Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Challenge 18.

Day 01 – The best book you read this year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you

Day 18.

No no no!

Being disappointed by a book. This is rare - being repulsed or overwhelmed or alienated or elated or inspired or surprised is the usual action. I don't read for a standard reason by which a book could fail me. Rarely does prose/verse disappoint - even if I thought it'd be revelatory and it's rotten, there's something I can learn in that, or I can turn out of my failed expectations what I thought I was in for, and I've generated some of my own favorite work that way. Disappointed still is not the word but my reaction to Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology was disappointing to me - finishing it, I realized how I was expecting to delight in something lurid that would make me befuddled and appalled as if it were a checkout rag. I cried instead, a lot, and it made me feel physically bad to read the book, to reckon with the subject and the people. I was like this watching Hot Coffee, too. So reading Inside Scientology made me disappointed with myself. And a few other people.

Next month I'm going to interview some students and administrators at the local ballet school, which I've been excited to do for some time and was going to do next week, but next month is so much better. My contact, their lovely marketing director, observed that many people would be jealous for the capacity in which I am so busy right now. Right now is outrageously liminal. I cannot abide a liminal state without suffering. Amidst this, so much time and energy was consumed in the reading of Inside Scientology that its impact on my life was pretty embarrassing.

I have put off a good night's sleep for almost a month, so that is tonight's big project. I am feeling up to it with this on my side: "Funny story, Simone de Beauvoir in the Second Sex says little girls fancy themselves as sexless creatures of God, like pixies or gnomes. So my middle school nickname was foreshadowing."

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