Back to the Books

I've been having some issues recently with idea generation-turned-completion. In other words, I am composing blog posts and to-do lists and brilliant emails in weird hours of the night, then either forgetting about them completely or losing all motivation during the day. To try to spurn myself back to writing, I thought I'd start easy: book reviews.

For two years during my master's degree (which was also baby's life 3 months - 2 years), I didn't have the mental or physical capacity to read for fun. I splurged on a few novels during Christmas and summer breaks, but not at my normal pace of regular evening page-turning. Now I'm back, and happily reading my escapist literature again. This interest (plus my cheapness) has also led to regular visits to the library. Yes, I'm that person who still supports the library. (Parenting side note: it's a great location for kids. Sylvia plays happily for a while; I feel like a good parent for surrounding her with books; and we go home with a few books that break the monotony of her regular favorites, though they too become very old after 10 days of constant re-reading). But now I carry in my Post-It note (copied from an ongoing Notepad doc on my desktop) of recommended books I want to read, search through the database, and take home a new treasure. I also had the random opportunity to snag some free books from last year's big publishing fair, so that added some unexpected books to my sidetable. So far I've read (with apologies to the authors for being too lazy to look them all up):

Cutting for Stone: LOVED
The Book Thief: Meh. Too long. Sad without enough redemption.
Like Water for Elephants: Quite good
Hunger Games (all 3): Enjoyable brain candy
Ender's Game: For teens, but now I know why my fellow nerds reference it often
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Unsure why it was a national phenomenon
Never Let Me Go: Intriguing, and I wish I could discuss it with others, but why was this ranked a "book of the year"?
Bright Before Us: Relatable at my age but overly depressing
The Lantern: I wish I owned a villa in France
The Taker: Awesome
The Elegance of the Hedgehog: Brainy and interesting character study
The Sense of An Ending: Slow, but a good ending
Dogwood: Quite good, but with a weird ending
The Bell Jar: If I had read this at 18, it might have been life-changing

 As you can see, I read novels. With one exception -- which I'll make my next post (trying to make myself write regularly here...).


  1. I did read the Bell Jar at 18 (or 19 - soph year of college), and it did change my life. Really. I just re-read it last month, actually, and I fell in love with it again.

    I've read none of the rest of your list, though. I'll have to check them out! (Or not - perhaps I should wait til after the bar!!)

  2. I picked Never Let Me Go for my book club back in NYC. I found it very "meh". I also did not understand why it was a book of the year or whatever.


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