Due to recent struggles it's been hard to concentrate on new reading matter, so I've been letting my tired mind roam around the old playgrounds of books I've read and enjoyed many times before.
A never-fail cure for the blues is to pick up Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and read the "Happy Barmitzvah, Bernie!" episode. It is one of the most playful and irreverent passages in modern literature. While other sections of the novel can certainly make a person laugh (or cry), the barmitzvah scene is an absolute howler.
I feel ready to try some new material now as well, so I plan to dive into James Ellroy's The Big Nowhere. I picked it up last winter with the best intentions, on which I shall now follow through. I do love Ellroy.