Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My reading list mocks me

Finally, I have reached the final quarter of "Tess of the D'Urbervilles." A book I started in February with great hope and excitement. I will write more about it after I finish, but I am discouraged for my future study because Tess still has this air of a book that I am "supposed" to read, which ends up being a mocking sort of buzzkill when it comes to reading. I've read several other books since beginning Tess, not to mention distracted by big life events like Lent/Easter and moving across half the country. I'm still plugging through the novel.

My family has taken recent interest in the public library. I am proud and thankful for this development; I like how the library encourages reading (duh) for the children, but it also connects our family with a shared activity while also lifting up the Frugal Rule. I also find books that draw me in more easily than Tess--I found myself on a Klosterman kick. "Downtown Owl" was back on the shelves after a time away--joy! I also found a paperback "Featured Read" of short stories by Tobias Wolff. Back in my short story days of college and early adulthood, I read quite a bit of Wolff. After seminary and early days of ministry, I lost almost any connection to the fiction form outside of Raymond Carver. When I can borrow the book for free, Wolff should be an easy return to the short story fiction form.

I have also been scouting out books on the topic of geography and religion--but they're either rare or really expensive. But I'm eying these books with a great longing. I'm avoiding Tess, mostly because this book is work, much like weight training in my workout regimen. I know it produces results, but I don't always enjoy the effort it takes. I'm not afraid of work. I enjoy work. Klosterman, Wolff, and religious studies aren't exactly fluff--but this reading list mocks me as I consider having taken about 5 months to read Tess. I need to finish this book by the end of the month.

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