Summer Reading

5 Jun

Inspired by markers, broken sunglasses, and Horrifically Bad Album Covers.

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.

-Bren

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3 Responses to “Summer Reading”

  1. Josie Rush June 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    i *love* toni morrison. i haven’t read sula, but i’ve read “tar baby” and “a mercy,” and i want to read “beloved.” i can’t believe she was at penn state! i’m jealous you were that close to her. lol.
    along the lines of your dream class–i had a class this past semester that was about as close to that as i think i’ll get. we read novels and discussed the assigned sections everyday. that discussion was what our class consisted of, and we wrote three papers the entire semester, which isn’t too bad.
    i agree with you on summer reading material, though now i’m reading “lolita,” which does not fall under my summer criterea. i’m gonna have to read “white noise” now, though. i love me some offbeat humor.

  2. acupofbren June 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Love you Josie! I can always count on you to get my English nerdiness. 🙂 And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. I want to check out some more Toni Morrison! Once this class is over in three weeks I’ll actually have time for myself again to read books for fun…

  3. thewitcontinuum June 10, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    The Crying of Lot 49 has been on my reading list for a while now for various reasons (being that it was a favorite book of someone I admire) and I have only read an
    excerpt of it from an Anthology. Love your honesty in your reviews. Best of luck in the summer class…Post more reviews when you can!!

    Love, Jenn

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