I didn’t plan to skip posting yesterday but after I got through all my email and myriad other tasks that I have been neglecting and could no longer put aside, I found myself out of time for blogging. Sure I could have skipped my nightly workout but when you work at a job where your day is spent mostly sitting, skipping a workout is not a good idea for both mental and physical health reasons. This evening I was going to tell you about a really good poetry book I just read but my commute home was rather sapping due to the Twins baseball game going in to extra innings and all of them trying to get home while all of us who worked all day were also trying to get home. Playing at sardines does not make for a happy metro ride home. But enough of all that, I’m going for easy tonight and what could be easier than talking about what I’d like to read in August?
Actually, it isn’t easy at all. I managed to read quite a bit in July including a book on growing your own mushrooms to review for Library Journal. I have a bunch of recently finished books to write about, but I didn’t really get to all that I had planned read. I didn’t once pick up the Judith Herzog book of poetry. Nor did I get to Medea or Angle of Repose.
After a three-week hiatus from My Struggle, Book One by Karl Ove Knausgaard because I had to return it to the library, no renewals, I managed to get a copy from the university library. I picked up where I left off a few nights ago and I dunno. The book started off great but the more I read, the more I began to lose interest. Then I had to take a break from it and now that I have it again I am finding it hard to care. I am well over halfway through the book, almost two-thirds of the way, and I have lost whatever point there might have been to the book. I have ceased to really care about Karl Ove and his struggles that aren’t really struggles at all but more like part of the middle class human experience. I know Knausgaard is being talked about as a kind of modern day Proust, but at least Proust turned his life into something interesting and he wrote a lot better too. So I am having a dilemma. I am so far committed to this book do I just give up on it? Or, if I stick with it until the end will it manage to redeem itself?
Gathering Moss came in for me at the library and I started reading that and will continue. My goodness moss is fascinating! I have some patches of moss growing in the shade under the apple trees in my front yard and this book makes me want to buy a magnifying glass and go out and peer at the them. My neighbors probably already think I am crazy so seeing me kneeling in the dirt with my face near the ground would likely only provoke a raised eyebrow.
My turn has also come up for Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost. I haven’t had the chance to start it yet. Perhaps I should give My Struggle the heave ho and dive into this instead?
Meanwhile, Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? is waiting for me to pick up at the library and The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert and Mindfulness in the Garden: Zen Tools for Digging in the Dirt by Zachiah Murray are both in transit to my library and will be ready for me to pick up in a day or two. So the more I think about it, the closer I am getting to returning My Struggle. Actually, I think I will unless one of you who have read it tell me I should stick with it because the funeral of Karl Ove’s dad and everything that comes after is that amazing. If no one tells me that, then back to the library it goes and Knausgaard gets a check in the overhyped book category.
Currently on my Kindle, which has been very well behaved since I zapped it back to its original factory settings, I am reading Willa Cather’s book of short stories The Troll Garden published in 1905. I believe this is her first book of published fiction. I am enjoying it though if I hadn’t already read a number of Cather novels and fallen in love with her, I don’t think this book would make me want to read more. Not that it is bad, it is just very early and undeveloped.
With all those books on my plate and very likely a few that are not even on my radar at the moment, I won’t be surprised if come September I have a long list of books I didn’t manage to get to. But then who knows? Perhaps I will have a wild reading frenzy. It could happen.