Tuesday, October 6, 2009

About Reading

I hadn't been able to turn to reading during this icky cancer ordeal. For some reason ... chemo brain or whatever ... I haven't had the concentration most of the time and the pattern of fatigue hasn't suited my usual reading habits. Still, I've recently tried reading again and have had some success.

After chemo treatment number 5, I "read" (we'll use that term loosely), Wally Lamb's, The Hour I First Believed. "Loosely", means I skipped almost whole chapters. Well, I scanned them ever so quickly but, since those chapters were mostly a parallel story that didn't interest me as much, I skimmed them for only pertinent details so I'd get the connection to the main story and then just let those pages go. It worked, I think. It's not what I would normally do but I enjoyed the book anyway.

Getting through that one encouraged me to pick up another book after this treatment, but it was waaaaay overly ambitious. Susanna Clarke's, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I bought it used some time ago and have always wanted to read it but I do not recommend it for chemo patients! Not only is it written in that old style of English writing with lots of run-on sentences, asides, and erroneous additional bits of information, it's also full of extensive footnotes, which sometimes turn into elaborate short stories of their own! Don't get me wrong ... I was thoroughly enjoying the book and I sometimes like that style though I admire spare writing more, but it is just too complex for my chemo brain to keep track of right now. I've set it aside for some day down the road. Note that it's hefty at 800+ pages. Silly choice for me in my circumstances.

So, not to give up, I switched to David Wroblewski's, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and so far as page 17, I'm enchanted and really enjoying the writing. It flows in such a way that, so far, I'm able to follow it. We'll see if I end up skipping pages. Really, already the author has created some really wonderful images.

It's good to read again.

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