I always feel like such a loser when I don’t have much to show for my reading week. I’ve been lost in the middle of Kate Atkinson’s A God In Ruins for ten days. I have no real excuse – the book is just fine, and I'm enjoying it. Somehow I keep reading and reading, and yet there’s still half of it left. I had the same experience while reading Jonathan Franzen’s Purity, but I blamed that on his sexism. It turns out that I might not be able to pin my problems on him after all.
I did decide to teach a class for this quarter at the last minute, and that has meant reading things that aren’t interesting to the average blog reader (e.g. Carl Kaestle’s Pillars of the Republic). By the end of the day, when I sit down with Atkinson, my eyes are bleary.
I do need to amp things up a bit. I note with a sense of dread that I am falling very far behind on my two reading challenges this year. The first is the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Roof Beam Reader. I have read 5 of my intended 12 so far. The other is my very own Leaning Stack of Books Diversity Challenge Bingo game. I need to plot out where I am on the bingo game card, but I know the results aren’t going to be pretty. Remember that this is a drinking game, so I’m going to be very sober at the end of the year if I don't get my butt in gear.
Perhaps I need to channel my inner Joe Rantz, from The Boys in the Boat. After all, his family abandoned him when he was just a kid. He lived alone in a small town on the Olympic Peninsula, where he somehow managed to get educated, locate food, start a little illegal business involving salmon, get himself to college, and participate in the Olympics. He had very little money, and it rained constantly. Did he whine that he didn’t have enough time to get through his reading list? No.
The book in my on-deck circle this week will not help me address any of my reading challenge problems, but I’m excited. I just received Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies from the library. Here’s the description from Goodreads:
At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it.
If, by some miracle, I finish both A God In Ruins and Fates and Furies with days in the week to spare, I’m going to pick the shortest book in my leaning stack and read that. Perhaps that will be my strategy to avoid drowning in novels. New motto: short and sweet.
(The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme is hosted by Book Journey)