The Book Pile March 30-April 6

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I only had time to read two books last week because the toilets in my apartment building backed up not once, but TWICE. Add a bunch of crazy shifts into the mix, and at the end of each day this was me:

Thankfully, I was able to stay at a friend’s house for a couple of days. But still. You never notice how much you love indoor plumbing until it stops working.

Finished
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On Such A Full Sea-Chang-Rae Lee : Sigh. I so wanted to love or at least like this book. Remember how excited I was to read it last week? It was a simpler time.
Okay, the good things first. There was some gorgeous writing in there, especially this, which was my favorite sentence in the whole book: “Isn’t this what we also fear and crave simultaneously, that some internal force which defies understanding might remake us into the people we dream we are?” I took that to prayer, big time. Also, I enjoyed reading about the city of B-Mor; how they lived, what they did for fun, etc. But I generally enjoy things like that. So I’ll give him that.

But. But but but. Okay. First of all, the protagonist had such a weak personality, and you’d better believe it grated on my nerves. I felt like she just let the story happen to her instead of being part of the story, if that makes any sense. Second: the first person plural narration style was kind of cool at first, but by the middle of the book I was longing for some good dialogue. Third, the story just kind of went SPLAT all over the place about halfway through. I kept thinking, okay, it’ll pick up now…or now….how about now? And so on. Finally, without giving anything away, I was super disappointed with the ending. The things that I felt should have been resolved weren’t resolved!!! Or, at least in my opinion they weren’t. I made many noises of disgust and stewed over it for a couple of days. Why you gotta do me like that, Chang-Rae?

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A Prayer Journal-Flannery O’Connor : This book was much, much shorter than I expected; almost half of it was just a photocopy of the original journal. Okay…why? I mean, it was nice to see her actual handwriting, but one page would have been enough, yes? Anyway. Despite the fact that it was so short, I enjoyed it. Her longing to long for God jumps out of every page. My favorite part: “I don’t want to fear to be out, I want to love to be in…Help me to feel that I will give up every earthly thing for this. I do not mean becoming a nun.” Word, Flannery. Again, I just wish it had been longer!

Up Next
The Second Coming-Walker Percy: Haven’t even cracked it open. See first paragraph. But he’s next!

Between Heaven and Mirth-Fr. James Martin, SJ : This book was briefly on my radar when it came out, but I’d forgotten about it until I saw my friend watching a talk Fr. Martin gave that was absolutely hilarious! I definitely agree with Fr. Martin: holiness=happiness! I’m interested to see how he expands on this topic.

The Namesake-Jhumpa Lahiri: I’ve been eyeing this book for years, but it kept getting pushed to the back of my mind. Now I’m finally getting around to it, and I’m excited but also a little nervous about being excited, mostly because of the whole Chang-Rae Lee incident last week. [totally over it (not)]

What are you reading this week?more importantly, who wants to wench talk about On Such A Full Sea with me? Did you love it? Or did you also hate it?