Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gappers, Help Me

I've been woefully lax in doing my reading. I don't know what my problem is. Or rather, I do, I just don't know how to get back on track.

My grandma died right as I signed up for this blog. Telling her about making my list was one of the last conversations we ever had. I added War and Peace to my list just because she lit up when I told her that I was thinking about it. Her funeral was only two days before I went to Hawaii, and I did do some reading on planes; but it's been a month and a half since then, and I've barely picked up Atmospheric Disturbances, let alone Middlemarch. I don't know if I can't read because I'm afraid to move on, or if I can't read out of depression alone--I have been spending an awful lot of time on Netflix, which is usually a sign that I'm about to go cry to my therapist about sucking at life.

I'm sorry to hijack this blog, but I figured if anybody knows what it's like to have your reading plans interrupted, it's people who've managed to come up with a list of 100 books they always meant to have read, and yet, haven't. Plus, my own blog still hasn't launched, which is my fault . . .

Ideas, suggestions? I went to BN today after work, and picked up some books by Gail Carson Levine that I never read . . . Ella Enchanted was one of my favorites as a teenager, and I enjoyed reading Fairest even in college. Maybe some light, fun reading is what I need to jump-start this project. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about your Grandma.

Don't worry about the books - the good thing about books is that they're always there (unless they get stolen by my mother, in which case they end up hostages in another state)

That said, I am all about the fun reading. The following books always make me smile, make me feel better and sometimes make me fall over laughing:

Like Water For Chocolate - Laura Esquivel
Stardust - Neil Gaiman
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Anything Terry Pratchett has ever written
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding

I hope that helps!

Linda said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Grandma. Maybe you just need to take a break until you are ready to read again. That's the great about book. They'll be there when you are ready.

Nancy said...

Hi Karen,

Can you think of working on your reading list as something you can still share with your Grandma? She knew about your plans, and now, every day that you bring them closer to success is a day that you have shared, in a heart-to-heart way with someone you love. Maybe start with something light? You could consider writing your reviews in the form of letters to your Grandma - there is no need to post them anywhere if the thought makes you uncomfortable.

Linda and Briony make a good point too, books are there and waiting until you are ready to tackle them. It's a fine characteristic they share with dust and dirty dishes.

Linda said...


And give one to yourself, too.

Remember, reading is supposed to be fun - just like writing. It's not a contest. We're gonna all be here for you when you are ready to crack another spine.

Sometimes life is more important than words. Peace, Lidna

moonrat said...

sometimes you just need a break from absorbing OTHER people's thoughts. totally totally ok.

but if it's funny things you're looking for, i always like to recommend this memoir called YEAR OF YES, about this girl who makes a pact with herself to say yes to one date with any man who asks her out over the course of one year.

Jen A said...

My sincere sympathies. I lost both of my grandmothers within four months of one another four years ago, and it was so hard. I think that something light and fun might help you get back into reading, but really, don't rush yourself. If you don't feel like reading, don't. You don't want it to feel like a chore. You'll get back to a place where you want to read again; it just might take some time.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about your grandma.

Take your time getting your blog up. We do have five years. =)Why don't you start out with light fun reads for now? When I can't read I turn to picture books to get me reading again. They always help.

Good luck to you.


Megan said...

When I'm in a funk, I always love returning to the books I loved when I was younger. The Madeline L'Engle and Judy Blume books. They're comfortable and always make me smile until I'm ready to tackle something new. But there's never a rush! :)

Karen said...

It's funny that you mentioned MLE, as she's probably my all-time favorite--but out of any other writer, I think she was the most influential in my determining who I wanted to be, and which qualities I wanted to cultivate. I thought about doing an MLE re-read, but decided against it. It was only in the past few years that I discovered how very like my grandmother I am, so reading MLE would remind me of all the painfully obvious hints I'd missed!

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. I did take my copy of Gail Carson Levine's The Fairy's Return to the neighborhood bar/restaurant tonight, and downed a bottle of Cote du Rhone. It's helped a lot, actually.

Yes, that's right, I read children's fairy tales and got drunk in public, because I am just THAT awesome, people!

Emily Cross said...

*Virtual Hug*

I'm so sorry about your grandmother. Remember you have 5 years, and like Briony said those books ain't going nowhere.

Sometimes you can't get into the mood for reading, and like moorat said its usually due to not wanting to absorbed in other people's thoughts.

Definitely i think 'light reading' is the way to go or just give yourself a break for a while! I mean you've done much more than me so far in regards to reading anyway!

I know when i got in a rut a few years ago i began to read chicklit by Marien Keyes (a genre i never read) and she had my sides splitting with laughter! I particularly like "Lucy Sullivan is getting married" and "rachel takes a holiday" or "one chance saloon"

Jolie said...

Ugh, Moonrat, I couldn't stand THE YEAR OF YES!

But Karen, whatever your tastes are for light/fun reading, I think it's a good idea to try that first. I'm glad to hear you went ahead and got some more Levine books. Once you get into a reading rhythm with a few fun books, it will be easier to get into the ones that are more challenging.

ELLA ENCHANTED is also one of my favorites from adolescence, and I still pick it up when I'm having a bad day or I just want a book to relax with. You might enjoy Sarah Rees Brennan's debut YA fantasy, THE DEMON'S LEXICON, which I'm about to review on The Book Book. I read it over the weekend, and it was great fun.

One of my other comfort reads is William Goldman's hilarious THE PRINCESS BRIDE, or anything Jane Austen (except Mansfield Park, which is depressing right up until the happy ending).

Good luck. I'm sorry you're having a hard time.

moonrat said...

Oo, Jolie, tell me why!! I read it when I was 21, and thought it was HILARIOUS. I was a little disappointed with her for the choice she makes at the end (won't ruin it here) but I can't remember any other specific negative thoughts about it. I want to hear yours!

Jolie said...

Re YEAR OF YES, I was bored with it for most of the book. There were plenty of fun parts, but I had to skim to find the stuff that was interesting to me. I just didn't find the book as funny and entertaining as it was hyped up to be.

The last couple of chapters got better, but then came the ending, which I found unsatisfying. It just didn't work for me!

00 Pisces said...

I actually tried to get The Demon's Lexicon last week at BN, but couldn't find it anywhere in the store. Should I have been looking under "R" instead of "B?"

Jolie said...

I've seen her say on her blog that she'll probably be under B, but it's certainly possible the bookstore staff went with R. Good luck!