When I finished Lonesome Dove I felt a little anxious, because what do you follow that up with? I was partly relieved I didn’t have to lug it around anymore (and have people think I was reading the Bible on the bus, yech), but for the most part I was anxious.
I followed it up with a scary young adult book by Allegra Goodman-the Other Side of the Island. How’s this for an endorsement: I read it in one day. I love a good dystopic tale, and moreover, I love dystopic tales for teens, because what is better than terrifying a young adult? I like most of the things I’ve read of Goodman’s (for the most part, short stories in the New Yorker), and this didn’t disappoint. It was part the Giver, part Oryx & Crake, part Catching Fire. All great favorites of mine. I am learning that I very much enjoy speculative science fiction (this came as a shock), and Goodman managed to work in some hugely important themes that I think could have a great effect on young adults, as it certainly affected this not-quite-young young adult. I do recommend this for adults and young adults alike.
I am stubbornly pushing through Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate right now. I think I was absent during the week of tenth grade that I was supposed to read this? Maybe. Either way, this is one of those “I have always meant to read that!” books, and I wouldn’t say I love it, but I also wouldn’t say I hate it. I have well-documented problems with reading about cooking, but that aspect of this book is actually probably my favorite part (that and I love, love, love Mexican food and keep fantasizing about mole and chiles). I am just not that dazzled by this, which isn’t necessarily bad. I know that I don’t always love magical realism, and that might explain why I am so lukewarm. I’m sure this is good, it just isn’t for me. I initially wanted to read this in Spanish, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I’ll keep trying. But I’ll finish it, and then move on. After all, I usually do.
I have about 45 books in my mental queue that “I have always meant to read;” things that are notable or acclaimed for one reason or another, but things that I just never get around to reading. I sometimes wonder if I am a bad reader for never reading things I am “supposed” to read. But that, I think, takes away from reading as an activity that I just simply love. What do I know?