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??

Memory-a-Day in August

Wednesday, August 1st: Listening to Amos Lee live in KBCO Studio C and wondering how he always sounds so good.

Thursday, August 2nd: Hooking a piece of rigatoni with my fork as I sat outside, eating dinner with my sister and Joey.

Friday, August 3rd: Waking up and reading on the couch for 10 minutes instead of just jumping right into the shower.

Saturday, August 4th: Giving a negative assessment of everything we’d ordered for lunch before I’d even tasted any of it, then being so so wrong about it all.

Sunday, August 5th: Feeling like the morning had been so long in a truly good and productive but not rushed way.

Monday, August 6th: Eating breakfast alone on our porch swing, putting my phone down, and realizing how quiet and calm it felt.

Tuesday, August 7th: Looking up at the scoreboard during a Rockies game I was barely paying attention to to find we were losing 10-0!

Wednesday, August 8th: Sipping an iced latte that tasted like Cheerio milk, in a very good way.

Thursday, August 9th: Realizing I’d left my phone on the kitchen counter and admittedly feeling slightly panicky about it.

Friday, August 10th: Feeling extremely bored as one of three people in the office on a Friday.

Saturday, August 11th: Giving my mama a real big hug before leaving her office.

Sunday, August 12th: Doing okay keeping score for Joey while he grabbed something to eat at the Rockies game.  “It’s a K or a backwards K, but which is which??”

Monday, August 13th: Sharing a spoon with Joey because he dropped his on the Colfax sidewalk after we got ice cream.

Tuesday, August 14th: Groaning when I realized I was still 150 pages away from a book that just wasn’t doing it for me.

Wednesday, August 15th: Feeling the urge to tear out a lot of things in our garden, but settling for just trashing our mostly dead snap peas.

Thursday, August 16th: Reading an article about the new Alon Shaya restaurant opening in Denver and how it’s 70% female-staffed!

Friday, August 17th: Listening to Queen Aretha in my office.

Saturday, August 18th: Freeing a bee from our pre-packaged container of baby spinach.

Sunday, August 19th: Walking up to Civic Center Park and feeling so happy to be spending a Sunday afternoon with Joey.

Monday, August 20th: Burning my tongue on some piping hot coffee.

Tuesday, August 21st: Feeling so so indecisive about whether to have leftovers or curry takeout for dinner.

Wednesday, August 22nd: Taking off my shoe to shoo away a bee while I ate dinner by myself in the backyard.

Thursday, August 23rd: Being shocked that I ran an 8:47 third mile despite how tired and slow I felt.

Friday, August 24th: Leaving my notebook at the office for the weekend and thinking it might be okay to live without a list for once.

Saturday, August 25th: Feeling that buzz of excitement as we sat in a movie theater and saw previews for things coming out this fall/winter.

Sunday, August 26th: Having the energy/motivation/time to clean a few places in our house and feeling really happy about it.

Monday, August 27th: Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing I’d slept in my contacts!

Tuesday, August 28th: Feeling sad that no one else in my book club loved the book as much as I did.

Wednesday, August 29th: Feeling that genuine buzz of excitement about going on vacation.

Thursday, August 30th: Holding tight to Joey’s arm as we got on our first ride of the day at Disneyland!

Friday, August 31st: Watching, with terror, as a giant beetle repeatedly tried to fly into the restaurant we were having lunch in.