I finished my first book for the winter reading challenge! My first choice was Like Water for Chocolate, and I liked it. I love chicano/mystical realism lit, so it fit the bill. Unfortunately, I've read a lot by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and he's the absolute best in that genre (in my opinion, anyway), so the rest kind of pale by comparison. But it was a fun read, and now I have to move on to another of my picks, all of which are more serious and harder to slog through.
I know it seems kind of funny that I've only managed one book in the month since I started this. But I got sidetracked. It was my mom's fault! I saw, in early November, that she'd borrowed the last Mitford book from someone. I haven't read that one, and I intended to steal it from her, read it in a couple days, and return it before she noticed it was gone. But in order to read that one, I had to read the first six books again because it had been a long time and I didn't remember them well. So I read all six of them, and then decided not to borrow the book after all, since I'm hoping Santa will bring me my very own copy.
So then I was all ready to move on to my challenge books, starting with Looking Backward. And I read the first few pages, but it got so political so fast that I was disgusted and put it down. And then my fingers accidentally brushed against a copy of Animal Dreams, and then I accidentally picked it up and read the first page, and then I accidentally read the whole book again. That whetted my appetite for a good down-home read, and I picked up both Standing in the Rainbow and The Bean Trees, and am currently devouring them both at a more or less equal rate. So, overall, in the last month I've read eight and a half books, but only one of them was one I'd never read before. Which forces me to admit that I'm failing the winter reading challenge. But I will keep on trying. Though I'm strongly inclined to replace Looking Backward with The Kiterunner.
I have this whole set of thoughts concerning Looking Backward and why I can't get into it. The idea (a book written in 1888 and narrated by a man who's been catapulted into the year 2000 and is looking back over more than a hundred years and talking about the changes) is really intriguing. But the whole thing seems so silly because a guy writing in the late 1800s couldn't possibly imagine the changes that the 20th century would bring about. Anything that he could have dreamt up would be child's play compared to what actually happened. Maybe I'm predicting the book incorrectly, and it's not the author's fault that he had no way of forseeing world-wide wars, the internet, and AIDS, but in this case the truth was so much stanger than fiction could be, and I no longer have a lot of interest in this book. Anyone read it? Am I totally off? Or should I just shut up already and go read the stupid book?