In: From life
I’ve been doing a good job of not buying any new books until I’ve read (almost) everything in the fabled to-be-read stack. (Confession: I bought, read, and enjoyed Paul Auster’s The Brooklyn Follies last week.)
As much as it pains me, Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven will have to wait. The same applies to Marcel Proust. I’m still slogging through three massive books: John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day.
You could say I bite off more than I can chew. I wouldn’t argue. As a co-worker once asked me, "You’re twenty-six–do you seriously read these kinds of books?" Well, yes, I do. I hadn’t realized there was an age limit. Laughter. "And your brain hasn’t exploded yet?" Well, that’s another story.
Anna Karenina is coming along pretty nicely. East of Eden–not so much. And I like Against the Day, but every time I try reading it again, I get overwhelmed: Oh, shit, I’m only on page two hundred fifty! And I haven’t picked it up in weeks! I’ll never finish it! Then I realize that there’s really no comfortable way to read such a huge book, and I settle on something else.
However, I take small comfort in the fact that it took me almost an entire year (last year, to be exact) to read Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Still, I tend to over-react.
Or maybe my brain really has exploded.