Reading...It's Like Breathing Again

So my computer exploded two weeks ago, and I've been in media limbo trying to piece together life as I once knew it with my computer. With no computer to distract me (checking e-mail every half hour, reading cheap websites about Hollywood gossip), I've been reading again. I was a literature major in college. And I was a lit major for a reason. Reading, to me, is like coming up from the bottom of a swimming pool and taking that first breath. It's natural and it's essential. I can honestly say I don't feel like my complete self when I'm not reading. And since Alex was born 16 months ago, I've read 1 (count it, 1) book cover to cover.

It was Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons. I spent many hours as a newly-nursing mom reading this thick, deliciously trashy and insightful book. But since then, the well has been pretty dry. "Oh, I don't have the time. I don't have the energy. I can't concentrate." The truth is that I've been lazy and sucked into the internet...wasting away time that I could have been making myself feel whole again.

Now, with the computer drought, I've been reading - alot. Here is the brief list before I forget.

Who Moved My Blackberry? by Lucy Kellaway I personally had a hard time with this book. I spent most of it feeling the same why I felt while watching Meet the Parents. I felt so embarrased for the main character that I couldn't wait for the book to be over. It had a few funny "corporate speak" moments though.

Followed quickly by Summer Lovin' by Carly Philips. I have to admit, I've never read a romance novel. I bought this on a whim at Wal-mart because it was $4. I didn't actually know it was a "romance" novel - the kind that could have had Fabio on the cover, but it was. Ah well, I learned a little bit about the Harlequin genre, and had a light read. Glad it's over, but it was painless entertainment. And really, don't feel it necessary to "Search Inside" as the graphic says. It's all pretty much laid out for you in these "romance" novels, you don't need to do any searching!

Next up, a truly hilarious book of essays. You have to be a Kevin Smith fan to appreciate the film references and his style of humor, but I laughed out loud the majority of the book. Silent Bob Speaks: The Collected Writings of Kevin Smith. Buy it, read it, love it! At least for me that was the case.

Then I was out of new books at my fingertips, so I started digging on bookshelves. A friend of mine gave me a copy of Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs this summer. To be perfectly honest, I almost stopped reading this memoir several times throughout the first half of the book. I felt sick, I felt sad, I felt like my life was meaningless, I felt that my kid might turn out to be socially inept. However, I remembered that these are all the signs of a good and truly moving book, so I kept reading. Have to say, at the end of the day, I loved it. This one says "Search Inside." Go for it, and search deeply.

Now I'm on an Augusten Burroughs spree. I have a stack a mile high from the library. I just finished Magical Thinking:True Stories and Possible Side Effects. These are both short books of personal essays. They are hilarious, sad, and cutting. His mind picks up on things that make me say, "Huh, I'm not the only crazy person who notices those things!"

Then I read a story in the newspaper about the Evergreen Players piece that they performed for the annual theater competition. The relationship between the mother and three daughters sounds like something worth exploring for the novel I'm writing. The play was called Independence by Lee Blessing. I walked away feeling slightly empty. Although it was an interesting portrait of teetering on the brink of mental illness.

That's it for now. I'm starting Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs tonight. Meanwhile, I'm supposed to be reading:

Between Pets and People by Alan Beck

and New Perspectives on Our Lives With Companion Animals by Alan Beck, for my latest article that I'm writing for Purina. Although fascinating, somehow Augusten Burroughs is much more interesting!

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