Update: March Reading Frenzy

I've been very good. I haven't let myself buy any new books (magazines don't count) since my March book binge. As I've been a bit distracted--insomnia, rewrites, writer's block, magazines--it's taken me longer than usual to work through the three titles I picked up, but I've made progress.

Done! I read Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris in fits and starts (the latest issue of The Atlantic was so chock-full of great stories, I read it cover-to-cover and still have it on my nightstand in hopes that I missed something), but I finished the last third in one long sitting. It was funny, sarcastic and all the things people say about it on the jacket copy. I admit to skimming a bit in the middle, but I did genuinely care what happened to the characters and was happy with the ending. But then again, I tend to romanticize office life because I miss the camaraderie of working with, like, people and because I watch The Office (both Tivo'd and on dvd) incessantly.

I was up before 7 this Sunday morning and what better way to make use of the quiet then to start a new book (after flipping through The Atlantic and confirming, yes, I've read everything I'm going to read). So I started What is the What by Dave Eggers, then I got really anxious and skimmed ahead, keeping my finger on the page I'd just read, just to make sure Valentino is OK after the ordeal taking place in the first two chapters. Reassured, sort of, I put the book down, got dressed went to the supermarket (I'm hosting family for dinner), took my time picking out ingredients and other things I might need in the near future (julienned sundried tomatoes! Buy One, Get One Free!) got myself the largest chai latte (soy) at Starbucks and an US Magazine just to calm my nerves and reassure myself that the world isn't entirely evil. (It's actually vapid and materialistic!) As soon as I'm done with the US, I'll pick up where I left off because its just as good as the jacket copy says it is.

By the way, I had a similiar reaction when reading We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Phillip Gourevitch and, to a lesser degree, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I think Gourevitch's book had a particular impact because I'd recently given birth. I heard an interview with him by Terry Gross while nursing my son and read it while nursing my son and was pretty convinced that the world was one evil cesspool. I also think it was around this time that I started subscribing to US Magazines. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Marisha Pessel's Special Topics in Calamity Physics has proven to be my problem child. I took it along with me to my recent fun and food filled trip back to San Francisco and I didn't manage to get past the first page. I figured it was just because I need a running start (sort of like when, as a kid, you had to wait a few beats when jumping rope with friends) so I began with the jacket copy. I couldn't manage to finish that either. So I set it aside on the hotel nightstand for another try, reasoning I was too distracted my overwhelming feelings of nostalgia. Over the next days of my stay I found myself reading everything but, including the hotel magazine where they talk about how great their hotels are in other cities. (I went with my sister who is a big reader and doesn't have a problem with hanging out in a comfy hotel room instead of charging through a place to get to sites that look better in the tourist guides. Unlike some people I know--ahem, the husband--she, like me, sees taking the time to loll about and read as an intrinsic part of any trip.) I'll give it another go after I'm done with What is the What and see what happens.

Note: I'm gearing up for another book binge and if you've finished a good read, I'm always looking for book suggestions.

No comments: