Six days after my shipment of books arrived, I have finished reading six books. I must say that this level of literary escapism has been unprecedented, even if I do read a lot in general. I have two more books in my unread pile. I don't think that they will be unread for long.
So that's what I've been doing for the past week. Fed up by 24-hour news cycle and social media I sought to turn to more nourishing brain food, and ordered a buffet spread of fiction from the local book warehouse selling remainder books (read: cheap reads). The selection is more limited than a regular bookshop but they clear plenty of bestsellers.
After almost a week of bingeing I feel a bit disoriented, as if I have been in a spaceship hurtling from world to world. From a span of a hundred years in a fictional Colombian village(1) to a Chinese American family road trip post-Global Financial Crisis(2) , and from an unrelatable librarian in an obnoxious modern day commune(3) to a crazed Scottish drug addict whose reality you can't differentiate from unreality(4). A mysterious muralist, friends with Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Lee Krasner, who disappears during World War 2(5). A day in the life of a neurotic animation director(6).
- One hundred years of solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (excellent)
- The Wangs vs. The World, Jade Chang (enjoyed it)
- The Awakening of Miss Prim, Natalia Sanmartín Fenollera (sucked)
- Ruby and the Stone Age Diet, Martin Millar (disappointing)
- The Muralist, B. A. Shapiro (engaging)
- Today Will Be Different, Maria Semple (shrug)
Now I'm embarking on my seventh book about a bunch of octogenarians robbing casinos (The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again! by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg) and feeling a slight sense of mental indigestion and neck pain.
This book binge will not last for long, however - today I got the readings from the Histories of AI programme for the monthly reading group at Cambridge, and also I've gotten notice of a new contract beginning soon for a job. All is good. Structure will return.
It has been so hot and humid lately. So far all the seedlings seem to be holding up well, particularly the sunflowers, under the scorching mid day sun. The tomato seedlings are a little slow after a quick start but they're not droopy, which I take for a good sign. The baby kale plants are so beautiful with the lush green leaves and purple stems. Sometimes when I feel suffocated by life I go out and stare at the little shoots.