have you read this too?

So I finally finished The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. It took me ages and ages because I couldn't quite get into it. Drawn to it at the bookstore because of it's description as, "[a] brilliantly observed novel of fate and fortune--about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way--and not--in New York City," the book came with nothing but glowing reviews. It was even selected as A New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year. All that being said, I didn't like it. Not at all. I was overwhelmed by it's pervading sense of--oh, I'm not even sure--apathy, maybe? Selfishness? A shallowness parading as grandeur? I never felt fully embraced by the book, it was rather as if I watched from afar as partially formed characters lived out tedious events. The last few chapters of the book dealt with September 11 and for a brief, glittering moment I thought the pervading sense I got from the book up until then was perhaps skillfully set up in order to give that event an even greater weight--a greater meaning. But in this I felt let down as well.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

And any suggestions as to what I should read next...

Any ideas for a good first book for my book club? Should I choose one of my all time favorites to share, Beach Music or Lords of Discipline?

PS: my lovely little NYC apartment now has ants.
I hate them. My roommate is not bothered at all.
But they're concentrated in my room (at the front of the apartment).
Are they a product of Spring?
What am I to do--a few I wouldn't mind, but suddenly they seem to 
be everywhere (i feel like such a girl right now).