Books

Why I Can’t Read Right Now

I intentionally don’t address my personal life on this blog. I suppose I intend for this to be a site where I share my interests, but not myself. However, my current self is finding it hard to feel engaged by my interests.

I doubt the global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (specifically the COVID-19 disease) is news for you. Like almost everyone I know, I’m experiencing a lot of fear and uncertainty about the unknown. I so badly want to rely on the things that bring me the most comfort, like restful sleep and great stories, but they are the exact activities I’m finding it most challenging to tune into.

In the past month I’ve learned that I need a quiet mind to read. I often experience anxious thoughts, but, previously, whatever I read would usually help me tone them down (and that’s my personal indicator of a great book). Because my mind has been the opposite of quiet lately, I either avoid picking up my current book or quickly toss it aside. 

In early March I decided to abandon the just-released Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today, which I was graciously gifted by Grand Central Publishing. I didn’t dislike anything about it, but I observed I was having a difficult time focusing when paging through it. I almost put away an advanced copy of The House of Deep Water (sent to me by G.P. Putnam’s Sons) for good after taking more than a week to scrape through the first eight pages. I’ve only kept up with it because I realized it’s not the book, it’s my mind.

I’m not sure how or when I can look forward to relief. Reading is my comfort, and the absence of it leaves me feeling insecure when uncertainty and fear are already weighing on my mind. However, I am confident that, once this phase passes, I will dive back into some truly great books.

[My review was not solicited or expected in exchange for the books gifted to me as mentioned. No links are affiliate.]

 

Books

Gillian Flynn Binge

I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’d held off from doing it for a while because it was a popular book and I don’t like reading books when everyone (slight hyperbole) is reading them. I saw the movie, however, and remember being surprised by the plot. I decided to read the book several months later after a trusted mentor told me she believed I’d enjoy it’s perspective. Sure enough, I did.

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Books

Book: One Day I Will Write About This Place

 

Book:
One Day I Will Write About This Place, Binyavanga Wainaina (2011)

Inspiration to Read:
I read about this title in a magazine two years ago. I forget what piqued my interest, but I added it to my list of books to read. When I recently became interested in nonfiction writing, Wainaina’s autobiographical book moved to the top of my list.

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Books

Book: Are You My Mother?

Book:
Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel (2012)

Inspiration to Read:
I read Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic a few months ago (probably October) for a seminar course on postmodern American nonfiction. Bechdel had me hooked right away. Hers was the first graphic novel I’d ever read, as well.

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Books

Book: Orange Is the New Black

Book:
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman (2010)

Inspiration to Read:
I purchased this for my Kindle while intentionally picking out I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (only reason I’m not writing about that book is because I don’t think it’s fair to start with a book I finished over a month ago). I intended to read nonfiction over the holidays, and Kerman’s headline caught my eye.

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