I #AmReading, but for how long?

Happy Fourth of July, U.S. Friends!

I am about a third of the way into The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization and have only just reached the first gory corpse in Patrick O’Brian’s Red Rain.

Neither book is completely doing it for me: The House of Wisdom is good, but I seem to be absorbing it in small chunks. I feel predisposed to extreme pickiness, to feeling dissatisfaction with the books I’m tackling. I’m not sure there’s much wrong with them, but we definitely aren’t playing well together.

I’ll note that this all started well before I started busily bustin’ words for my WriteAThon commitment. On which note, some braggage:

Tuesday – 1,464 for a total of 28,887
Monday – 1,146 for a total of 27,423
Sunday- 850 words, total of 26,277
Saturday – 1,280 words total of 25,427

Sponsor me here! Win naming rights to stuff on Stormwrack! The number of donors in the pool tripled this week, but the odds of winning the draw are still excellent!)

Okay, back to my point, which is books. Reading for pleasure. The delights of the written word. What has been working for me, in terms of reading, is some of the stuff on the ever-delightful Longreads–I read a good piece on a tornado that ripped through Moscow, Ohio, and a New Yorker article about how having pots of money (or even thinking about it) can affect a person’s capacity for empathy or generosity.

So yay Longreads, and all that, but I am still struggling to sink into a good book-length work, fiction or non-fiction, that I haven’t already read. Has this ever happened to any of you?

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About Alyx Dellamonica

After twenty-two years in Vancouver, B.C., I've recently moved to Toronto Ontario, where I make my living writing science fiction and fantasy; I also review books and teach writing online at UCLA. I'm a legally married lesbian, a coffee snob, and I wake up at an appallingly early hour.

4 Responses to I #AmReading, but for how long?

  1. I’ve been at spots like that this season, reading books that didn’t work for me as much as I’d like, and hoping for something I could just *mainline*.

  2. Yes, books that are tasty but not entirely empty.

  3. Eveyr so often I will pick up something that’s “hot” -like, for instance, in their heyday, “Cold Mountain” or “Cloud Atlas” – and find myself so completely on the outside of it all that the surface of the story might as well be obsidian and I cannot crack through at all, just slide off whenever I try to engage with it. There are books like that. On the other hand, if you’re wearing your WRITING hat right now, then you’re seeing anything “written” through that lens… and your writer’s brain is trying to “fix” stuff you can’t possibly EVER fix…

    • It’s true–my brain is much happier, in some ways, to simply hoover up endless amounts of television. But I think I’ve had a run of bad luck lately, too, of trying out things that weren’t quite my thing. I’ve got a Louise Marley book on my desk and I’m thinking of pitching the O’Brian mystery and diving into her invariably-awesome waters.