Much Reading, Little Finishing

This was a weird weekend. Our plans to go to a "big park" (like Irvine or Yorba  Linda Regional) were thwarted because the rain arrived a little earlier than predicted, so we've been laying low (it's chilly and rainy and May and we Southern Californians are so confused and maybe a little sad but also amused). Honestly, the idea of a weekend at home alway sounds amazing, but I need to just come to terms with the  fact that I hate it. I need something to build my time and productivity around or else I just dangle uselessly and get jack crap done and then get sort of moody because I'm not feeling productive. And then I just kind of wallow and let in anything else in life that could make me feel less than stellar. 

But, the good news is, that today I consumed ridiculous amounts of caffeine and feel better (because I now have all of this artificial energy that has created this sort of manic-lite frenzy to get things done). 

But reading! Let's talk about that for a sec. I have been reading a lot lately, but not finishing much, so I thought I'd check in on where I'm at and some thoughts. 

I have been reading Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad for over a week and I am only halfway done. It's not that I don't like it, because I do, but it's one of those books that you have to commit at least twenty or so minutes to sitting and concentrating on, and that's been hard to pencil the last ten or so days. Whitehead is always hit or miss for me, so I'm hoping this one comes out a win.

I am also slowly digesting By the Book, which is a collection of sixty-five writers' responses to The New York Times Book Review's running column by the same name. I absolutely, positively LOVE this book. It's another one that makes me incredibly itchy to write. So far I've read interviews of some of my favorites, like Michael Chabon, John Irving, Junot Diaz, Jeffrey Eugenides, and David Mitchell. There's a really great variety (despite the fact that I just listed some of the heavy-hitters of modern fiction) and it's fascinating to see so many different answers to the same set of questions. This would be a great gift for any reader. 

Slowly but surely I have also been getting through a very large stack of student essays on Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I had them make up their own prompts, so it's nice to get such a wide variety of topics. Also, at this point in the year it's nice to see how much they've grown as readers and writers, so I suppose this batch is somewhat validating. It can also be frustrating, though, since I do still see a lot of mistakes that I've reminded them about many times (how to punctuate a title, including a word count, writing a thesis that has a point and isn't obvious, etc...). Nonetheless, I am thankful for their progress and I still have this group for another year, so there is plenty of time to fix little errors.

Here's to finishing some of this next week! 

1 comment:

  1. So interesting that your students are responding to Chronicles. Fascinating. Would love to read those essays. Marquez is one of my fav authors.
    I read Underground Railroad a few weeks ago so I am interested to hear your thoughts when you're done.