11 July 2007

And there was finally time to think

Life has been crazy lately and there has been little time to think. I HATE THAT! I don't know if I could shout any louder on the keyboard! Without time to reflect and process I lose the ability to savor the intellectual delights that come my way. It feels like my mind, and sometimes even my heart, is fed intravenously, no tastes, no textures, just bland nutrition pumped where it needs to go. What joy is there in that?

Today is my day off. It is weird sitting at home in my PJs at 8:30 on a weekday, but I will be out of the house by 7:00 on Saturday, so it all comes out right in the end. Today is daunting in its openness, but I know that I will fill it more full than it should be in very short order. There are things to be organized, errands to run and writing and reading that gets pushed aside during normal waking hours.

I have only read two books this summer. TWO! That is pitiful in the extreme. I remember when I used to read 50-100 chapter books a summer. Those days are gone forever, or at least until I am 80.... But the two I read were reasonably absorbing. The first one was The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. He is an incredible writer and the story was interesting. I actually received this from the guy I was dating at the time. (Interesting side note: we dated for 3 weeks, about 6 dates and then it went kaput--we had irreconcilable differences regarding physical intimacy--and I still got 2 interesting books out of the bargain. It could have been worse.) This is not for children, but if you appreciate someone who can startle you with a word or a metaphor and/or you are interested in a story that is not written in the traditional first or third person, you should give it a whirl. Even my slow-reading roommate got through it in a little over a week.

The second was much longer and had a tendency to wander a bit, but it was absorbing nonetheless. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is a creative premise wrapped in some valuable writing and some less stellar writing as well. I received this book in the mail from said romantic interest about a week after we broke up. He told me at the time of our split that he was reading this book in order to forget me. Obviously that didn't work, since it landed in my mailbox not long after. Personally, I think it was a bad choice. This book is a passionate story about two people who love each other intensely and not always happily. Additionally, sex is an important part of their relationship, and considering that we split over that very subject, he could have chosen something less likely to remind him of his lack.

Anyway, the idea that someone could have a chromosomal issue that would cause them to be chronologically challenged and involuntarily travel through time when under serious stress is interesting to consider. I believe that Niffenegger handles the conflict with a steady hand and manages to make the story mostly believable. This is a step up from normal summer blockbuster fare, but light enough to keep you from too much mind-muddling philosophical speculation.

So much for my reading list. I spent last Sunday unpacking all my books onto my new bookshelf, so hopefully I will have more to add to this list soon.


Laura said...

great Eugenides book! I read his other one, Middlesex, not too long ago. Its a long story, very in-depth and spans a long period of time, and delves into some topics not all people would be comfortable reading about, but its really interesting novel.
I don't know if you've ever read any Tracy Chevalier (author of Girl with a Pearl Earring) or Susan Vreeland (Girl in Hyacinth Blue) but I highly recommend their novels. You'd probably enjoy "Burning Bright" by Chevalier: focuses on London, a pastoral family moving to London, and poet William Blake. :)
ahh... BOOKS!

TulipGrrl said...

Btw, I keep checking in on your here and facebook, even when I'm not commenting.