Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Post 20: Reading I Have Enjoyed This Summer

The best part about being home with Zygote this summer was that I had more time to read than normal. My summer list included:

1. Cconsider the Lobster: And Other Essays by David Foster Wallace -- When DFW died, I felt like a bit of an ass because he is supposedly one of the voices of my generation and I hadn't read anything by him. The title essay was fantastic, but the piece on John McCain's 2000 bid was even better. I now want to tackle Infinite Jest.

2. Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea Buchanan -- My friend, Sarah, sent this to me when I had Zygote saying that it helped her through the early weeks of motherhood. I read this collection of essays my first few weeks with Zygote, while she slept on our walks through the neighborhood. It took me forever to finish it because she screamed a lot during those weeks, but I found it infinitely relatable.

3. The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld -- Light beach read. I loved Prep, so I was expecting more, but this was nice for Long Island.

4. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb -- As with all his books, I adored this. It took a while to get going, but it was worth it. The characters are so developed and the plot details are intricate. It could be cheesy, but it never is.

5. The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter -- The best way I can describe this book is ....interesting? A few friends gave it rave reviews, but because I don't normally like mysteries, it sat on my shelf for three years. I still don't know if I liked it, but it was 672 pages and I couldn't put it down. That's saying something.

6. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose -- This is normally the kind of book that I love. I'm a big fan of reading about doing things as opposed to actually doing them. I liked the focus on sentences and paragraphs, getting back to grammar basics, since it's something that I'm terrible at. I also liked the examples, but had a hard time relating to passages that I hadn't read before. It's not a guidebook, though. Another plus is that I now have another list of books that I'd like to read, including giving Chekov another shot.

7. The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer -- I haven't finished this yet, but it also falls under the category of Books That I Am Not Sure I Like But Still Can't Put Down. It's about a group of friends who all gave up their careers to raise their children and what they are thinking and feeling ten years in. I don't particularly like the characters and find them very snooty and whiny and over educated and navel gazing. But, cough, also highly relatable.

I'm hoping to tackle a few more in the next week, and of course, keep it up once I return to work.

Edited to add: Relatable is not really a word? See above about grammar and me.

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