It has been years since I’ve felt like I’ve read for pleasure. I mean, of course I have, but even when I was, I felt like I had to post a detailed analysis of it on this blog, or that I had to write a paper about ti for a class, or I wasn’t reading for pleasure and I had to take notes and write about it for Ph.D. comprehensive exams. And then there’s the teaching. I read things to teach and lead discussions with my students. I haven’t felt able to just read and enjoy a book for that simple pleasure for a while.
This summer, I have changed that. Part of it is because I haven’t been posting on this blog regularly for a while, and that has freed me from feeling like I need to read with a blog audience in mind. The other part is having time to check out the latest books from the library and just tearing through them as I enjoy my summer break. I’ve been reading while watching my kids participate in swimming lessons, I’ve been reading on the couch in the hot afternoons when the housework is done and the children are playing, and I’ve been reading in bed at night and in the morning. My love for reading has returned because the drudgery is gone.
I went through a year or so where reading anything, even a fun novel, seemed like another task to check off a list. I wanted to read what I had bought or what had been recommended to me, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Now I’m feeling that love again.
Here’s what I’ve read lately.
All The Missing Girls (2016) and The Perfect Stranger (2017) by Megan Miranda
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (2017) by Roxane Gay
The Mothers (2016) by Brit Bennett
This Side of Paradise (1920) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My (Not So) Perfect Life (2017) by Sophie Kinsella
Big Little Lies (2014) by Liane Moriarty
Outlander (1991) by Diana Gabaldon
Euphoria (2014) by Lily King
A Man Called Ove (2012) and Britt-Marie Was Here (2014) by Fredrik Backman
Homegoing (2016) by Yaa Gyasi
A Monstrous Regiment of Women (1995) by Laurie R. King
The Shadowland (2017) by Elizabeth Kostova
What was the best one, you ask? Well, that award would go to Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It is a masterpiece.
What have you been reading lately? I hope you are still reading for pleasure!