This week I did not get as much reading as I’d hoped. In the masters program I’m in, I get one week off between each ten-week classes. And this week was my week off. So even though I still had work, I was hoping to read a bit more than usual this week, and it just didn’t really happen. Oh well. At least I actually read things, right?
Out of the three books I read in the past week, I finished two of them on Saturday. The first was a book of photography (so it kind of doesn’t count), called Find it in Everything by Drew Barrymore. It’s basically a bunch of photos that have hearts hidden somewhere in them, with a sentence or two about a few of the pictures. It was cute, but nothing amazing. It did serve it’s purpose for me, though, which was a super-quick fun read as a break from my much longer and more depressing book. I wouldn’t go out of my way to read it again, but if you’re a fan of Drew Barrymore, it’s a nice little book (it’d make a cute gift, too).
Then, after taking my break, I finally finished A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara It was brilliant and depressing, and I loved it. Definitely not a book everyone will like (or even be able to get through – seriously, some of the things that happen are incredibly difficult to read), but, if it sounds like something you’ll like, it is definitely worth it. You can read my review here.
And finally, this week, I FINALLY finished A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I am on a roll this month with finishing books I’ve been reading for months. I have literally been reading this book – on and off – since September. And it’s only 200 pages. But it’s also (according to this study) one of the most frequently unfinished books. Basically, lots of people start it, but very few actually make it to the end. Which, I’m not going to lie, is basically what kept me reading; I kept telling myself I could finish the book most people can’t (according the the study mentioned above, just under 7% of people actually read the entire book). But my trouble with this book was through no fault of the book itself. It was simply because my brain is not conditioned for math and science. I actually really enjoy science, and Hawking did a surprisingly brilliant job of explaining difficult concepts, but they were not easy concepts, and required lots of painstakingly slow reading (and rereading) to even begin to understand. So even though this book took me nearly ten months to complete, I did enjoy it, and I will definitely keep it around for reference.
Those are all the books I finished this week, but I should also mention that I fell into a Yanagihara-incuded reading funk. Basically, after reading A Little Life, I didn’t feel like reading anything. I still don’t. So I’ve been picking up random books, and am now at various points of completion in a total of six (maybe seven) books. The ones I have been most actively reading this week are The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I am really enjoying The Secret History – so thanks to everyone who recommended it! – but it was a slow start for me. Same goes for The Garden of Evening Mists. But I’m hoping to finish them both soon. And I am a bit obsessed with Jane Eyre at the moment. I’ve been listening to the audiobook narrated by Thandie Newton and it is perfect! I haven’t read this book since high school – it was my first Brontë novel, and that was about ten years ago – and I forgot how good it is (or maybe I just didn’t like it quite as much at 17). Either way, I love it now, and I have been listening to the audiobook every chance I get.
I think I’m in one of those reading periods in which I want to read everything, so I either read much less or not at all. I have have three enormous books that I have been itching to start (The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – a reread, and Sarum: The Novel of England by Edward Rutherfurd), and it has actually been incredibly difficult to keep my hands off them until I finish a few of the books I’m currently working on. I have problems. Clearly. Please yell at me if I start another book before finishing one. Seriously. I’m not kidding.
On Monday, I will be starting my third-to-last grad school class (and actually, the last one that isn’t all about writing my thesis, which makes me a bit sad). It’s on fiction writing, so I will be reading (and writing) a lot of short stories in the next ten weeks. I’ve been trying to write more short fiction lately, because that’s what my thesis is and I need the practice, so hopefully I’ll be able to share some of it with you! (I’m not sure I can publish anything I put in my thesis until after I graduate because of plagiarism – and I don’t really want to deal with the whole proving I’m the same person thing, just in case.)
I’m hoping to get a lot of reading done this weekend, because it is my last homework-less weekend for a while (sad face). Also, my boss gave me a couple of bottles of really good wine that are just begging to be part of a night in with a good book. I obviously have to listen to them. Obviously I am very tired right now (and I haven’t even had any of the wine yet), so I think I need to stop writing.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Let me know what you’re reading (and which of the books I’m reading you are most looking forward to a review on).