Friday reading notes (warning: a bit whiny)

I’ve been in what feels like a long reading slump where I can’t seem to get in a rhythm with my reading. I feel like everything takes too long to read and I get bored with it about half way through, and I’m not focusing on what I’m reading so I forget a lot or rush through details that are important. The fault lies with work, I’m sure; I’m having a good time at my new job, but it’s a lot of stress and in the evenings when I usually have some time for myself, I don’t have a lot of energy and reading often doesn’t go so well.

I did enjoy The Mezzanine a lot, but that was very short, and I read even that one in a disconnected way that I’m not really happy about. And my blog writing doesn’t feel inspired in the least. I don’t have as much energy for it either. I do still like the discipline of writing every day, but it gets harder when I’m not reading as much, and you’re more likely to find whiny posts like this one.

I’m nearing the end of my Colette biography, and I’m happy I’m near the end. I’m enjoying it — really — but it’s so long and I want something new! She’s fascinating, but even so, it’s time to move on. I’ll write about her soon, and I hope to read some of her fiction soon too.

I’m chugging along with Proust also. I have a tendency to decide to do something and then stick with it no matter what — sometimes well after the pleasure in it is gone — and while the pleasure is not gone here, it occasionally feels like an obligation. But I’ve got this stubborn side, and I’m not letting go. So onward with Proust! Sometimes this trait is good; without it I might not have made it through graduate school. I might not ride centuries either. At other times, my stubbornness gets silly.

Now and then I’d like to throttle Proust’s narrator. Is it really that bad to leave your home and your mother and go to Balbec for a little while? Is it really so hard to sleep in a strange bed? Really??

George Sand’s Indiana has begun well, but I’m afraid I might end up reading it in my distracted manner and won’t do it justice. That would be a shame.

And I keep looking at my TBR shelves and thinking about everything I want to read and feeling frustrated that I’m obviously not getting there. I’ve got a whole new list of writers to look at after my post the other day on the Observer’s list of great novels of the last 25 years, writers people recommended to me in the comments especially, such as JM Coetzee and John McGahern and Anthony Burgess. And Penelope Fitzgerald and Edna O’Brian.

I have this feeling that I’ve written pretty much this exact same post before — in that case, sorry! I warned you this would be whiny.

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