Hello booklings! Columbus Day totally threw me off, and I didn’t manage to get my “what I’m reading” post up yesterday, but better late than never, right?
I’m still in a bit of a reading slump, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the books I’m reading. The books are wonderful, but I’m having trouble finding the motivation to sit down and read them. I finished up The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood, which was really excellent. Nearly a week later, I still have a lot to mull over. I also made it halfway through The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra, which is every bit as fantastic as I had been hoping. He somehow manages to deliver pithy one-liners while also tugging at all of my heartstrings as he writes about the ravages of war.
On audio, I’m slowly making my way through The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It’s great, but possibly not the best thing to listen to while running in the park on gorgeous fall days; I keep getting distracted by shin splints and pretty fall foliage, and I miss important parts of the story.
Here’s hoping things pick up a bit more next week!
It’s cool if I just write “What I’m Reading” posts from here on out, right? Because they seem to be all I can muster the motivation to write lately. Life changes, you guys! They’re hard. I just got back to … Continue reading →
Hello, booklings. This week has been all over the place. I moved out of my apartment (which was stressful and all kinds of emotional), stayed with a generous friend for a few days, and I’m now visiting my family for … Continue reading →
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 … Continue reading →
Hello lovelies! I’m writing today from a cottage tucked away in the trees by one of the Finger Lakes in Central New York. It’s only my second full day here, but I’ve already been kayaking, swimming, tubing, hammock reading, and sunset … Continue reading →
Well, this week has been all over the place. The breakup is still rough and messy and sad, but I’ve been keeping busy with some wonderful friends. Although I spent most of the week moping around my apartment, I barely … Continue reading →
Oomph, it has been a roller coaster of a week. My car has a broken exhaust system, and the first quote I got for the repairs costs more than my car is actually worth. I took a lightning-fast trip down to NYC, where I got to see one of my best college friends. And then my boyfriend of nearly six years and I broke up. We want different things out of life, and it’s for the best, but it still feels impossibly sad to end a relationship with someone I care deeply about. Luckily, I have some wonderful girlfriends, who came over with wine and ice cream. We went out to see Shakespeare in the Park, and then followed up Romeo and Juliet with some bar hopping. A girls’ night was so needed, and I’m thankful to have them — and to everyone who has been incredibly kind to me in tweets and messages.
The personal tumult meant I didn’t participate in the 24 in 48 Readathon, but my reading this week was actually pretty good. I devoured Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins (coming in September from Riverhead) on the train ride down to NYC, and it was so bonkers crazy awesome. How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti kept me company on the bus ride home, although I wasn’t crazy about it. I liked the experimental format, but I just didn’t care about the characters.
The day after the breakup, I indulged in some serious book buying. (I NEEDED some comfort books.) I picked up When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams because I’ve been wanting to read it forever, and now seems like a good time; The Odd Woman and the City by Vivian Gornick, because a memoir about an independent woman walking the streets of NYC seemed like just the ticket; South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami, because something about his writing always makes me feel calmer and he is my favorite comfort read; and Letter to a Future Lover by Ander Monson because a collection of ephemera found in library books sounded like a lovely, charming thing to read before going to bed alone.
From that stack, so far I’ve read South of the Border, West of the Sun, and it was exactly what I wanted. It was also fun to play Murakami Bingo while reading. Next up is When Women Were Birds.
What are you reading this week? Do you have any recommendations for getting through a breakup?
I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend! The boyfriend had Friday off work, so we took the opportunity to go hiking in the Niagara River gorge, and it was absolutely glorious. There are few things I love more than hiking, and although we only spent a few hours on the trail, it felt wonderful. Following up our hike with a late lunch and beers at our favorite neighborhood bar wasn’t bad, either. We then celebrated Independence Day with a BBQ at the house of some friends and then biked downtown to see the fireworks at Canalside. It was perfection… especially since biking allowed us to get home twice as quickly as driving would have! Hashtag horrible downtown traffic.
It was a fairly slow week for reading, but I really have no complaints. I re-readTo Kill a Mockingbird for the first time since high school, and I really, really loved it. Atticus for president!
I also read the first quarter of You Don’t Have to Live Like This by Benjamin Markovits. I don’t have any complaints about it, but it also didn’t grab me, so I set it aside for a book I’ve been super excited about — Speakby Louisa Hall. It sounds like Cloud Atlas meets Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, so you know I’m sold. I’m only 100 pages in right now, but it hooked me immediately, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
I feel like for the last few months, my What I’m Reading posts have alternated between “I read ALL the books” and “I spent my week binging on Mad Men/Sex and the City/Gilmore Girls and didn’t do any reading.” It’s been all or nothing around here. The trend continues; since last week’s post, in which I wrote about three read-in-one-sitting books, I have read about 50 pages. Despite good news on a few fronts this week (three cheers for marriage equality!) I have felt distracted and lethargic.
I’ve picked up a few books, read a dozen pages, and set them aside. I haven’t been able to muster the motivation to do any blogging. I’ve been writing in this space for long enough that I no longer feel guilty for taking a short break, but I miss that spark of enthusiasm! I’m sure it will be back soon, but I hate being stuck in the doldrums.
Although I haven’t done much reading in the last week, there are two books that I thoroughly enjoyed: The Artful Mandala Coloring Book by Cher Kauffman and Sweet, Savory & Sometimes Boozy Cupcakes by Alison Riede, both of which were kindly sent to me by Countryman Press. Coloring is so soothing (and it gave me a great excuse to have Gilmore Girls on in the background), and I loved the variety of designs in the coloring book. And the cupcake book is everything I’ve ever wanted. I made jalapeno cornbread cupcakes with honey butter frosting early in the week, and the margarita cupcakes with tequila lime buttercream frosting proved the perfect snack for girls’ night over the weekend.
I’m also re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for the first time since ninth grade! I remember feeling pretty ambivalent about the book when I read it at age 14, so I’m excited to read it as an adult with more interest in its significance.
This week, you guys. So busy! I’ve been working hard, and I’m crossing my fingers that it will finally pay off soon. I also spent a lot of time walking around my beautiful neighborhood, had a much-needed girls night with two friends, and got to share a bit more of Buffalo with my parents, who stopped here for a night on their way west for a month-long road trip in their camper van. (They are the coolest, and they have definitely passed on their wanderlust and sense of adventure to me.)
Between all that, I didn’t get much reading done. (I feel like I’ve been saying that every week, but what can you do?) I’m really enjoying Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World by Mark Haskell Smith. It is SO MUCH FUN. The jokes are on point.
Next up isAre You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume for the #Blumealong, hosted by Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm. I somehow made it through adolescence without ever reading a Judy Blume book (because even at 12 I was too cool for “girl” books). I’m beyond excited to rectify that!
I’ll probably also start You Don’t Have to Live Like This by Benjamin Markovits, a novel that takes on race and gentrification in post-recession Detroit. It sounds fascinating, and I can’t resist the cover. (Never mind that I wrote about the dangers of judging a book by its cover just last week.)