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-time. Gatsby 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?