Being an ex English grad student means I occasionally have difficult book cravings. And it also means that I look at that sentence and realize that it is entirely unclear whether difficult is describing "book" or "craving". Luckily for me, the fact that I crave difficult books is not actually a troublesome craving, because it turns out almost everyone else who was in a literary grad program has a similar problem and I happen to be friends with them.
The summer before last, we all decided to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, along with the rest of the Internet. We then promptly got off schedule, never had a single meeting, and I didn't finish until well after Christmas and still have rather mixed feelings about the whole thing (Although we now all use the term "post-prandial" with a regularity which is becoming decreasingly distressing)
Last summer I decided I wanted to read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, which was going very well until I hit page two hundred and got terrifically stuck. I feel much better about the whole thing, because it turns out that everyone I talk to about this has also become completely stuck at roughly the same place, although none of us can work out why. But anyway, I finished the book last week, just in time to start our latest book adventure: Ulysses by James Joyce.
So far I am enjoying myself thoroughly, AND we've already had our first meeting in which we drank beer and yelled about the nature of reading and whether we actually cared for any of the characters. I already have one of the little charts for the chapters tucked in amongst the pages, some of us are reading The Odyssey along with it and we all are just having a ball. Reading is a very solitary act, but there is something about reading in groups and having wide-flung discussions about it which is so immensely satisfying.
Up-Coming Events: Venus Envy Sale, Andy Swan at Raw Sugar and hopefully Dim Sum.