype, in other words. But a 7-day-express copy from the library fell into my hands, so what was I supposed to do? Let some Montecito retiree whose library card was held together with packing tape read it first?
It was pretty good. It was sort of gauzy. Reading it felt like you were seeing the contemporary art world through a big piece of Press ‘n’ Seal that softened it and flattened your perspective, and also clung to the edges to keep things fresh. I’m interested in art, but I probably wouldn’t have read it if it weren’t by Steve Martin. I like Steve Martin. Born Standing Up was really good, though I have sort of a love/not-love relationship with other things that he’s done. Like anyone my age who saw him on the Tonight Show when they were fourteen and bought his albums and wore an arrow through her head until her junior high vice principal told her to stop or she’d poke someone’s eye out. That’s all of us, right? Good.