Monday, June 2, 2008

Reading For Fun?! Who Woulda Thought.

The best part of my job is the commute. Ok, it's the exact same commute that I dreaded all semester long, but somehow 2 hours of ferry travel are so much more pleasant when it's a nice summer day and when I can read fun books instead of law books.

I used to be a huge reader. I distinctly remember one time in eigth grade when it was time to switch rooms, I walked down the hall WHILE reading a book. Everyone thought I was such a nerd. Frankly, I don't blame them. No wonder I had no non-imaginary friends. But through the tedium of highschool, the intense required reading of my undergrad days and the unparalelled torure of my first year of law school, "reading for fun" was uncomprehensible. I picked up a number of books for fun but never got halfway through a single one of them.

Somehow, I snapped out of it last summer- thanks to a handful of amazing novels. I managed to finish five books then, lazing in the summer sun after work. I read Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Namesake, Nectar Through a Sieve and a book titled Jasmine. The last three books dealt with the same theme- my favorite reading topic: life in South Asia or the experience of South Asian immigrants, transplants and their children dealing with culture differences in America.

This summer I'm already tackling my reading list. After the first week at my new job I had already finished two books. The first was A Thousand Splendid Suns. It was simply great. A literary masterpiece. I was pretty doubtful going into it because I loved the Kite Runner and didn't think it could be beat. Boy was I wrong. A Thousand Splendid Suns was amazing. I was captivated the whole way through. The end of this book was also more satisfying than the Kite Runner. I was not expecting a happy ending because the entire book, everything was going wrong for the characters. I know that nothing I read this summer will top this book.

My second book was The Beach and it was not that good. I only read it because my husband insisted. He loved it but I found it boring and slow. There were good moments and the author did some interesting things with the writing but it just didn't do it for me. The ending was kind of a let down. I was expecting the plot to lead up to something explosive. But it just trailed off. Plus, the whole video games, drug, backpacking culture wasn't my thing.

Last week I read Jhumpa Lahiri's new book, Unaccustomed Earth. I love her and have been waiting for this book for a long time. She captures human character so well. It's hard to imagine that she is writing fiction because her style is so detailed and exact and yet elegant and simple. She is a beautiful writer. The only bad part is that the book is a collection of short stories. I get so caught up in the characters that it's a little disappointed that their stories end after just 70 pages.

Last week I also read The Firm. I figured it was about time I started to read some of the good legal fiction that's out there. It's a pretty intense book. I hung onto every word of that book and plowed quickly through the chapters. I kept forgetting that I wasn't Mitch McDeere myself that I wasn't in his helplessly doomed situation. This thriller was so engaging, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read some more of John Grisham, good thing his work takes up a whole shelf at the book store, I know I wont be bored this summer!

So four books in two weeks. Pretty good considering I only read a total of five last summer. I'm on a roll, I must be making up for all that lost time. All I want to do it get lost into a really good plot and get to know some more interesting characters. I think I'm addicted to reading again.


Tranny Head said...

Read now while you have the chance! Soon there will be no reading of anything (except owner's manuals for baby stuff)!

postscript said...

I love to read. The only problem is that I hate putting down books in the middle. So I end up not getting ANY work done because i'm reading.


PT-LawMom said...

You're not the only one. I used to do the walk-down-the-hall reading, too. I also read at picnics. When we were moving away, my neighbor told me that ever since I spent the first neighborhood picnic sitting under a tree with a book, she had decided I was the most anti-social child ever. Yeah, and her kids could barely string a sentence together.

I agree with Tranny. Enjoy it while it lasts. Babies suck out part of your brain including a lot of concentration abilities. You'd think that would go away after a while but Pumpkinhead is almost 5 and my brain still has holes.