I’m thinking of pulling out The House of Mirth again.

The first book my book club read was Revolutionary Road. Because I recommended the book, I read it. On book club night, we watched the movie, discussed the book while eating at Canyon Cafe, and chose our next book .

The second book my book club read was The Other Queen. I tried to read it. Really, I did. And when the book club scheduled the next gathering and I hadn’t even made it to the halfway point, I purchased the audio book. And I tried to get through it. But I failed. And when I went to the meeting to discuss the book, I spent most of my time discussing the lemon bars I had made. (They were really great lemon bars! Worth talking about! Mary, Queen of Who?!)

The third book my book club read was Three Cups of Tea. And something must be wrong with me, because I couldn’t get through that one, either. And when the book club scheduled the next gathering and I hadn’t even made it to the halfway point, I purchased the audio book. And I tried to get through it. But I failed. (Does this paragraph sound oddly familiar?!) I had a migraine the night of the bonfire/discussion session—which bums me out to this day, because come on. Bonfire. I still haven’t read the book.

The fourth book my book club read was The Shack. And get this. We chose the book sometime in April, I believe, and I’M STILL NOT FINISHED WITH IT. We’re meeting on Sunday, and I have about forty more pages to go, which means I’ll probably get through it, but what is wrong with me?! I can’t read a book in six months? And it’s a book about God! I should totally be done with it by now!

I’m still working on Infinite Jest. I had a brief e-mail exchange last week with a woman who summed up my feelings perfectly. The more I read this book, the more I fall in love with it, and the more I don’t want it to end. So I’m reading it very slowly. Too slowly. I don’t even believe I’ve reached page 300 yet.

I am not getting any smarter, Internet, and I believe it’s because I’m not reading as much as I should.

I blame silk and wool.

What are you reading these days? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

30 thoughts on “I’m thinking of pulling out The House of Mirth again.”

  1. There’s something Constanzaesque about this saga. Well, except for the Infinite Jest part.

    Just remember that when you bribe the librarian to let you find out who checked out the Infinite Jest audiobook, and you go over to that person’s house to listen to it with them, do not ask for grape juice.

  2. I am having a very similar problem with my book groups lately. But I think the problem is only partly me (and a little bit that I’m in two book groups; three if you count the one I do with my 8-year-old). Part of it is that the books are not compelling. The Shack was one of them. I couldn’t stomach it. I’ve got better things to do with my time. Read better books. The problem will go away.

  3. My book club also read The Shack. I just could not get through it. Hated it. Then we read The Art of Racing in the Rain. It was really great. I highly recommend it!

  4. I miss reading for fun. I don’t do it that much because I’m playing with the silk and wool when I don’t have my textbooks out. I barely keep up with blogs anymore. Fluid who? :)

  5. 300 is the magic page. You won’t be able to stop reading it. I took something like 6 months to get that far, then essentially stayed up for 2 days reading the rest. I Love IJ.

  6. I too am STILL reading “Infinite Jest”. I have been reading it for four month and one day (I started reading it on the 4th of July). I think I am almost done. It is impossible to tell with footnotes.

  7. Ha!
    I am laughing….thank you!
    I was given The Shack, oh…..6 months ago, and I
    was made to promise to read it immediately…I haven’t even opened it. I was convinced that I was the only loser to have missed it…thank you!

  8. I’m reading academic journal articles about what factors go into the decision to get a flu vaccinatiozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… huh?! What? Oh. right. I wish I was reading some fiction!

  9. I never read anything like what they read in a book club. Where is the Vampire Smut book club? Or at least the Urban Fantasy with butt-kicking sci fi girl book club? Yeah, they never have those.

  10. Oh man, so glad you’re reading IJ. You will finish it and then you will start it again. What a book. It does ruin you for other books though. Having a hard time recovering.

    Currently The Emperor’s Children is my book bete noir. I loved it when I started it but now it’s at that point where it’s been too long and if I don’t pick it back up soon I’ll have to start from the beginning again. I hate that. And I recently read The Elegance of the Hedgehog. The most diplomatic thing I can say about that book is that, for me, it did not live up to the hype. At all.

  11. I love to read cheesy murder mysteries set in the fall once October rolls around. That being said I just decided to stop reading the one I had been reading because I hated it. It was set at a renaissance fair, which seemed cool at the time. It wasn’t.

    No Minimom – sign me up!

  12. Apart from blogs, I don’t read fiction :-) unless it’s crime or sci-fi. I’m still reading and re-reading The Curse of Chalion & Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I just got my copy of Fledgling by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Life’s too short for bookclub sludge.

  13. I’m reading Sarah Hall’s How to Paint a Dead Man. But I tell you, I go to two book groups and I read the damn books and they talk about them for about ten bloody minutes and it infuriates me. I deliberately think of interesting things to say, you know, so they don’t think I’m dim, and then they FAIL TO PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO SAY THEM.

    If you don’t read the book at my book groups it doesn’t matter. Bah. Maybe we should swop.

  14. Ha! Dude. This is why I don’t join book groups.

    Right now I am reading, and nearly finished with, Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry. And I sort of hate it a little bit, even though it’s a good book. I don’t know what to tell you.

    But after THAT I’m going to read Ben Thompson’s Badass.

    And then maybe I will read Revolutionary Road, which I bought months ago at a library sale. I mean, if you were able to get through that one, how bad can it be?

  15. um, I read Snow White to Katrina and “One, Two, Three” by Sandra Boynton to Nadine, who then read it to me in babble-version upside down–very well read, I must say.
    Other than that, I’m reading a few NaBloPoMo sites, Poop and Boogies and a family blog. Nothing else.

  16. I need to make note of some of these books! 3 cups of Tea is great (but I may be biased having lived in Pakistan) and I really want to read Infinite Jest…

    I’m reading an Ian Rankin novel right now (not one of the Rebus series) but I’m only about 20 pages in so I don’t have a strong opinion yet. Crime/detective-ish novels in between heavier heart wrenching novels clears my mental palate.

  17. i am reading nothing at the moment. which is kinda sad. i wish i could find books would draw me in like the nancy drew series used to over 25 years ago.

  18. Starting South of Broad by Pat Conroy. He is my favorite author. Although I just re-read Beach Music and while I love the story, the dialogue irritates the hell out of me sometimes.

    Lately I’ve been reading The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004 edited by Dave Eggers, Fraud by David Rakoff and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I like to have books on hand that I can just pick up and read from any spot.

    I’m too intimidated by Infinite Jest.

  19. I love my book club- we have been together in one form or another for 11 years. BUT – we don’t require people to finish books they don’t like. The last book we read was Lavinia, by Ursula K. LeGuin. It was enjoyed by all. Now we are reading Einstein’s Dreams. I also raced through Angels and Demons (I am a sucker for a not-well-written but compelling page turner). Also read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It was not at all what I was expecting and I Loved it!!!!! Capital L!!!! I am recommending it to everyone. It was the kind of book (and my friends who have read it agree) where you are sad that it ends because you’ve grown so attached to the characters. It was a quick read, it is not “chick lit” in the sense that I was expecting based on cover and title, and it is British, not Southern.When I read, my knitting suffers, when I knit, my reading suffers – BUT – I cannot watch Top Chef and read, but I can knit . . . . so.
    Anyway – Guernsey – good, light but interesting – my recommendation.

  20. I started a book on the French & Indian War about 6 months ago and zipped through the first 2/3 of it, then the semester started and the New Yorkers started piling up and I had give talks about stuff and read science papers and blah blah blah, so I’m on the verge of taking seven years to read an excellent book about the seven years’ war, which is ironic and a little infuriating, especially when there are so many other great books yearning to be read.

    Is The Shack any good?

  21. Nelson Demille’s John Corey series: Plum Island, The Lion’s Game, Night Fall, and Wild Fire. I highly recommend them — good dialogue, exciting, good characters, maybe too low-brow for book clubs, but I like reading to be fun. Also everything by Barbara Kingsolver.

  22. I just picked up Waiter Rant of (blog fame) and Kristin Chenoweth’s biography A Little Bit Wicked the other day. So far I’m going through Waiter Rant pretty quickly.

    But I do know what you mean when finishing book club books. I remember reading Geek Love which was so hard to read in small installments but eventually I made it though. And actually I kind of like the book.

  23. I was told I should read The Shack but the summary really turned me off.

    Recently I read The Reader, the first three Ruth Reichl memoirs and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. All good. Right now I’m reading The Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine which isn’t about tractors at all. It’s good but, as you said, the knitting is getting in the way.

  24. I really a truly awful book called “Blood and Bones” while traveling. I disliked it so much that I left it on the plane.

    I did finish it, though.

  25. I’m a grad student, so what I’m reading is of little interest to anyone but myself and a handful of people in my area (and sometimes not even myself).

    I think you should recommend The Brothers K (I told you about that one over on flickr…it’s the book with the toe/thumb storyline) for your book club. WAAAAAY better religious storyline than the Shack. Which I hate with a burning passion.

    Don’t read The Shack. It is The Suck.

  26. I’ve gotten hooked on the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, which is entertaining urban fantasy.

    There’s nothing wrong with reading slowly!

  27. My current reads are: Catholic Christianity and Catechism of the Catholic Church. (thrilling, eh?)

    If I am feeling semi-normal tomorrow, I am heading to the used bookstore in town to find something to read for FUN!!

  28. The Gathering and Yesterdays Weather by Anne Enright

    The Kite Runner (Cliche, right? But its for a class)

    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez

    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (probably the best book I have read in ages. Ages!)

    A book on black and white photography. And why I suck at it. I mean, really. That is what the book is about. Why Nicole can’t manage black and white. Really. Argh.

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (I am enjoying this more than I thought I would!)

    And this anthology of short novels. Just finished The Incredibly Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother.

    I read a lot at once. Because I have a quick attention span. So I tend to pick one up, read a few chapters or pages and then switch to another. But I’m a book addict. All of my space is taken up by books, notebooks, pens, and photography gear. And sign language flash cards. And flip flops. And bags.

    Good luck with finishing your book!

    As always, your posts make my day.

  29. Okay, you have a fan for life because Revolutionary Road and Infinite Jest are two of my favorite novels of all time. If you love Infinite Jest you should check out House of Leaves afterwards. Email me anytime if you want to talk books or anything else.

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