On a Book Bender

Neil Gaiman, "Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body pants you'd most like not to lose."

I’ve been battling various ills for the past two weeks, one [sinus infection] stacking on top of the other [ovulation] and causing certain biological systems in my body to do the equivalent of an Alan Rickman table flip. It has been superb. This is first time I’ve been hard-core sick for the entire year, and I think 8ish months of being virus-free is a damn good record. It’s also what makes being sick suck so damn hard. So, If this entry is less sharp than normal, blame the drugs.

However, while I feel like I’m falling apart from the inside out, I get to do one of my Very Very Favorite Things. Read books. For as long as I can remember, reading has been a sanctuary for me. Inside the pages of a book I can do anything, be anyone, regardless of my struggles [disability] in the outside world. Books take me places that my body – and in some cases – current knowledge can not. This was especially true as a child and teenager; whether that meant across the nation, across the world or across the galaxy.

Books are security blankets for my soul. They are something I require to be a whole, pleasant, content human being. They’re also one of the few things I can focus on when I’m sick, and let the discomfort, exhaustion and general sensation of “oh, this shit again” fall away for a few hours. [Unless I am so worn out I can’t keep my eyes open to read, which happened yesterday. And I was sitting up. At my desk.]

With that in mind, I’ve been reading a lot while the Battle of the Plague rages on. At the beginning of the year I made a goal for myself: read 52 books in the year. One book a week, and after getting about six books behind schedule over the summer, I managed to catch up again by reading [“reading” hereby defined as “starting and finishing in the same month”] eight books in September. I’m working, in various stages, on six books this month:

Scarlet by Marissa Meyers [Hardback]: A big one at 452 pages in hardback, I’ve been waiting weeks [that feel like months] to get my hands on this book. It’s the follow-up to Cinder, which I gushed about in the previous post. I also have the third book in the series [Cress] out on loan, so I’m doing my best not steadily get through Scarlet, so I can dive into Cress right after.

A Charmed Death by Madelyn Alt [Paperback]: This is – appropriately – my “alt” book. I enjoyed the first of the series, and since they’re relatively light reads, I find them quicker to get through. I can usually knock out a book of this length and style over a weekend. They’re fluffy, fun and sweet. As any good confection should be.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte [Paperback]: A re-read and a favorite from my childhood. I’ve read this one at least two or three times, and since I own a much-loved copy I’ve been reading it a bite at a time, compared to the speed that I read books I have on loan. I usually pick this one up when I’m stalled on a library book or have more time to devote to lavish reading.

Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein [Paperback]: I haven’t been hooked by this one yet. It’s a new series and a new author, which means I’m walking into the world with little to endear me to it so far. I like the concept but the main character, Mariko, hasn’t grabbed me yet. Not going to lie, I purchased the book because a] the character’s name is the same as Logan’s love in the X-Men comics [and now movie] and I like that tie, and b] it’s set in Tokyo, a city and culture I find fascinating. Still hoping the choice pans out well.

The Whale Road by Robert Low [Kindle]: As someone with a moderate obsession for all things Germanic / Heathen / Viking this one has been on my “Desperate to Read” list for a while. I was finally able to get a copy and … I’m finding it a struggle to read. I’m roughly sixty pages in [of 375, another big one] and it is not flowing as I’d expected. There’s a lot of solid elements in the mix, but as far as readability and entertainment value it’s not hitting my sweet spot. I’m hoping it’ll pick up, but this one is at the bottom of my reading list for now.

 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel by A.J. Hartley and David Hewson [Audiobook]: I’m just going to come out and say it, I’m super weird about putting on audiobooks on my “reading” list. I feel like I’m cheating, even though we wouldn’t have written storytelling without the oral tradition first, and I would never be asinine enough to claim that a person using a different sense [touch, hearing] to a acquire knowledge was doing it wrong.

My weird issues aside, this is an absolutely brilliant rendition of Hamlet. I’m not even halfway through and I’ve laughed, cried and gotten really fucking angry at Polonius already. [Hate him ever-so-very much. Waiting with anticipation for him to die a grisly death.] And if you even remotely enjoy Richard Armitage’s voice when he’s not being a angry, directionally-challenged dwarf in The Hobbit movies, this is nine hours and forty minutes of auditory joy. I’ve listened to several other books Mr. Armitage has read and he’s throughly talented and entertaining.

 It’s safe to say until the Plague has passed [which spellcheck originally wanted to change to “Prague”, which I thought was hilarious] if I’m not sleeping, sloughing through the day, or attempting to write, I’ll have my face in a book of some form.

What’s on your reading pile? I’m always looking for something new to feed my addiction …

Categories: Disability, Illness, Life
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