Wednesday, September 26, 2012

summer reading list fail

Sometime in late June, I think it was, I pulled Dostoyevsky off my shelf and took a deep breath. I'm a slow reader, so even with some extra time carved out for reading over the summer, I knew it would take me a while. When I start a book, especially a long one, there's a known threshhold for me that determines whether I'll make it or not. I don't know if this kind of thing has some sort of scientific backing (but I wouldn't be surprised). So I made sure that I had at least an hour to dig in and get to page 30, my magic number.

Then, 10 minutes in, my housemate asked me to watch something with her. (And I guess the really pathetic part is that now I don't even remember what that was!).

From that point it was a struggle. I knew it would be. I kept it in the stack by my bed anyway, determined and shamed by my summer reading list. Then I read that apparently Dostoyevsky isn't summer reading! That's exactly what my intuition had been telling me. So I metaphorically crossed it off my list and put it back on my shelf. One day, old Fyodor, one day.

It's not like any of you are actually closing following my adventures in reading, but I feel obligated to report that my summer reading list was a total fail. Sometimes lists work great for me, and sometimes they show me how my gut knows better than my head and I just need to go with it. Instead of The Brothers Karamozov, I read Steinbeck's East of Eden and loved it. The book opens with pages describing the Salinas Valley in California, and it drew me in right away. I read that some critics found the book heavy-handed, and I can understand why - some of the dialogue, especially when it came to conversations that uncovered the true theme of the book, felt forced to me. But being a huge fan of the meaning and mystery of Genesis, I found the ways this story explicated and modeled what's been true since the fall of creation fascinating.

(Side note: I didn't so much appreciate how Steinbeck basically embodied evil in the main female character, but still was totally drawn in by her. I also forgave him when I met Abra, who was kind and beautiful and helped to redeem one of the main characters.)

I have some other reading to report on soon, one book that I'm finishing up and one that I was just notified is on hold for me at the library. That made my day. Oh, don't you worry, I know I'm a nerd. Too bad geeky intellectual isn't as "in" for women as it is for men right now.:)

1 comment:

  1. I get excited when books I've been waiting for show up as 'on hold' for me, too! That whole system is awesome. I saw in another library that they charge if you don't pick up your held items...yikes! Makes me even more grateful for what we have.

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