Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Binge Reading

I've been on a little bit of a binge lately. During the school year, I never read fiction. There simply isn't time. And if there is, I do so much reading for school, that the last thing I want to do to relax is read. So after I finished a large project for school the second week of June, I dug into some pleasure reading. With a vengeance.

There really isn't anything like it for me. I sink deep into a book and barely hear anything around me. I certainly don't acknowledge the passing of time or simple things like the need for food or sleep. Reading becomes all-consuming. And I gave into my passions. I didn't really mean to. I intended to take about a week off from school and then come back refreshed. After about a week, I did start doing my work again. But not with the same vigor as usual. It was like I still had more fiction in my system that needed to get out. Or maybe just books I needed to check off my list. Anyway, the mini list of top priorities is done now. I'm also feeling recharged mentally, so I guess it was a good thing. Here are my recent discoveries, or inhalations, depending on how you look at it.


First up, Inferno by Dan Brown. None of Brown's work compares with The Da Vinci Code. They just don't. But as long as you don't expect them to, you won't be disappointed. I liked Inferno better than The Lost Symbol (the previous Brown work). It's a great beach read. Quick, compelling,  totally engrossing, and doesn't really make you think. The perfect way for me to start my summer reading tour-de-force.













Next came The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. I should really say, that this reading binge was made possible by my mom's kindle. I borrowed it for a few weeks and poured through her previous purchases. Worked like a charm because she's a bit of a New York Times snob (I say lovingly), and so tends to read pretty good books. This read might have been my favorite. Or at least the top two. It was definitely out of my usual comfort reading zone, but it's amazing. I couldn't stop thinking about it and HATED when I had to put it down. I even skipped lunch one day because I didn't want to be bothered to stop reading. Anyone will like this book, but especially sports fans. If you are a baseball fanatic like me, prepare yourself.

Then, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner. I'm always a big fan of historical fiction and this one didn't disappoint. Not really a life changer like The Art of Fielding, but a fun read and a good historical fiction. Maybe I've just read too many of them and so they don't really shock me anymore. But at least this character was new, spunky, and a great core of the book. Fans of The Other Boleyn Girl will enjoy this choice.













After that, House Girl by Tara Conklin. This book also has a nod to the historical fiction genre, although not quite so clearly.  Slavery in the antebellum south isn't your typical topic. And that is only have the story. The other half is modern-day New York City. Yet somehow it works and is woven together beautifully.















Finally, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. Although with The Art of Fielding, this book was my favorite of the binge. They are so completely different, yet both completely stuck in my head. Dearie  made me want to watch every Julia Child show, try all of her recipes and cook up a storm. I really got a sense of Julia's magnetic, overpowering, completely wonderful personality and above all, her warmth. If I could have a dinner with historic people (you know that college essay question?), she'd be on my list. Her mischievous sense of humor and passion simply inspire me and make me want to do better, be better. Since I finished this book last week, I've been on a bit of a kick. I watched Julie and Julia, flipped through both cookbooks and watched quite a few youtube videos. Biographies can be dull, but this one read like an enchanting story. All women should really this book, for she was truly a remarkable person. But I think men would get a kick out of her too.



So those are my recent finds. What have you been reading? Something about summer just makes me want to pick up books. I hope I'm not the only one.

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