Last week I found myself not reading, and whenever I find myself not reading that means other demands are taking up more of my time than is ideal, and I need to revise my reading goals in turn. I know I’ve written before about the insanity that is breast cancer awareness month when you work for a cancer hospital, so I won’t reiterate all of that – but suffice it to say between work duties, a couple of weekends that will be spent out of town, and the normal every day things of life, like picking up the dry cleaning and finding the perfect sausage and perogie recipe, well, my reading needs readjusting.
First of all, I had to stop reading The Terror, by Dan Simmons – partly because I had to return it to the library but mainly because it scared me to death. Oh. My. God. The Arctic – scary. Men stranded – scary. Scurvy – scary. Unknown noises outside the ship? FREAKING SCARY. Now, I am not one to usually shy away from scary novels, especially since I am trying to complete the RIP challenge, but for whatever reason this whole combination of elements I find just a bit too much – I’ve had trouble sleeping. I am sure I will revisit soon – it’s a GOOD book, people – but it’s not right for right now. I also realized I need some lighter fare to end my evenings with if I’m going to continue down this horror-laden path for the RIP challenge. So yesterday afternoon I went to the library checked out the following: Coronado, by Dennis LeHane; Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Stephen holla-holla King, Summer of Night by the aforementioned Dan Simmons, the latest two Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, and a Paula Deen cookbook from which I will cook absolutely nothing but will nonetheless salivate over (oh, the pounds of butter, the cups of sugar, the lard, the egg yolks and the hamburger – the biscuits, the sweet tea – food fit for morning hunts and dressy cocktail parties – oh, Paula Deen, you shouldn’t have!)
So this is my plan – to read a few short stories from each collection and complete Summer of Night by October 31st – LeHane and King are both comfort reads for me and I know I will complete some of their stories in a way I simply can’t commit to, say, Mary Shelley right now. The Evanovich books will take the scary edge off my evening reading and since I am doing weight watchers at work (loong story about being a leader and setting a good example and blah blah blah) Paula Deen can remind me that some people do eat food like overnight french toast with pecan crumble topping. So, there’s that, all of which brings me to…
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I have been slogging my way through this book for quite some time now and am just barely halfway done. I hate to admit this but I’m really struggling with this book! On the one hand, I love the idea of the author as pilgrim in her own backyard (I just saw the movie “Into the Wild” and once I read the book I imagine all sorts of great comparisons could be made between it and Pilgrim) but for the most part I find myself bored – bored to distraction. Recently instead of reading it chapter by chapter I really began slowing down with it, choosing instead to read it section by section, and it helps some, but for the most part I just don’t find myself able to engage with the text at all. Unlike some books, though, I find myself determined to move forward, to plow through the book, in the hopes that I may eventually land on the passage that transforms the text for me. Can anyone help enlighten me? What is it about this book that makes people swoon so much? It’s funny how some books can be abandoned, and others, not – I had no trouble returning the Simmons to the library, but put away the Dillard? No way.
I am also reading Lolita for my writing group but since I won’t be able to make the actual event I will post about it here upon completion.
I hope this revision of my reading goals puts me back in a good reading rhythm – I’ll let y’all know.