I have rediscovered my passion for reading for enjoyment. I'm not sure it ever went away, but reading about branding, German films and film genres kind of took its tole last semester. I only ready a few easy, very easy, books last semester. I love reading John Sanford, David Balducci and even James Patterson, but they are easy and only take a few days. During the tough times in the semester, however, they are a lifesaver. I read them before going to sleep and don't think about how they are intertextual or have fodder for another paper. Reading the Bond books did. Reading the Charles Schultz biography about Charlie Brown last spring just about ruined the semester for me. I need the release and books work so much better to calm my brain than television. In fact, I can hardly watch any television program without an idea for a future research project...ah, the curse of being in media studies.
This past week, I have finished 3 books and started a 4th. It took me awhile, but I finished John Irving's novel, The Fourth Hand. It was as complex as any of his novels, and told a good story. It did not rank up there with A Prayer for Owen Meaney (arguably his very best!) or Cider House Rules, but was good and compelling until the end. I then read an extremely delightful book by Sophie Kinsella (author of the Shopaholic series of novels) and enjoyed each fun page. It took much less time than the Irving book, but I had equal enjoyment in reading both. Last night I thought I was tackling a tough book by Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter (a gift from my mother, of course). I have read quite a bit of Angelou in the past, but this was different. It was a series of notes she wrote to her (imaginary) daughter, the lessons she learned and wanted to impart on the rest of us. There were some profound lessons and some that seemed to be common sense. I enjoyed the book. If you are a mother, give this to your daughter; if you are a woman and don't get it from your mother, treat yourself. It is full of wisdom and wit--a terrific combination. It took me about an hour to read, but I will be rereading it again...often, I believe.
I then started the book Three Cups of Tea. Both of my parents and both or Roger's sisters encouraged us to read the book. It is about an American adventurer, who after failing to climb K2, builds over 50 schools in Pakistan for girls, which is an unbelievable feat. My dad suggested the President of the United States (the outgoing one) should have read it and learned a little bit about diplomacy in Pakistan. I'm only halfway through chapter one, but am already sucked in. I love it when a book can suck me in right away.
It is sad to me to meet people who don't read. Whether it's lack of time or interest, it is sad. I can't imagine ever being so busy that I can't finish a novel in under a few weeks. I am too old to stay up until 4 a.m. reading a book, but have learned to enjoy my passion in a responsible way. At least most of the time I am responsible...so I missed a class to finish Harry Potter once...it was the last Harry Potter book and I had to know the end!