Current Reads: October 22, 2018

Remember when I used to read one book at a time?  Ha, me neither.  We’re officially halfway through the semester, and I’m always reading at least four books at time (two or three if I’m lucky, but more often than not it’s five).  Right now, I’m switching between Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, The Sellout by Paul Beatty, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.

I’m going to see Jesmyn Ward speak next month, so I’ve picked up Sing, Unburied, Sing, the topic of her discussion, in the hopes of finishing it before the event.  I’m only a few pages in, but I’m really struggling to grasp onto the story.  Lately, I’ve been spoiled by books that have drawn me in from the first page, and though I am enjoying Ward’s lyrical, poetic prose, Sing, Unburied, Sing is lacking otherwise.  During the semester, many of the books I read for class are overly poetic and thematic; when I find time to read outside of class, I crave fiction that is drowning in character and plot, and Sing, Unburied, Sing is certainly not- which isn’t a bad thing per say, just not what I’m looking for right now.

I’m also reading The Sellout by Paul Beatty, having started it because I wanted something short and punchy and political, especially after the Kavanaugh hearings.  I’ve always loved satirical work, and the sort of dark, deadpan humor that comes with it; this book has me laughing one minute and lost in thought the next.  So far, The Sellout has defied all of my expectations.  I’ve been flying through it fifty pages at a time while also trying to savor every word, which is proving to be more and more difficult with every page.

For class, I’m reading The Great Gatsby (again) and Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeGatsby is one of my favorite classics; I read it for the first time as a junior in high school, so it is interesting for me to read it years later, from a different perspective.  However, it’s my first time reading The Curious Incident, and it’s absolutely breaking my heart- an incredibly tender story featuring a show-stopping main character.  The Curious Incident is well-loved by many readers, and it’s easy to understand why.  (In the process of reading this in public, not one but two strangers stopped to tell me what a good book it was.)  Reading for class is often hit or miss with me, but these two are the kind of books I’m happy to be forced to read and over-analyze.

What are you currently reading?


8 thoughts on “Current Reads: October 22, 2018

  1. Great post! I’ve been considering reading The Sellout for a while, and I’ll have to bump it up on my TBR list now.

    I don’t think the plot of Sing, Unburied, Song ever picks up, unfortunately. A road trip happens, but even then the story’s still very much limited to the characters’ thoughts. But it’s exciting that you’ll have the chance to hear Jesmyn Ward speak about the novel! Hope you enjoy it more as it goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael, thank you! I’d definitely recommend THE SELLOUT, so I’m glad to hear it’s on your tbr!! When it comes to SING, UNBURIED, SING… I’m not sure whether or not I’ll continue reading it right now because there’s just so much else I want to read! Either way I’m very excited to see Jesmyn Ward speak next month. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always read multiple books at once too. Totally agree that 2-3 is ideal, but I’ve got 6 going right now… whoops. But tonight I’m going to hopefully finish or at least read a good chunk of Moshfegh’s Eileen.

    I wasn’t wowed by Sing, Unburied, Sing either, which I was especially sad about because Jesmyn Ward teaches at my alma mater so I really wanted to love her work. It’s still the only one of her novels I’ve read, but I found it just very… on the nose? Weird half-assed magical realism aside, it’s just very, very obvious thematically. Not that it’s unimportant; I just don’t necessarily want these themes shoved in my face when I could be uncovering them for myself? Anyway, I still need to get around to The Sellout but I’m glad you’re loving it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on EILEEN! Right now it’s sitting on my massive tbr pile; I’m thinking of saving it for Christmastime. I’m really glad to hear you struggled with SING, UNBURIED, SING as well; it’s good to know I’m not alone, especially when it’s been so heavily praised by literally everyone. I haven’t read enough of it to really judge the magical realism, but I definitely understand the thematic obnoxiousness. And THE SELLOUT is so so so good- would definitely recommend!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really enjoying Eileen so far! I think I prefer My Year of Rest, but this one will probably also be 4 stars. Only about 100 pages to go and I can’t wait to see how it ends.

        And yes, my reaction to Sing Unburied definitely made me feel a little crazy when it is so universally adored! I’ll look forward to hearing your final thoughts on that one.

        Liked by 1 person

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