Tuesday, July 7, 2015

a dry spell...

For a while now, I have been having this dreadful feeling of being stuck in a dry spell...a reading wasteland, if you will.

I just haven't been as motivated and hungry as usual to tear through the books waiting for me.

This is something I had been meaning to blog over for a couple weeks now, or at very least, attempt to commiserate with fellow bookworms about, when a dear friend of mine just expressed the same kind of feeling herself, over at her own book-ish blog.
(which you should totally check out btw.)

So to add fuel to this literary non-fire, here you find me.

I'd like to blame my kids, and starting up my job again last month...which really are the primary reasons it's been harder to make the time to sit down and read...and I do mean read.
Read anything. I have shamefully neglected my Bible study-guide driven read through the book of Hebrews, and my nightstand pile of novels is just as dusty.

But about a month ago I read this:

It had been recommended to me by numerous people, on numerous occasions, and I snagged a copy for myself when taking advantage of a great paperback sale a few months back...
While I won't share a full and comprehensive review just here, I will take a moment and say that I really did enjoy this book. The romance between the main characters felt a bit shallow and unexplored to the fullest, as plot development goes, but I'm also not a huge fan of romance as a genre, so at the same time, there wasn't much love lost for me personally. No pun intended.

After I finished The Night Circus, my rotation* brought something completely different around...

I had been super excited for, and pre-ordered this:

Which, up until recently, was what I was trying to read.

I admit here and now, in a disappointed and frankly bit shocked fashion, that I just couldn't push myself through this book. I hardly ever give up reading something, it's just a personal conviction I suppose...but I did end up putting this one down for good without finishing it.

Danielewski's The House of Leaves is amazing. Legitimately terrifying and literally the scariest thing I have ever read. I recommend it all the time. If you want to be scared of the dark again, read it.

When I got the skinny on the release of his new non-traditional, 27-part novel, I was giddy.

So what happened?

I'm not certain. I love the binding and presentation of this book.
And I think I could have gotten into the storyline(s) too, but in the end it was just a little too much for me. With the experience and perspective I gleaned from the first odd quarter of the book (which is where I quit), it just tried a little too hard to be non-traditional, and existential. The story line was completely overshadowed by the artful way in which the volume is put together.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I would love to hear. 

Now I'm about halfway through this collection of short stories, the latest literary endeavor of my old pal, Chuck P:
I'm not as into transgressive fiction as I once was.
But my admiration for Mr. Palahniuk is one that is not easily shaken...as proof you should see my collection of his work: I own nearly everything he's ever written in hardcover format...and I know how to correctly pronounce his last name. So there you have it. Fandom, people.

Anyway, I'm actually really enjoying this collection so far. There were a few stories in the beginning of the collection that left me with a smirk and shrug and hope for something more my taste yet to come...and I have stumbled upon just those kind of stories more and more as I move into the second half of the book.

So thus far my review of this collection would be: if you're a fan of Chuck's body of work, this is an easy hit. Check it out.
If you're new to the world of trangressive, gritty, darker fiction (as the subtitle warns, you can't unread these type of stories), this could be a good step for you; the short story genre is generally a very reader-friendly one, and this collection has stories of a very diverse nature...plus you can't claim to be a fan of the genre if you haven't given Chuck Palahniuk's impressive body of work its' due.

I treated myself to seven books from my long-standing wishlist as a gift for my birthday a couple months back, and I'm hoping that they will succeed in pulling me out of this self-imposed, awful reading drought of mine.

*my "rotation" referring to the manner in which I read my books.
Since I was a little girl (and just as obsessed with reading as I am now), I have had the same system for both books that I own, and borrowed books: I keep a shelf or stack of books in a 'to be read' order that consists of the order in which I received them.
This order is NEVER broken.(and by 'never' I mean, not unless a new Neil Gaiman book comes out, or something equally thrilling) So I put books at the back of the line, or bottom of the reading stack and read each book as it naturally passes through the rotation.
I don't have that many OCD personal traits, but I am admittedly a big stickler for rotation and order...incidentally, come to think of it, I observe the same general function with most of my wardrobe.
Rotate, y'all.