Reading is my religion. It’s true. I’m absolutely devoted to it, it’s on my mind all the time, and I have a fanatic hatred of all other religions and an equally fanatic need to convert all non-readers. You see?
However, after the past three months, I’m going to go to reader hell. I’m a terrible blogger, always have been. I’ve begun and abandoned countless blogs without any sense of shame whatsoever. What shames me about these past three months is how terrible a reader I’ve been. I barely read, and when I did, it was chick-lit. Chick-lit! I was depressed after a semester than was epic in its awfulness, and I slept a lot and walked around like a zombie on cold medication. I am not going to count the books I read during this period because frankly, they were appalling. It’s also because I got nothing from them except “DON’T be a lawyer. It’s an awful life.”(Undomestic Goddess), “Family screws you over, and so do friends: only your dead ancestors will always be there for you.”(Twenties Girl) and “Be an irresponsible kook or that super-mature hot guy won’t notice you and fall for you.”(Some Shopaholic thingy-I can’t tell them apart, really.)
It all started with a fateful day in mid-February where a little adventure left me with a torn ligament in the ankle and some type of brain damage as well, it would seem. My brain has been hazy and buzzing annoyingly ever since and it’s only just beginning to clear.
I will summarize my activities in these three months as well as my hazy, doped memories let me. (I must clarify at this point, that “doped” only refers to a state of mind and did not involve any sort of consumption of narcotics or other controlled substances. I promise, mommy. )
(I read Making History by Stephen Fry in January by the way. I’m yet to review that. I must state right now, in case I die an untimely death and my God and other fellow readers in reader hell hold it against me forever that I didn’t give this book a well-deserved testimony.IT WAS BRILLIANT. Completely hilarious.)
I read one decent book called Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples. It made me think further about converting to Islam. I have been toying with the idea for some time. Yes, this is despite not having a Muslim boyfriend. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Jihad) It was an accurate picture of the pitiable state of Afghanistan and Pakistan and their people due to the Taliban. (A poignant subject decently portrayed.) There wasn’t much character development though, and all the people seem to just be metaphors of the struggling populace and not characters unto themselves. I don’t know if you know what I mean. Also, the ending was meant to be touching but it mostly just alarmed me.
While we’re on the topic, I also read Kite Runner, which made me hate, detest, love and pity the protagonist, all at once. I liked Hassan too. The Taliban are only in the backdrop of the main story but you can still feel their shudder-inducing presence. It didn’t make me cry as much as A Thousand Splendid Suns but I did. I cried. It doesn’t hurt you as much but it does and it makes you think of a lot of things. There are so many things to take away from this book. Read it.
I read The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. It’s a lovely book, albeit with a disturbing portrayal of paedophilia. I really liked it. You won’t regret reading it. The protagonist reminded me of a friend of mine for a few reasons. I won’t name her. Also, I want to be a lawyer attending trials like the ones in the book. It would torture me, but I still want to.
I started and didn’t finish Name of the Rose but I will get back to it. I went on a near-psychotic Enid Blyton re-reading phase. I finished about 30 of those in 3 days. Then I started by chick-lit spree, like I said, and I read about 20 of those. Following that, I read Memory Keeper’s Daughter which couldn’t hold a torch to Kim Edwards’ other book, Lake of Dreams, which is pretty decent. It basically put together a bunch of the most irrational characters and made a story about their irrationality.
Then I reread a lot. My brain just stopped working. My exam results, when they come out, will vouch for me on this.
Then I came home after my semester ended. I didn’t read some more. I went out and bought a bunch of books anyway, because, hey! I’m cool like that! I firmly believe that the purchase of books is a distinct activity with therapeutic qualities and is entirely unconnected to the actual reading of those books. That’s another fun thing that can be done with books. The list is as follows.
- Gazing at bookshelves
- Smelling new books
- Buying new books
- Imagining being a character in a book
- Actually reading
- Talking about good books
- Bitching about the movies based on the books
- Adding books to a long wish list
- Going on websites about the authors
- And of course, blogging about the books
I began to read Dracula but it irritated me. I read two new Wodehouse books, which I swear by as anti-depressants even though a certain close friend of mine appears to abhor him.(-Coughladybugcough-) They were Galahad at Blandings and Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin. I didn’t like the second one too much.
Then, I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. What a book! I really loved it. It’s a guide on writing and so funny and clever and honest. I don’t know if I would read her other books, though. I think not. They seem to target specific audiences and would only appeal to that particular sub-group. Well, so does this one, I suppose, but I happen to be a member of this particular audience. Well, I’m glad that I am, because I would have missed out on some of that charm, otherwise, and that would honestly have been an absolute shame. It’s different from the other books I love because it de-hodgepodged my jelly brain and I loved it anyway. Look, it’s gotten me writing already and I only read it yesterday!
I am now reading Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Wish me luck, okay? Let’s hope I stick with it.
I feel like I’m missing out on things. If my PTSD-fied brain permits, I will tell you more as I remember.