For a long time, many in the running blogging community have been doing "What I Ate Wednesday"; well, you don't wanna know what I'm eating. It's not inspiring; it's rarely healthy; it mostly resembles a 16 year old boy's diet.
Instead, I figure I might begin featuring a semi-regular series of what I feed my mind, which is far more enriching than what I feed my body. Mostly it's the kind of stuff you might expect an English professor to read, but occasionally, I like my "brain candy" too, and I indulge in those pleasurable, mindless reads.
For the past few months, I've been mired in George R.R. Martin's popular "Game of Thrones," but after the 3rd novel in that series, I needed a break. One can only read so much of "winter."
So, I'm basically reading 3 things simultaneously. I actually often read in this erratic way because some nights I want to read one thing, and another evening, I want to read something else.
First up: Goodwin's Lincoln biography "Team of Rivals."
I enjoy history, and briefly thought in college about majoring in it, but then I thought, "Nah, what would I do with a history degree? I'll major in a far more useful discipline: English!" So, I like to indulge both my historical and political interests on occasion. This book is fabulous for such indulgences, but does get weighed down in the minutia of good history -- meaning that the author's research and scholarly expertise are impressive, but at times, boring. I'm a couple hundred pages in and Lincoln JUST got elected. So, needless to say, my progress through this one is, at times, tedious. However, I am marveling at what the title says: Lincoln was a genius.
My other reading may not appear lighter to some, but to me, it's pure enjoyment: Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
I'm teaching an Intro to Shakespeare course this term, and it's fun to re-familiarize myself with some works that I haven't read in awhile. Like I said, for some readers, the thought of reading verse is enough to push a them to hard drug use, but I enjoy the lyricism. (Oh yeah, that's also why I majored in English! I remember now!) This is a great play -- the basis for all romantic comedies stem from this play -- and I enjoy the story, but mostly, as I read this, I enjoy the language and the poetry: "O what fools these mortals be!"
Lastly, the most entertaining read on my plate is Cheryl Strayed's "Wild."
I had been reading reviews on this since last year and was eager to read it, and it turns out, it holds up to the hype. I judge all memoirs against what I consider the gold standard -- Mary Karr's "The Liar's Club" -- and what I think a really good memoir should do: marry poetic sensibility with engrossing conflict. This memoir is about as close to Karr as I think any memoirist can get and not actually be Karr.
Strayed's journey -- both physical and internal -- is riveting, and her prose is probably some of the best writing I've read in awhile.
So, what are YOU reading?
So, what are YOU reading?