Recent Reads

Before I forget how to write anything but a weekend recap, let me talk to you about some books I’ve made my way through recently.  Mostly I want to tell you that, while it took me over a year, I finally finished reading The Stand!  By the end, I felt like I’d been on as much of a journey as all the characters and between finishing that behemoth and finishing my re-read of the Harry Potter series, it’s really been a year for me 😛

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The Stand by Stephen King

The backstory is that I agreed to read Joey’s favorite book and he agreed to read Harry Potter.  Fair’s fair.  And even though I kept getting interrupted, every time I picked up this up, it was like being greeted by an old friend.  It’s long but it’s all so expertly written and none of it feels unnecessary or purposeless or boring.  The characters (and there are MANY) are all so well-fleshed out.  There’s dimension and complexity that would be impressive if given to one character, but that he’s able to do it with so many characters truly blows me away.  Not to mention the plot.  It felt so genre-defining.  I’m so glad Joey pushed me to read this one because, whoa, what a book!

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

This book is so incredibly beautiful.  I tried really hard to explain what it was about to my mom and struggled because, though the actual plot of the book only takes place across a few days, there is just so much happening.  It takes places across generations, across cultures and across realms but it’s so seamless in its fusion of all these elements.  There is a supernatural element that never once feels hokey or out of place and I found the sense of unease and sadness that lingers over this whole story to be so moving.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

First and foremost, this is obviously a very funny title.  I felt like I had to hide the cover when I brought it into work but my friend Ari made the mistake of listening to it out loud at work and that makes me laugh every time I think about it.  There most definitely are erotic stories for Punjabi widows written out in the book.  Anyway, to me, this book felt lost between being a story about sexual liberation, the difficulty of being a second generation Indian woman and… uh murder?  That last part felt like it was tossed in as an attention grabber.  Like maybe the author or the publisher didn’t feel like a story about “old” (some of them are in their 40s!) women would be interesting enough so “we need to sensationalize it!”  As a result, the women didn’t feel well-developed — and some of them seemed like they could have been very interesting, if given the attention — and the main character, Nikki, just wasn’t that likable.  Still, it was a fairly entertaining read.

I just picked up I know this much is true (I’m formatting it as it appears on the cover, but not capitalizing all those words felt so wrong!) and it’s 901 pages long, so I guess I’m a glutton for long reads.  What are you reading right now??

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