It’s been a while since I posted here, hasn’t it? I’m afraid my posting schedule is going to continue at this glacially slow pace for a while. This is a busy semester with a large extra responsibility on me in addition to my usual courses (it involves event planning — NOT my favorite thing!). Plus I’ve already ridden 1,041 miles since January 1st. And I just finished reading all 925 pages of 1Q84. So, busy.
As for what I’ve been reading, 1Q84 was an enjoyable story, not terribly fast paced but paced well enough to keep me going, and with characters I became fond of. But the writing! I don’t know whether to blame it on Murakami or the translator, but there were strange repetitions, awkward dialogue, distracting point of view shifts, and unnecessary explanations. Still, I could let those things go and just enjoy the story, which was good because I spent three weeks or so reading it.
Also, I listened to The Tiger’s Wife on audio and liked it very much (nice mix of realism and myth, a simple story at heart, although with a multitude of other stories surrounding it), and also Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones, which was harrowing. I found its style lyrical in a way that didn’t work for me — I thought it distracted from the characters and story rather than adding to it — but the situation and story were memorable (poor family in Mississippi in the days leading up to Katrina, a 15 year old girl coming to terms with the fact that she is pregnant).
I just started Zadie Smith’s essay collection Changing My Mind, and although I’ve only read one essay in the book, I’m already in love. The essay was on Zora Neale Hurston, and its mix of the critical and the personal was absolutely perfect. And I’ve also slowly been working on a collection called Essayists on the Essay: Montaigne to Our Time. It’s right up my alley, of course, and very, very good. The book is made up of short excerpts from essay writers discussing the genre itself. In addition to offering a good chance to think about one of my favorite genres, it’s motivating me to read more essays — and I don’t really need more motivation as I already read plenty!
That’s what’s going on with me. I apologize for not coming around to my usual blog haunts to comment, but I have been reading Google Reader faithfully and have enjoyed keeping up with you all.