Catching up on one thing, at least: Monday reading

I didn’t post last week because, although I finished a book, I didn’t know what I was going to read next. Like, I honestly had no clue. My work schedule is so hectic (I’m teaching an overload, so six classes instead of my usual five) that my brain is mostly mush–not to mention I’m behind on everything. And by everything, I mean EVERY SINGLE THING. It is maddening. And unlike with my usual beginning of semester behind on everythingness, I’m not really seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

As the kids say, it me. source)

As the kids say: it me. (source)

On top of the mental exhaustion, I am physically just spent. I cannot believe how tired I am every day. It is wild. I work all day then come home and take a nap just so I can get up and do prep/grade. Which, honestly, isn’t that different from before because I am a champion napper and believe in naps as the foundation of my life. However, I feel like I won’t make it to bedtime if I don’t take a nap, and my naps now are less a luxury than an absolute necessity.

My exercise habits have also changed. I used to go to water aerobics 2-3x/week but now that I get home so late and so exhausted and can’t function without my nap, I have had to turn into a weekend exerciser, which means water aerobics is basically out. So I have been reacquainting myself with yoga, weight training, and, in an ironic twist of fate, Zumba. I had forgotten how much I enjoy (and need! omg, I am so stiff and all of my flexibility and strength are gone after years of not going) yoga and weight training (I take a class, which is way more fun than doing the machines on the line). I am a bit of a Zumba snob but after trying some other classes, I have to admit that it is the better workout (darn it), so I will probably make that my regular Sunday afternoon thing.

Who knew that one extra class would make such a big difference in, well, everything?

Anyway, on to the books.

In the past two weeks, I read:

On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Originally read in 2007 or so, re-read 9/7/2016 – I assigned this book to my fiction writing class, and I’m so glad I did. I still love this book. I love the CV/memoir section, I love the section on writing, and I love the section on living. I especially love how honest King is (most especially when he talks about books he hates). I also appreciate how straightforward King is about what it means to live a writer’s life.

Fave quote is “Don’t be a muggle!” when it comes to using the passive voice. Don’t be a muggle, indeed.

 

A House for Happy MothersA House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got this book free from Kindle First, and It took me over a month to read this book, which says a lot since the language and storytelling are so simplistic.

This was boring, and the characters were not fully fleshed out or interesting at all. Lifelong conflicts and relationships were resolved off page, and none of the secondary characters had any depth beyond “husband cheated on her” or “trophy wife with surprising depth” (which was told and not shown!). I couldn’t picture any of them in my head except Priya and Asha, and I could tell exactly none of the women in the surrogacy house apart nor could I remember or tell apart any of Priya’s friends.

So two stars because I finished the whole thing and didn’t actively hate any of the characters, though I didn’t find any of them particularly compelling either.

View all my reviews

 

Warning! Excitingly nerdy news ahead! (source)

Warning! Excitingly nerdy news ahead! (source)

This week was also extra exciting for me because I learned how to create an abandoned shelf on Goodreads that doesn’t put unfinished books on my read shelf. Excitement! Also: now you get to find out what books I added to it!

And just this week, I added these two books to my (new! exclusive!) abandoned shelf:

OreoOreo by Fran Ross

Sept. 17, 2016: Made it to page 108 (halfway through!), but this book is a little too much for me right now. It’s very clever and Ross seems aware of her cleverness, which is not necessarily a bad thing. This might make a better summer read. You know, when I’m less stressed out with work and can actually read something that makes me think the way this book wants me to.

Funniest bit so far: “Whether he was big or small, fat or thin, well-built or spavined, Oreo could, when she was in a state of extreme concentration known as hwip-as, engage any opponent up to three times her size and weight and whip his natural ass.” I LOL-ed, friends.

 

Modern LoversModern Lovers by Emma Straub

9/18/16: This was a book club pick, and I made it all the way to chapter 43 right before it was time for book club. If I were to rate it based on where I am now, I would give it three stars. The characters are solid, and it’s very slice of life which I dig.

My friend asked me if I was going to finish now that we’ve discussed the book and the hold line at the library is so long, and I honestly don’t know. On the one hand, what I heard about the ending kind of annoyed me. On the other, I am a little intrigued to see where things go–particularly for Harry and Ruby. All in all, though, I’m not sure I care enough. Maybe I’ll just re-add myself to the holds list and see how I feel when the book actually comes in.

The entire book club did agree that the kids and their relationship were the best/most interesting part of the book, so there’s that.

View all my reviews

 

Currently, I’m reading:

Zahrah the Windseeker

Everyone is talking about Nnedi Okorafor (probably because of the #DSFF Book Club), so I finally decided to put Zahrah the Windseeker on hold. I started it today, and it’s a pretty fast and interesting read so far. I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

 

Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins

Because my brain was mush, I decided I needed something kind of light with a touch of soap opera to read, so I checked out Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins. Since I enjoyed the seventh book in this series, I figured I might as well see how it all started. It’s just what I need right now as I try (try, try, try) to take a few moments to relax each day. Reading as self-care: this is how I do it.

Kidlit version hosted by Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen of Teach Mentor Texts; original version hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Kidlit version hosted by Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen of Teach Mentor Texts; original version hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Happy reading, everyone!

 

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16 comments

  1. Read Diverse Books

    Oh, no. That sounds so incredibly tiring and stressful. 😦 It doesn’t seem like you’ll have much time to read or blog or do much else until things settle. Hopefully they do settle and you can relax. If not, there’s always next semester. :/

    I think Zahrah The Windseeker is Okorafor’s debut novel. Her later work is excellent, so I hope she started off with a strong debut.

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  2. Got My Book

    Congratulations on upgrading your wrap-up. I am sorry to hear that this semester is proving so difficult for you. I hope that you manage to find a routine that lets you take care of your self. Naps are wonderful.

    I will look into the kidlit link up as well.

    Like

  3. A.M.B.

    Wow, you are busy! Good luck with everything. I’m amazed you’ve managed to find any time to read at all. Zahrah the Windseeker sounds interesting. I hope it doesn’t end up on your new “abandoned” shelf (from what I’ve heard, it’s a good book, but I haven’t read it yet).

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    • Akilah

      I’m liking it so far!

      I tend to read more when work gets hectic because it relaxes me. I have found that my reading actually goes down when I’m on summer break, probably because I don’t need as much of a distraction from the insanity around me. Or freshman comp papers.

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  4. Ally Bean

    I know that this comment is going to be obscure, but… it’s funny to me that you abandoned a book entitled, Oreo. For the last week I’ve been seeing posters in our neighborhood for a lost cat named Oreo. I think it’s peculiar to stumble across Oreo in a non-cookie context twice in one week. Just saying. Absolutely no real point to this comment except to say “hi!” 😉

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  5. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Holy hell, I can’t imagine teaching six classes. Hang in there! That is a too many number of classes!

    FWIW I am reading a novel that’s also about surrogacy in India and it’s called The House of HIDDEN Mothers — I picked it up by accident because I thought it was this House of Happy Mothers book. Not my favorite thing I’ve ever read, but the characters are definitely fleshed out, I care about all of them, and I’m pretty invested in things turning out okay.

    Like

    • Akilah

      Oh yes, that is the one with the similar title that I want to check out. I’m glad it’s more engaging. I feel like the topic is prime for exploring in fiction, and that it can be done well, so I’m hoping to come across a book that does so soon.

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