Wednesday, March 09, 2011

When I am not blogging, I read

Since I haven’t been doing much blogging and/or other writing lately, you’re probably wondering what I have been doing with all of my time outside of being anxious about work which is a full-time job in and of itself. Well, you probably aren’t wondering.

The reading frenzy of 2011 continues. The insomnia definitely helps with having more time to read, or maybe it’s just knowing that I’m going to be entering into another reading lull after Z2 comes. It’s been nice, and varied.

1.The Help: It’s nice to read a book that people are talking about around the same time that they are actually talking about it. I tore through this. I liked that the characters were fairly nuanced – with a few exceptions, the bad people weren’t always bad and the good people weren’t always good. I can’t imagine what it was like to try and make sense of life in that nascent Civil Rights era. I think she did a good job of capturing the conflicting swirl of emotions for each of the different characters.

2.Restless Virgins: Love, Sex, and Survival in Prep School: Oh God, this book. I don’t even know where to start. I picked this up on a discount table, and was interested because Milton Academy is somewhat near here and prep schools are so, so weird. And so foreign to my experience of high school and growing up. The kids in the book come across as a bunch of entitled tools and don’t strike me as intelligent, even with their fancy schools. That said, I couldn’t put it down. Teenage sex scandals! Good readin’.

3.A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier: Meh. I feel somewhat guilty saying that I didn’t find a book about child soldiers in Sierra Leaone particularly interesting, especially considering that I just said I couldn’t put down a book about bratty New England prepsters. It felt like a very rushed memoir, and I would have liked to know more.

4.The Time Traveler’s Wife: Also a discount table pick that sat on my bookshelf for years because I thought it was the kind of book that appears in the WOMENS(!) section of airport bookstores. I wish I had read it sooner, because I absolutely loved it. I loved the characters and the weird traveling sequences and how it’s a not-particularly-goopy love story. I liked it so much that I made YG sit through the movie version with me. Bad move. The movie sucked.

5.Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America: I probably should have read this a long time ago, just to try and keep up with YG. I know that people have their issues with Friedman and think he’s a hypocrite with his 11,000+ square foot house. Still, this was a very concise breakdown of how “going green” is imperative to getting the US economy moving again. There are people are born tree huggers and they care deeply about recycling and the environment and living sustainable lifestyles. I am not one of them. Or I wasn’t raised that way. I knew that stuff was important, but I didn’t think much about it. I work in the corporate world, though, and I do think a lot about innovation in business and what will be the next great American industry. We need to slow down the mess we are making of our environment, and we need to get people working again. There is such opportunity. It made me want to learn more.

6.The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: Junot Diaz breaks my heart again. Beautiful, funny, coming of age. Read this.

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