Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Book update: Cutting for Stone

So, um.  You might have noticed this little gem sitting over there in my sidebar, like forever.  I have to apologize. Once I put something out in blog world I feel like I have a responsibility to follow through with it, and I haven't been very good about keeping any kind of reading schedule so it has basically gone nowhere.  Well, not nowhere, but according to my Kindley-windley I am about 14% through it, which is no blog-worthy accomplishment.

But I wanted to share something.  No, I'm not bailing on it like I did with the Girl With the P The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (major meh-s, glad I bailed)... and what I started to type almost instinctively was The Girl With The Pearl Earring, which is about Vermeer, which is also awesome, and which I also most definitely and most triumphantly did read and enjoy.  But I digress.  That Dragon crap was too much for me.  If something is entirely un-mysterious and boring and you're 200 pages in, what's the point?  What I wanted to share was that I'm really having to work at this book.

It's hard!  Is that even okay for an English teacher to admit?  I guess "hard" is relative and I should probably be saying difficult.  Even difficult can mean a multitude of things.  I am capable of reading it, yes, but I just find that I have to really concentrate on it.  For this reason I've decided it falls into the category of things (as my high school dance teacher used to say) that build character and I should continue to pursue it.  I don't want my brain to go to mush and render me incapable of reading anything except Twilight.  Yeah, I said it.  Ooh, burn.

I find myself really having to slow down to read this book.  Slowing down is good.  In that way it is not dissimilar from having to "unpack" dense text like Austen or Shakespeare.  I'm finding that I have to put myself in the right frame of mind because there are so many details to consume.  So while it was fun to read things that were light and fluffy all summer, Native Son hit me over the head with a brick in the fall (a re-read for the job) and now Cutting for Stone is forcing me to walk deeper still into the valley of lennnnnnnnngthy fiction.

Will it be good?  I can't say.  I can say that the Magic 8 Ball says "signs point to yes."  Now if I can only find about 48 uninterrupted, warm hours so I can read.

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