Well, as it's looking so far, I'm not on top of my one book per month goal... but that's okay! I usually make up for it later in the year by reading some extra books. At least I'm succeeding in staying within the confines of my own bookcase. Shawn and I have been working on paring down our belongings and it actually feels great to read a book and then let it go. Most of them have been sitting on my shelves for years, untouched. And yes, there are other books out there that I've heard about recently but don't own and would like to read, but they're not going anywhere, so they can wait.
Let's start with Jose Saramago's Blindness; it was given to me by a friend years ago, under the pretense that I would enjoy it. Perhaps a few years ago, I would have! The premise sounds interesting enough - a whole city falls into white blindness and chaos ensues... it's supposed to be a commentary on humanity and how we treat each other in times of desperate measure. But I can't say that I enjoyed reading it. I actually found it very difficult to get through, not because of the story line (although there were some plot holes that I won't get into here), but because of the way it is written. There are no quotations! So whenever there is dialogue occurring, it's difficult to make out who is saying what, since it reads like a straight paragraph. Perhaps this is an issue of it being translated, or perhaps that is exactly as it was intended; either way, I had a tough time getting through the book and needed something more light-hearted to follow it up with.
Enter, Adrian Tomine's 32 Stories. So, it's not a book so much as a graphic novel... but sometimes after a big novel you need something easy to cleanse your palate, if you know what I mean. I picked this up years ago, after falling in love with Tomine's longer graphic novels. 32 Stories is a compilation of his earlier works, when he was still trying to get his style down. It's a fun, quick read if you're a Tomine fan, but if you've never read anything of his I would recommend starting with Summer Blonde or Shortcomings.
And lastly, Arthur Nersesian's The Fuck-Up; the story of a slacker just trying to get by in New York City. I remember really enjoying this when I first read it, back in college. Probably because I was in more of a place to relate to it then... sadly, it just didn't strike me as much the second time around. It was a good story (if you're into gritty New York City stories), but I just didn't connect to it in any way and I don't mind putting it in my pile of books to donate.
All of these are now sitting in my To Donate pile. So I shifted gears for my next book and picked something off of my Favorites shelf to re-read. So far so good! I'll give you an update in another three months or so...