Returning to books soon …

I raced again tonight, as I almost always do on Wednesday nights. It was a good race, and I finished with the pack, which I’m pleased about, as I went into the race tired. I’ve been going a little crazy with the riding lately, and it’s been so much fun. My poor friends have to listen to me talking about cycling all the time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they got tired of it. But really, it’s so much fun to be out on the bike, I can’t even tell you.

So I raced last Saturday, which I posted about here, and then I rode 60 miles on Sunday, and then I rode a very hard 60 miles yesterday, going up and down every hill in the area and working very hard. I went into this evening’s race feeling tired and draggy, and I didn’t warm-up as much as I usually do. But the race started off slowly and only picked up speed in the second half, and by that time I’d forgotten how tired I was, and I ended up finishing right in the pack with some extra energy to spare.

And now I will rest up for my horrible, hilly 54-mile race on Sunday.

I come back from the races on Wednesday nights completely unable to concentrate or to sleep, which is why I’m writing a rambling post about the current state of my cycling right now. It’s either that or surf the web aimlessly. Eventually I’ll settle down with a book, but I just can’t at the moment.

So instead, I’ll tell you what I’ve been reading. I finished Salley Vickers’s novel The Other Side of You about a week ago, and I’ve been meaning to post on it for a while. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to say about it, though. I had a very ambivalent reaction, and I haven’t fully analyzed that reaction yet. We’ll see. I also just finished Henry Green’s short novel Loving. I enjoyed that one quite a lot. He has a distinctive style that relies very heavily on dialogue and has only short passages from the narrator, who is as distant as a narrator can get.

And I’m still working my way through Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature, which I’m enjoying in a bemused kind of way, as Nabokov has a very distinctive style and strong opinions, many of which I disagree with. But those disagreements don’t keep me from enjoying the book. And of course I’m still reading Montaigne.

And now I need to decide what novel to pick up next. I need to read Christine Falls for my mystery group by early July, but I don’t think I’m ready to begin that one next. I’m considering reading Mary Brunton’s Discipline, but I need to keep in mind my plan to participate in Infinite Summer, the group reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Reading is scheduled to begin this Sunday. Infinite Jest won’t be my only fiction read all summer, though, so I feel justified in picking up another novel right now. That means I need to spend some time figuring out if Discipline is what I most want to read, or if something else sounds better.

Do you ever feel that it’s very hard to figure out just what it is you want to read at any one moment? I can read pretty much anything I want, but what it is I most want to read? I’m not sure. Answering that question is complicated when I can’t read through a book really quickly, which means I’m dedicated to spending quite a lot of time with it. I need to choose wisely.

Okay, enough of the rambling. I’ll come back here and write a proper review of something really soon.

10 Comments

Filed under Books, Cycling

10 responses to “Returning to books soon …

  1. Someone should put together a Nabokov volume titled A Very Distinctive Style, to set beside Strong Opinions.

  2. I have finished Jane Austen: a Life, which I loved (thank you) and wondering which book can follow that.

    I often find it hard to decide which book to read next – especially if the last one I read was very good. It’s not that I don’t have enough to choose from and they all seemed promising when I bought/borrowed them, but sometimes none of them seem to be just the right one for my next read.

    At the moment I have two very long non-fiction books on the go and I’m yearning to read something shorter and lighter.

    I read The Other Side of You last year and was in two minds whether I liked it or not – I didn’t write about which probably would have helped me decide. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on it.

  3. I like your rambling posts and the way they meandering all over the place :)

    All that cycling makes my legs and backside hurt just reading about it. I don’t know how you do it and still manage to stand and even walk afterwards.

    I know what you mean about having a hard time picking what book you want to read. That’s probably why I have so many on the go at any given time! I’m almost done with Enchanted April and am already wondering what I will read next. I’m considering Rebecca but your mention of Christine Falls reminds me I promised my sister last fall that I would read it and I never did. Hmm…

  4. Isn’t it funny how sometimes you don’t feel like doing something like cycling and feel tired, but when you finish you feel energetic. I try and keep this in mind on days when I just want to be lazy. I really want to read Henry Green, so I’m glad you liked the book and am looking forward to hearing more about it! I often have a hard time deciding whether I should pick up a book I ‘should read’ or one I ‘want to read’–if that makes sense. I’m not a fast reader either, really, so it is an investment of time and you want to choose wisely.

  5. I was having such a hard time deciding last night which book to start and I almost started a Sally Vickers book. Haven’t read The Other Side of You but liked the one, Miss Garnet’s Angel.

    Anyway, best of luck on the race on Sunday!

  6. Amateur Reader — excellent idea :) I would buy those volumes right away, even if I’d already read what’s in them.

    BooksPlease — well, I’m glad you enjoyed the Austen bio! I’m glad to hear you were of two minds about the Vickers, as that makes me feel better. It’s hard to write about books when you haven’t made up your mind about it or when you feel really ambivalently. I did my best …

    Stefanie — thank you! I can do it because I’ve got years of riding in my legs … otherwise, no way. I’ve been riding almost a decade now — yikes. I got tempted to start a whole bunch of books today for precisely the reason you mention, but then I know I’d get all anxious about them, so that might not be the best idea for me.

    Danielle — you are SO right about how doing something gives you energy. That’s a major lesson I’ve learned through cycling. If I can just get myself out there, I almost always feel a whole lot better for it. And yes, I’m always feeling torn between “should” and “want to” when it comes to reading and sometimes I genuinely can’t tell the difference. I’m not sure why that is, but sometimes I can’t quite tell what I want.

    Iliana — thank you! It looks like rain on Sunday :( I’m glad you liked Miss Garnet’s Angel; I know nothing about her other books but perhaps should look them up.

  7. Well, you can read Strong Opinions. It’s a book of mostly interviews and a handful of other things. Book reviews. A couple of technical butterfly articles.

  8. You must be sooooo fit. I can’t imagine being that fit, but I’m sure it must feel good. I can easily imagine finding it hard to settle on a book, though – happens all the time over here! I end up reading the first three pages of all my options to see which one grabs me most. Doesn’t always work, but it can help!

  9. Sometimes it takes me days to decide which book to commit to. I’ll carry a few around with me and see what calls loudest. It all depends on my mood, and with the rain, anything that seems like a slow read isn’t going to capture my attention.

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