Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unrequited reading

With all its free time and eventless evenings, Peace Corps seems like a great opportunity to catch up on the books I've been meaning to read for years. (See "painfully understimulating," below.) We will still be here until well into 2010, but as I see our finite time left here shrinking, along with the sock-knitting mania, I've tried to conquer my to-read pile, starting with Jane Austen. As a writer, recovering English graduate student, and acquaintance of several members of the Jane Austen Society, I have always felt I should read her.

I was disappointed in myself when I only got about a third of the way through Emma before realizing that, while it makes for good bedtime reading since it puts me to sleep instantly, I will never have enough free time to care about the romantic foibles of a bunch of self-absorbed upper-class British people way even more understimulated than myself. I like gossip, but I also prefer soundbytes to page-long chunks of polite dialogue.

So I tossed Emma and picked up The Gift of Fear, which I can report is gripping.

Trevor doesn't have my problem. Currently on his bedside: Buddhist meditations, Jared Diamond, and Mad magazine. No angst whatsoever.

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