Monday, December 6, 2010

Gathering 'Round The Bookshelves

Boy, is it cold out there. And I don't mean just a little cold. I mean the kind of cold that makes me wonder why I'm not living at the beach where they shoot those Corona commercials. Actually, it's not that cold out there but the wind is brutal. We went to dinner at Devan's apartment over in Buchanan and on the way home it was all I could to do keep the Jeep on the road sometimes.

Getting the old crew together is a rare thing these days, though tonight we've decided to make it a little less rare. It's kind of cool how nothing ever really changes. We all more or  less fall into the same roles that we always do. Patrick takes over the food and becomes Devan's favorite target, Devan tries to entertain everyone in the room (he sees the world as an audience) and generally sticks his foot in the mouth and I fall somewhere in between and generally just argue with whoever I decide to disagree with on any given night.

We've all mellowed a bit since we've been married. Actually, we've all married a bit since we've gotten older. I'd say we've become more mature, but, and let's be honest here, that just probably isn't the case. We don't stay up as late as we once did, nor do we eat as much or argue at the top of our lungs as much as we once did (though that last one is a near thing).

One of my favorite parts of any given evening with Devan and Patrick is the traditional gathering 'round the bookshelves to see what books we want to steal. I came away with two novels this evening, both completely unfamiliar and recommended by Devan. He's yet to steer me wrong on a literary recommendation, so I feel like these will be worth looking into. Patrick borrowed Fever Dream, the latest Pendergast novel.

But what we actually take away from the shelves is not nearly as interesting as the conversations that happen around them. It doesn't take long for us to start batting titles around of the latest and greatest books we've read. If we're not rushed to get somewhere and eat something, our discussion eventually lands in one of those titles and we start picking apart the reasons why we liked it. Often times this happens as one of us is trying to pitch the book to the others, but the most interesting discussions happen when we're talking about a novel we've all read.

I tend to pick up on the broader themes and how the novel fits into the larger scheme of the series as a whole. Patrick tends to hit on one or two really insightful and emotional moments that really hit him hard and drove home the feelings of a particular character. Devan usually picks out the one minuscule little detail that we missed that changed the entire plot.

It's the type of literary discussion you'd never see taken seriously on any kind of talk show or podcast because it'd be next to impossible to follow it if you haven't been hanging out with us for as long as we have. Just ask my Dad. These discussions drive him nuts. In all honestly, though, these discussions are probably one of the big reasons that we've all been able to stay friends for all this time.

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