Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I Should Be Packing. I Don't Feel Like Packing: Books

I am a night owl, and lately I’ve been getting up early too. This means I am tired all the time. Sometimes being tired all the time also means I may be crabby. But here, I’m meant to be talking about books.

Waking up this morning, early, I planned to get further in the packing process of our house. [We accepted a nice offer last week and the family requested a quick close so their children can be somewhat settle before school starts. We have exactly two weeks from today to get the heck out of dodge. We’re fine with this, with the small exception that we have yet to find somewhere to go (with all of our stuff). Hopefully, this will be remedied today when we go apartment hunting in the city.] However, what I really felt like doing was heading to yoga. I vowed that after yoga I would begin packing.

On the way home from yoga, I ran into a neighbor who was sweeping her driveway. I like this neighbor, and I may never see her again after the move, or not for a long time because you never know what will happen over the course of time. I stopped to chat. It felt so nice to take the time to just talk and catch up. I told her about the move, and that I should be packing instead of chatting. “It’ll get done,” she said.

When I got home, I hung up my yoga mat to air out and planned to get further in the packing process. However, what I really felt like doing was writing and talking about books, both of which I haven’t done in a very long time because I’ve been busy selling this house and contemplating packing. After I finish writing and talking about books, I plan to get further in the packing process.

What have I recently finished?

The Vacationers by Emma Straub. I expected more from Straub, and I’m not entirely sure why, but I just did! Here is my short review on Goodreads:

[I just changed this review to 3-stars. It was okay, and I liked it more than I didn't. I think it was me; I've been crabby lately.]

It has been a while since I've been annoyed, dulled, and disappointed by a book. It took an un-Godly amount of time to finish. I felt the writing trite. The storyline never really went anywhere, and then tried desperately, it seemed, to tie up too many loose ends too tightly. It didn't work for me. So disappointed this book didn't live up to my expectations, or the hype. I suppose I'm not an Emma Straub fan after all.

What am I currently reading?

I am listening to Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. At this point, about three quarters of the way through, I am anticipating that I’ll give this book 5-stars. It may be that the narrator is fantastic. She is Nigerian so she gives this book all the nuances only someone who is narrating a book about Nigerian people can do. Plus, she nails the British inflections as well (and, boy, do I love me some British accents!). This story is about race, and about romance, and about struggling. I am loving it and will be recommending the heck out of it as well.

I am reading a short story collection called Can’t and Won’t: Stories by Lydia Davis. Short story collections are always difficult to describe. This is one has some of the most unusual writing I have ever read. I am not entirely sure how I feel about it at this point. Some stories, I like very much. Others are confusing.

Lastly, I am reading To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris. I won this in February as a “first read” from Goodreads. Just now getting to it. This writing is very, very good, and clever, and funny. The perspective of the protagonist is unlike any I have ever read (or can remember reading). More to come on this one!

What will I read next?

I will let you know after I vacate these premises!!!

What are you reading? I am always interested in suggestions and perspectives!

Thanks to Should Be Reading for letting us drop off our book lists at her premises. 


Anonymous said...

I had a rough time with Americanah even as I knew intellectually that it's a good book. Does that make sense? Anyway, my current (and past and future) reads are here.

Jack said...

Procrastinating won't get your stuff packed any faster. ;)

Anonymous said...

Americanah is on my TBR list--I keep hearing wonderful things about it and I'm hoping to get to it soon.
I really liked Vacationers! I agree that there wasn't a lot of action in it, but I think that's what real life is like sometimes. I ended up giving it 4-stars.
Good luck with your packing! :-)

Unknown said...

Giggling because I still cannot do more than one at a time. The only time I get close is if I leave my book someplace and have to grab another (usually home/work and traveling between). Americanah is maybe 8th on my current list.

Gina said...

Thanks, secretninja!

Gina said...

That's exactly how I felt about The Vacationers. I wasn't sure why it was so difficult, but it was! Heading over to see your list!

Gina said...

The good news is we found a place to live. The bad news is I am on the computer, not packing boxes. You know about moving!!!

Gina said...

I think my issue with The Vacationers was about the writing. I expected the quality to be better, more interesting. The storyline was totally everyday-ness. I'm good with that mostly.

Gina said...

I usually don't either, but I am always listening to one, and usually have a short story collection going along with a novel. My brain has been working in strange and scattered ways lately! What's higher than Americanah?

Jack said...

Yeah, I feel your pain. Won't be long before I'll be moving again. Bleah. Glad to hear you found a place. That is the biggest step.

Gina said...

The bad news is there is now a bidding war. The good news is I got our application to the building board first! Again? But still in L.A.? Will feel better when everything is in place. Packed a few though. And will pack a few more now after returning from the city.

Jack said...

Hope it goes your way.

Still in LA but hope to move back to Texas. Love LA, born and raised there but I am ready to pay less and get more.

Gina said...

I hear you. How does the family feel about going to TX?

Unknown said...

Hmmm let me think. The Goldfinch is still there, the one Oprah recommended (why can't I remember the name now?), Harlan Coben's Missing You, Cutting for Stone, Beautiful Ruins, Anna Quindlen's Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Monica Ali's Alentejo Blue.