What I’m Reading Monday, August 10

After having a wonderful week at the lake at the end of July, August has gotten off to a pretty rotten start. I generally try to keep from being too negative on the Internet, but it’s been a week of job search woes, packing up my apartment, and feeling generally lonely and lost. I’m trying to follow my sister’s sage advice to remind myself that “everything is temporary,” but mostly I’ve just been throwing myself a major pity party. Reader, I’d love to know how you snap yourself out a funk when it feels like nothing’s going right.

This week, I finished up Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Riverhead, 9/15), which was absolutely brilliant and gorgeous. I also devoured Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart (HMH, 9/1). Based on the life of one of America’s first female deputy sherifs, it’s firmly in my wheelhouse of books about bad-ass, trailblazing women. It’s also just a super fun romp. I also started reading The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (Graywolf, 9/1), which is one of the books I was most excited to pick up at BEA. Written in an updated version of Old English, it is set in the aftermath of the Norman Invasion of 1066. It took a while to get used to the dialect, but it promises to be a fascinating novel!

On audio, I finished The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan, which I really enjoyed. I’m currently about halfway through Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and I’m kind of surprised by how much I like it so far!

What are you reading this week?

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32 thoughts on “What I’m Reading Monday, August 10

  1. Ugh – I’m so sorry you’re in a funk. Getting outdoors and exercise seems to help me out sometimes. But also sometimes just time 🙂 Fates & Furies…I’m about 80% through and I’m really conflicted about it. It really dragged for me for the first 60% or so and now I’m into it, but I had such high expectations and I’m thinking it fell short for me. BUT – it’s definitely one of those books I feel the need to noodle over and really loved the overall theme…just had some issues with actually connecting to it. I don’t know…I’m totally rambling here….

  2. SO glad to hear Girl Waits With Gun is a good one, as I have that coming up for me soon! Annihilation totally didn’t work for me last year, but I think I’m in the minority there, as many others seem to really like it! If you’re liking it already, I’m sure you’ll end up liking it overall. Sorry things haven’t been going well… change is so hard. I hope things get better very soon.

    • I’m so excited for you to read it! I just finished Annihilation, and I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. I’ve heard pretty mixed things about the series, so I think I’ll cautiously move forward. Audio is a great format for that, since I’m not wasting “actual” reading time. Thanks lady 🙂

  3. I am sooooo curious about The Wake! The dialect for me is a huge attractor, and I think everything I’ve heard indicates that Kingsnorth does a good job. So I hope you really enjoy it!

    I haven’t heard of Girl Waits with Gun before this, but it sounds like something I would enjoy, so I’m off to check it out now!

    • The dialect really takes a while to get used to (I probably should have read the “note on language” at the back of the book first), but I think it’s really helping to give me the feel of the time and place. I’m only 50 pages in, but I’m hooked!

      Girl Waits With Gun is really wonderful!

  4. Sounds like we’re funk twins again this week. I wish I had better advice, but I think your sister has the right idea. This is the first I’m hearing of The Wake, but it sounds super interesting – definitely looking forward to hearing what you think.

  5. ugh sorry you are still in a funk. I was a few mths ago and what got me thru was exercise to release any anger or frustration I had and I had a lot. But I agree with Sarah just time will do it. You are in my thoughts and prayers to get you thru this rough time. 🙂

  6. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed Annihilation. The whole trilogy was really satisfying (yet not…). As for what I do in a funk, not that I take my own advice (because I’m in a major one and can’t quite figure out to snap out of it, life changing decisions are hard!), is to get outside and be active. Being outdoors usually clears and quiets my head, for a little while at least.

    • I’m not sure how I feel about the ending, but I’m going to cautiously keep listening to the series.

      That’s great advice; I know being outdoors and active makes me feel better, but I have to get over my laziness first 😛 I hope you’re able to overcome your funk soon.

  7. You know I’ve had some of those doldrums lately, especially with my job woes. For me it’s all about doing whatever the heckfire I feel like whether it’s reading or not.

  8. My January was like your August is turning out…..anything that could go wrong did. I had to keep using a lot of positive self talk (and by the end of the month I was getting irritated at how much of that I had to do…..couldn’t I catch a break at some point). I also drank wine and tried to hang out with friends and family as much as possible. Your sister is right…..this too shall pass. Hang in there and reach out to whoever will give you the support you need!

    • I’m definitely learning how to reach out to people; I’ve never really had to do it before because I was in a relationship for a really long time and always had someone to comfort me whenever I needed it — but now I HAVE to reach out to friends when I need a pick-me-up. But they’re wonderful, and I’m spending as much time as I can with them!

  9. Ooof, I know how rough it is to be in the middle of a directionless funk – it’s not easy at all. Spending time with good friends is the best remedy that i know. Have you read Wild by Cheryl Strayed yet? I read that during a time when I felt like I was in a big funk, and reading Cheryl Stayed’s account of the time in her life where she was so very lost, and then knowing that she got through it and turned into Cheryl-Freaking-Strayed, author and genius and total badass was very motivational/uplifting. Times like this are also a really good time to try something new – something you’ve never had time or motivation to actually get done before. It could be something like taking an art class, learning how to play golf, or just trying to cook Julia Child’s bœuf bourguignon recipe. It gets you outside of your own routines and comfort zone and makes life feel a bit larger, and that can be very freeing.

    • I have read Wild! Maybe it’s time for a re-read? I actually got to see Cheryl Strayed speak last year, and it was so reassuring to see how successful and “together” she seems to be, knowing about her difficult past.

      That’s a great idea! There are some free weekly outdoor fitness classes in my city that I’ve been wanting to try; maybe now’s the time to buy a yoga matt and go to one.

  10. Oh man, I feel for you in that funk right now. Your sister’s advice IS sage. But I know that advice is not always easy to follow even if it’s totally spot on. I think Andi’s got it right – you just gotta do whatever the hell makes you feel good right now. Focus on the things that you can control and weeks from now you will surprise yourself by realizing how much better things already are.

  11. I agree with what everyone else as said. Do all the things you feel like doing and remember that spending time with friends can help alleviate the stress of all the changes and help you relax for a breather. Fate and Furies is going on my TBR (actually, I think I said that before, so this time it really is.. I’m updating goodreads as we speak). And I’ll also note that I’m jealous you got Girl Waits With Gun because I couldn’t get an ARC! I cannot wait to read it!! Can I also just say that I’m jealous that so many of you can get through books so quickly!?! I’m cheering for myself because I might actually read 50 this year, and you guys are like, “oh man, I did that months ago. NBD.” Ahhhh 🙂

    • My friends have been so wonderful, and I’m trying to see them as much as possible. The last month has been a huge lesson in the importance of female friendships.

      Girl Waits With Gun was so good! I lucked out and picked up a copy at BEA. Hey, 50 books in a year is NOT a bad number. Tons of people look at that and wonder “how on earth does she read that much?!” And you also seem super busy with photography and travel! I’m unemployed, and I can only read like half as many books as people like Shannon and Jennifer. They’re witches or something.

  12. I hope you’re feeling better by today, but just in case, I echo everyone else in saying to do what you love doing! Things that I know help me: exercise; long, aimless walks outside; getting myself coffee just because; cooking or baking a familiar, delicious recipe; taking naps; and getting some animal love, if your friends have any dogs or cats.

    *hugs*

  13. I hope you feel better soon. No, actually, I know you’ll feel better soon. I remember having the best of books after my own bad times this year, and then, suddenly, falling apart like a broken mirror. Just try to make it through every day the best you can, and if you feel you need someting – for me it’s endless hours of TV – then go for it, and remind yourself you’re worth every single, lost minute you are spending in that stupid, mindless activity that is, actually, making you a bit happier 🙂

    I loved The Engagements as well! And everyone seems to be reading Fates and Furies right now, I should join y’all.

  14. Sorry, you’re in a funk and there is no right or wrong thing to do. Do whatever you feel like but if it gets too dark, go outside, find those girlfriends, eat something absolutely delicious, put on some fun music, try something new. Sending hugs!

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