I've had a few weeks of good reading, though it all feels vaguely slump-like to me despite enjoying several recent selections. I'm trying to cut myself some slack, but at the same time, I miss reading. And thinking about what I'm reading. And writing about reading. So here I am, trying the writing part in hopes that perhaps it will kick the rest of my reading self back into gear.
I recently, entirely accidentally, read two Jami Attenberg novels simultaneously: The Middlesteins and All Grown Up. I loved the former, and struggled through the latter. More to come on these two books in particular, but I'd love to hear from others who have read one or the other to see if either resonated with you differently. (For what it's worth, I recommend both of them. I just didn't necessarily enjoy the newest one.) I adored Sara Baume's sophomore novel, A Line Made by Walking, which felt more like a series of personal essays than a novel as it meditated on art and place and mental health and belonging. Highly, highly recommend (out in April; full review to come in Shelf Awareness). I also adored The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories, a collection of (very, very) short stories that read like fables from a Syrian author. Also out in April, also highly recommended, also to be reviewed in Shelf Awareness.
I (finally!) actually read some of my BOTM books this month: Marlena was a captivating story of teenage friendship, and perfectly captured that universal, only-I-feel-this-way feeling of what it is to be a teenage girl. And Stranger in the Woods, despite a few iffy sections on mental health analysis that rubbed me the wrong way, was a truly fascinating look at the North Pond hermit, who chose to live in solitude for a full 27 years (only relinquishing the lifestyle because he was caught stealing and sent to jail). I'm looking forward to Dead Letters next, which my best friend received in her BOTM box and has since lent to me.
For the Social Justice Book Club, I've been re-reading Enrique's Journey, and am very much looking forward to next month's selection, Headscarves and Hymens. Because re-reading seems to be my jam of late, I'm also revisiting The Golden Compass, and since my book club will be reading A Man Called Ove for this month's meeting, I'll be picking that back up again.
In non-bookish news, I'm a month and two days out from my first attempt at a 50k trail race. Yesterday marked the longest training run in our plan; we set out for 22 miles, misjudged the length of our final trail, and got back to our cars around 24.6 miles, in almost exactly 6 hours (5:57). Some of those miles were tougher than others (mile 4, when I ate dirt pretty badly after tripping on a hidden root; mile 10, which is apparently my go-to spot for first run slump on any long run; and mile 20, when I was seriously contemplating my own sanity in this endeavor and capable of doing little more than counting my steps in increments of 10), but overall, I feel ok enough today to be somewhat encouraged. How's that for a waffling statement, if ever there was one?
Here's to a week of more reading, more running, more writing, and reconnecting with this lost corner of the internet. I miss ya'll.