Busting a Serious Book Rut

For those of you out there who consider yourselves worth of the title of “avid reader,” you’ll appreciate my current dilemma.  We’re almost halfway through 2011 and I’ve only read 18 of my goal of 50 books per year.  Considering the sheer length of my novels of choice this year, it shouldn’t be too surprising that I’m a bit behind.  The only book to really blow me away so far in 2011 has been The Help by Kathryn Stockett (recommended to me by my mother and sister).

My dear Aussie girl mates have been keen enough to start a “book swap club” amongst ourselves.  Rather than all sitting down once a month after reading some random bestseller that no one will remember when the year’s out, we gather all the books we love (or at least like), and exchange them on a rotating basis.  So far since the club’s initiation, the favorite has been Emma Donoghue’s Room.

When I was still working in a cafe back in October of last year, I would often read the newspaper on my break (if I’d forgotten to bring a book of course, which is rare).  My favorite section was the small, but helpful book reviews page.  Room‘s review caught my eye immediately.  It’s a hard book to review without giving too much away, but it’s a sinister, sad, and compelling story.  I went out in search of it the very next day, dragging Matt to every bookstore in Morley.  Finally, we got our hands on a copy.  A depressing $33 later, I was in business.

Matt also takes part in our little club.  Once it got off the ground, he was only too eager to join up.  He’s often skeptical that our girls will be interested in his collection, but now that Hannah’s new boyfriend Mike has joined in the fun, it’s all systems go.  For Mike’s induction I opted to give him the American classic, The Things They Carried, a favorite among junior boys and girls alike back at Edina High.  Matt and I greedily plucked Catch-22 off of Mike’s own shelf, knowing it was exactly what we wanted before he even needed to ask.  Matt’s in the middle of it now, but I get it next.  Last night I was hemming and hawing over what to read next, and Matt playfully dangled Heller’s classic in front of my face before snatching it away saying, “Oh wait, I’m reading this one, you have to wait!” Bloody cheek.

Unfortunately my main issue of late is that every book I pick up ends up being quite an undertaking.  I just want something I can get so deep into that I hardly come up for air before it’s finished.  This morning I finished Alan’s Moore graphic classic V for Vendetta, and had to add it to the growing list of mediocrity in 2011.

I compel you, dear readers, lend me a hand and an eye!  My friends are busy studying for uni exams, and haven’t been as social lately, so most of my recommendations have ebbed in the last few weeks.  I need to bust this serious book rut with something exciting and (dare I say it) easy!  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m quite the book snob (Anna Karenina, One Hundred Years of Solitude and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are among my all-time favorites, but hey, so is Ender’s Game), but the sky’s the limit in this humble request.  What are you reading these days?

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Author: emma a.

I'm Emma, a Minnesota girl getting back in touch with my creative side. Since graduating university in 2008 (the first time), I've been traveling and living abroad. Seven years ago I settled in Australia with my husband. I love running, reading, writing, knitting and pilates. I'm also a physiotherapy student and soon-to-be mother of a baby boy.

2 thoughts on “Busting a Serious Book Rut”

  1. I am currently reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. After that, I’m hoping to get into The Corner by David Simon and Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate by Terry Eagleton. On my kindle, i’ve got a bunch of Gogol, EM Forester and Tolstoy in my queue, because they are free! (btw, you should totally get a kindle…)

    1. I hope one of those is Room with a View! Such a surprisingly amazing book. I just finished Tess of the d’Urbervilles last night. It’s crazy how many surprises a Victorian novel can throw at you.

      Also I don’t know how to feel about the kindle. I love the feel of a real book, so that’s still up for debate in my world.

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