Sixth Decade Summary

GLike my updating this summer, my sixth round of books was less than stellar. 

Maybe it’s because it’s summer and I’m used to doing an epic Harry Potter re-read ever summer, but I didn’t get to do that this year, but I haven’t felt like reading much the past few weeks. It’s probably partially HP sadness, but mostly I think it’s because I’ve been traveling a bit and I’d rather explore than read. 

Also, following this set of books, I suffered a loss. My precious Kindle died forever. At the beginning of a 7-hour bus ride back from Bratislava. Not. Cool. Luckily, Amazon sent me a new one for free, since I’d only had my Kindle since October. I’m happy with their customer service, though I have to say, I’m not thrilled that Kindles seem to inexplicably stop working after just nine months.

Regardless, none of the books from this group really amazed me. Of course, I had to read one of my least favorite books of all time and a book that reminded me that I don’t like hippies, so maybe this isn’t a surprise. There were also quite a lot of older, more cumbersome books to get through. I’m starting to like Victorian literature a bit, so it’s not as bad as it could have been, but when I have to read so many in a row, it starts to feel much more like work and much less like fun. 

There were some bright spots, though. Reading Great Expectationsimmediately followed by Great Expectations fan fiction, was pretty fun. Joseph Sheridan le Fanu’s set of creepy ghost stories was also pretty fun, although a bit…not very creepy. I also liked re-visiting the world of New York gangsters with an author who ISN’T Mario Puzo in Billy Bathgate. And we can’t forget Mr. Jonathan Swift. His satire A Modest Proposal always, always makes me happy. 

Finally, I had a lot of pretty philosophical books this time. Milan Kundera is always a good read, and Ignorance made me reflect on memory and what it means to go home after a long absence. Dostoevsky’s misanthropic man was awful, but kinda-sorta-delightfully awful, too. And finally, of course, my longtime friend Primo Levi’s The Drowned and the Saved took me on an awesome, reflective, melancholy trip back to my senior paper, where I got to think about the importance memory plays in accepting trauma and moving on from it. 

 

Award for surprising me by not making me want to break things: The Scarlet Letter
Least Favorite Book: Drop City
Favorite Book: Ignorance
Book I Wish I’d Written: A Modest Proposal… whyyyy am I no good at writing satire?????

Stay tuned for the next group of books, when I’ll hopefully be better at updating (and reading). 

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