I’m driven to write on this muggy, lazy Saturday for a few reasons. I’ve been away from the blog for a few weeks, but after I get caught up in some mindless blog surfing, it inspires me. I also like to think that creating something of my own sure beats crappy Saturday afternoon TV. (I say this after I was sucked into at least 45 minutes of ‘Stick It’ on ABC Family, TV cinema at its finest.) I would say that blogging ranks in mental stimulation somewhere between ‘Stick It’ and reading War and Peace…you can decide exactly where.
Speaking of reading, I sure have been doing a lot of it lately. I guess I should have braced myself when I found out that for a summer English class I needed to buy more novels than there are weeks in the summer semester. Three weeks into it, we’ve flew through four–The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, Sula by Toni Morrison, Tracks by Louise Erdrich, and White Noise by Don DeLillo. Not exactly my idea of summer reading, but I guess it depends on your definition of summer reading. Mine just so happens to be along the lines of the Shopaholic series.
The Crying of Lot 49 left me scratching my head, and even now I probably couldn’t recall to you what happened in that book. I loved Sula and am regretting not seeing Toni Morrison when she was at Penn State this Spring. I tried really hard to enjoy and appreciate Tracks, but at the end of the day, it didn’t really do anything for me, and I never finished it. White Noise has probably been my favorite so far, in terms of overall entertainment. I can’t really say a whole lot about it other than it’s kind of depressing but hysterical, in an offbeat way.
I’ve decided that for me, my enjoyment of a book tends to be diminished when the knowledge that I’ll have to write a paper about it is hanging over my head. Don’t get me wrong–I love reading a complex book (as long as it’s good, doesn’t give me a headache, and keeps complicated words to a minimum), drawing my own ideas from it, and discussing it while I hear what others have to say. But when it comes to compiling my thoughts into a intellectual, compelling thesis, that’s when my brain turns into oatmeal.
I would love to have a class where we just read, discuss the meaning, and leave it at that. No papers, no pressure. If I taught a class, that’s what I would do. About Confessions of a Shopaholic.