Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Butterfly in the sky

I sometimes forget why I like winter/summer breaks until they are upon me, and then I routinely experience an odd dissonance when they finally arrive, when I am not sure what to do with myself for a few days while I adjust to having a new (read no) schedule. I'm in that limbo now, only it is complicated this time by the fact that I do have one overarching task at hand: waiting to have a baby.

But waiting, as you might imagine, takes both no time at all and all the time I have, so the dissonance is more profound this winter. Additionally, I still have no cable, as part of my preparation to raise a child as uninfluenced by commercialism as possible, so there is very little mindless drivel out there to keep me occupied while I wait. Not that the writers' strike leaves us with a lot good options right now, but I can't even count on TNT's endless Law and Order reruns to pass the time.

I could, of course, read, and I have been, but I have made some poor choices so far, which are leaving me disillusioned: Fortune's Rock by Anita Shreve was long, ponderous, and, well, icky, so I put is aside for a memoir by Helen Fremont called After Long Silence, which turned out to be a 2nd generation Holocaust survivor narrative which would have thrilled me in grad school but left me just depressed now. Why these books, you ask? Well, during the Charleston County Library annual Bookfest, when trade paperbacks are $1.00, I picked up a bunch of books that looked interesting and now I am reading through them. I have a V.S. Naipaul I could read, but I'm worried it will be too dense, and the first sentence of the blurb doesn't bode well "Spanning three continents and an entire history of caste, class, exile (of course), and dislocation..." Really? An entire history? Hmmm... There's also one called A Year in the Merde which appears to be British "lad lit," as opposed to American "chick lit," which could either be fun or horrendous.

Soooooo, since I do have access to a library and no TV on the horizon, any suggestions from anyone out there? Nothing about babies dying or medicine gone wrong, please, and preferably something mildly entertaining (as opposed to heartbreaking or depressing).


jen in new haven said...

So I have found that end of the semester reading that works for me is YA. It's sortof a reading equivalent to TV and it's fabulous! I have been working my way through reading everything by Sharon Creech and if you haven't read Inkheart and Inkspell by Cornelia Funke, well get to it. The children's section in the library is a bit more interesting than the adult section sometimes and I wonder, who decides that kids can read fun stuff but adults can't unless it's romance? I also enjoyed the Golden Compass Series because I think it's a critique of power-hungry institutions and not the faith part of religion. My other recommendation is mama-lit (although you may need the kid to be present to fully appreciate these), narratives of motherhood like Operating Instructions and really anything by Anne Lamott. Hope this helps -- if I were there, I'd cook some butternut squash for you and you'd make that golden grahams smores concoction that I craved during pregnancy and we could rent all of LOST from netflix and indulge in non-academia for a while.

joyful704 said...

i am seriously trying to think of a mildly entertaining book, but i just realized i everything i read is slightly depressing. what does that say about me? oh wait, i read the mormon click books by stephanie meyer and they were entertaining candy reads. one hundrend years of solitude or love in the time of cholera (still reading) are good flowery long stories that might take up some of your time.....oh, here's one, scott' s sister said john stweart's latsest book made her laugh out loud.

Lilita said...

Omigosh, all that indulging sounds heavenly! And I hadn't even thought about YA but I really used to love reading it, so great idea! I am off to the library post haste with all my recommendations!