Merry Month Of May

Plans are made to be changed; reading lists are drawn to be unfinished. That’s my motto for May. When I don’t have to be ashamed of my own “grand” plan, I feel deliriously happy. As a slow reader, I need all the encouragement from an unhinged delusion of my reading capabilities. The fact is I read slowly and cannot skip without a pang of guilt as if I am wasting the paper (or digital space) the book is printed on. Planning for reading is very much like planning for life–if we are realistic about it, we feel uninspired; if we are unrealistic about it, we will be punished by disappointment; if we don’t do planning, we feel like a slacker; if we do the planning, we feel sanctioned and tied down. Often it is a balancing act, requiring adjustment along the way. Here are several books I am thinking of:

“The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire” by Linda Himelstein. I saw this lying on the table of discount books in our local grocery store, begging me to take it. I just have to rescue it and take it home with me. I used to like screwdriver and bought Smirnov regularly.

“Bunny” by Mona Awad, which is recommended by Isobel. Well, she’s not recommending this book, but rather the book by the same author which hasn’t be published yet. I haven’t read any books by this author, so I went to Audible and bought two of her books. I always love bunnies. Of course the name bunny here is used as an irony–and it works. I’ve only read three pages so far and I love it. Here are the quotes I like, “making squealing sounds of monstrous love that hurt my face”, “this school is too Ivy and New England to call a party a party”, “the lavish tent under which the overeducated mingle, well versed in every art but the one of conversation.”

“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. I just listened to the first half-hour of it, and it is so funny. Although it’s an audible book, I struggled to get some quotes from it. “If you are black and struggling, the United States is probably the best place to do it.” That’s such a funny line. I want to use it on immigrants. “There’s nothing extra. If my childhood is sandwich, there will be no meat hanging off the bread.” And I am looking forward to more quotes and I will show them in my post later on for this book. I can’t remember when I bought this book, probably from an Oprah video online or the “O”–Opera magazine–I subscribe to. Oprah has such effects on me. When she says something, I will want to listen to her right away, but when the moment passes, I just forget about it. So the book is forgotten for quite a while, only to be discovered when I was cleaning up my cache for my fire tablet.

And here are four more books I dream of finishing this month, but I know I won’t. Dreams make people feel good, although dreams can just easily bring disappointment, disillusion, and even depression. However let’s dwell on the bright side of dreams for now.

“The Korean War” by Max Hastings. To tell the truth, I am not very satisfied with the Korean War books I read before, and since Max Hastings has such a reputation of being the best historian, I think I probably would like this book.

“13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl” by Mona Awad. The sample I listened to is so funny and I want to have it. By the way, women’s indefatigable quest for beauty and the unquenchable desire to appeal to men physically have always been a source of endless irony. I have to say such relentless pursuits have often brought damage to the body and spirit. So what? Women are like moth desiring flames–the brighter and hotter flames are preferred. Who says human beings are rational creatures?

“Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975” by Max Hastings. I’ve never read any book about Vietnam before and this book will be the first.

“Witch: A Tale of Terror” by Charles Mackay. I’ve been fascinated by the topic of witches. Although I have to say women are not usually called witches plainly. The modern society have mush subtler ways. And the most bewitching fallacy is the saying that women can do everything. No, women cannot do everything. Many women ruin their health to do the double shifts of working regular jobs as well as taking care of house chores and raising offspring.

13 thoughts on “Merry Month Of May

  1. Slow readers unite! I’m so slow that even with a decent effort, I’m barely making one book per month. Granted, they’re thicker ones like Dan Abnett’s omnibus and Patrick Rothfuss’ epic series, but I still read generally slower than most. Like you said though, my reading lists are made to be unfinished, lol. Wishing you the best with your plans!

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    1. Thank you. I’ve never read Dan Abnett or Patrick Rothfuss and now my interest is piqued. Yes, let’s have a club that unite the like minded people like us. LOL. Wish you the best with your writing. And stay safe and healthy.

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  2. I love your eclectic choices of books. All the books don’t seem to match up to a common thread or meaning. To me, that speaks of scholarship.

    BTW, my favorite book on the history of the Korean peninsula post WW2 is “The Two Koreas: A contemporary history” by Don Oberdorfer.

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  3. Yay! So glad to see Mona Awad on your TBR for May. & yes, I also highly recommend Bunny. I haven’t read 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl yet, though that one’s also on my TBR, so am curious to hear your thoughts on it when you’ve finished.

    The Mackay book also sounds interesting. The Burning Times are fascinating for a number of reasons, and while mass hysteria might not literally call people witches, you can find more modern-day parallels than we expected for the “civilized times” we supposedly live in.

    Don’t ever feel bad for the pace of your reading. I’m a fairly slow reader, too, and I think everyone mentally imbibes and interprets information at his/her/their own pace.

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, I can’t wait to express thoughts on Awad’s books. LOL. Never read books by Mackay or Sam Harris (the narrator). Now I will know if I like them or not. Yes, desire better reading speed, but has to settle for what is feasible. LOL.

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