When the reading slumps

by Jackie Ferrari in #AmReading

I’m reading. But I’m just not feeling it.

Witness, if you will, my actual bedside table. (Why am I displaying a chocolate bar? I don’t know. That’s my phone stand but somehow now it’s my chocolate stand? I’m not sorry. Possibly better to grab in the middle of the night anyway.)

I’m slightly more than halfway through The Well of Ascension. I love it. I have book three waiting. (It’s Book Two in the Mistborn series and there is a reason why Brandon Sanderson is the reigning king of fantasy and if you liked The Lord of the Rings even if you read no other fantasy just do go get these.) But I need several hours to finish, and I need to be in the mood for complexities and probably not everyone making it out alive.

I’m actually reading The Dawn of Everything after possessing it for a full year. It’s fascinating and weirdly almost a page turner—how will Europeans write non-Europeans out of history next? But I’m not exactly invested. I read a little at night before bed. I’m pretty sure it’s half footnotes, so it’s maybe not THAT long but I’m still afraid I will accidentally drop it on the cat.

I bought Airplane Mode, which is billed as “an irreverent travel memoir” for a friend, but I quickly realized it’s both more than that and also not that, and I am not certain that the friend I bought it for will like it so instead, I decided to give her a different birthday gift, read this myself and then offer it to her. It’s pretty much on theme with The Dawn of Everything, in that the writer is a woman who for many years possessed only a “lesser” passport, one which suggested to rich countries that she might, if allowed into their paradise, never leave and therefore made travel difficult. Now she has a U.S. passport, which is, while not the handiest passport to have (that honor goes to the United Arab Emirates—really? huh—or, from other sources, Japanese, Singaporean, French, German, Italian and Spanish passports) still gets you into 188 countries essentially no questions asked. These are essays about that difference, and also about what it means to travel, and why we shouldn’t try to delude ourselves about our status as tourists, and the difference between seeing and staying. They’re very good, but they are not funny. DOES irreverent mean funny? I thought it did. Maybe there are funny bits and I’m not there yet.

And I’m a chapter into The Gentleman’s Gambit. I love Evie Dunmore. I’m sure I will love this. But know what? It is ALSO about a non-European making his way into (regency England) Euro-society. I honestly just spotted that. I maybe need to vary my theme here.

Finally, we have I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons, which is an amazing title and which, at about half way through, I’m not sure how to describe to you. The Princess Bride with more slaughter? Legends & Lattes as interpreted by Tarantino? It started out funny and now it is dark and I’m not SURE if we’re gonna hit darkly funny. I tell you this in part because it’s not even out and you probably won’t remember I said it by the time it is, and in part because I’m STILL READING. It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s more that I’m not entirely sure what kind of ride I’m on here. It’s not It’s a Small World, it might still be Space Mountain, or maybe we’re in Tower of Terror territory here. I’ll report back. Unless I don’t like it, in which case I probably won’t say anything….

And that’s where I am. I like all the books. But I’m not dying to get back to any of them? And that’s sad, and I think I need to start maybe a sixth thing, and that’s probably among the most “me” sentences I have ever written.

I DID finish a few books this month. The Fury, which was my BOTM. I liked the voice a lot. I would have liked the ending better if it stopped before the final list.

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune is every bit as good as everyone says.

And Outlive, by Peter Attia, which everyone seems to be reading, is full of useful information and also some variations on diet culture, so if you can put the one aside and get the other, yay and if not… probably if you want to live longer and be more healthy while you do that, you need to do more active things now to keep your body used to doing active things, because bodies get a little rusty (maybe more than a little once you hit, say, 85) unless they get lots of use. There. I enjoyed the read and actually thought, for a book about eating and exercise, it navigated the question of body size better than most, but that’s the TL;DR for you.

WELL.Make of that what you will, cats and kittens.


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