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Mpls, MN, United States

Reading & Recently Read

Incidents & Accidents

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Day twenty

Breakfast: Oatmeal with frozen blueberries and soy milk; gluten-free toast with sugar-free raspberry spread
Snack: Apple with peanut butter
Lunch: Mujadara; crudites with hummus; cherries
Dinner: Brown rice spaghetti with marinara; steamed broccoli; popsicle
Later: Another popsicle

People! Did you see that? Day twenty. Finally. Tomorrow this cleanse business ends. It's a bit ironic, because I've finally been feeling really good--lots of energy Sunday, yesterday, and today. However, there's no way I'm sticking with all of my current restrictions forever. It's just too hard to get enough calories!

Reason #57 why I may fail my exams

So I'm reading Anna Karenina, and loving it. I don't know if it's just the Wuthering Heights Effect* or not, but I'm always excited to crack it open when I'm eating or before bed, and would certainly much prefer to read it to whatever is on the exam bibliography for the day. I did not expect to like it this much; although several of you have recommended it, I've had some experience with Tolstoy, and happen to know he's crazy. I've read other Russians, too (including Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life, Chekhov's Three Sisters, Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, Gogol's Dead Souls, and Nabokov's Pale Fire and Lolita) and figured that the best way to get through a substantial (800 page!) novel like this one would be to contrast it with something I'd rather avoid, like the readings for my exams. I ended up really liking The Brothers Karamazov, but that occurred only after a painful slog through the first THREE QUARTERS OF IT. Anyway, 'turns out that Anna isn't a slog at all. I'm totally digging it and will write more about it later.

So this morning at breakfast, I finished my oatmeal, and wanted to both eat some more and keep reading, so I decided to make toast. When I pulled out the sugar-free blueberry jam from the fridge, I dropped it onto the tile floor and it shattered.

So I cleaned it up, and then, because jam is sticky and there were still glass particles on the floor, I swept and mopped not just the kitchen, but the entire floor, from the entry way and hallway through the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

And then, even though it was getting later and later, but because I still had toast in the toaster, I got out the sugar-free raspberry jam and ate that on my toast while I continued reading.

Then I turned on my computer because I needed to order postage for a book that was due at the Minneapolis Public Library today. After an hour of looking at blogs and news and e-mailing (which is the reason I've been trying not even to turn my laptop on until I've gotten some productive reading in), I ordered the postage.

By the time I got around to finally reading, I kind of wanted a snack. And a nap.

Today wasn't so productive. This is why I'm in trouble. I think there may be people in the world who would overcome and triumph by locking themselves in a bare room and simply forcing themselves to read, but I am not one of them. With some of the books, I've been making good, speedy, progress. With others, I feel like I'm dragging myself across the pages. Then I berate myself because time is flying and I haven't read everything.

Except Anna Karenina, that is. Unfortunately, I'll pretty sure she won't be showing up on my exams.

*I read Wuthering Heights the summer I was in Florence, between sessions, when I should have been fully immersed in Italian. Instead, I sneaked chapters of Wuthering Heights, which an American friend had left behind, and I LOVED it. I haven't revisited the book, but based on others' overwhelming impressions of it, I'm thinking my enjoyment may have had primarily to do with the context of it being my guilty pleasure.


Heather said...

I tried reading "Wuthering Heights" on a spring break camping trip in high school; I got so frustrated looking up words in the dictionary that I gave up on the book and read the dictionary. I still have WT on my bookshelf (I can see it from where I'm sitting), and it still has my placeholder in it from my failed attempt.

The Churches said...

My complaint with Wuthering Heights is that I was completely depressed the whole way through. Heathcliffe and Caroline are absolute devils- and crazy to boot! No, maybe I'm too romantic, but I like ones that end happy. I much prefer her sister's Jane Eyre!

Curly Sue said...

I couldn't get through Jane Eyre. I gave up and coerced a friend into telling me how it ended. I also loved Anna Karenina, the only problem being keeping all those Russian names straight.

When I was reading for exams, my rule was no *new* books. I reread books as my "break-time" reading, but after I took my exams, I had, like, an orgy of reading new books.

Ern said...

First: I'm SO relieved that I'm not the only one who passes the day this way when I'm supposed to be productive.

Second: I LOVED Wuthering Heights. It was one of my favorite books that I had to read in high school. I think this makes me weird, but maybe you actually enjoyed it too.

strovska said...

that whole sequence of events sounds eerily familiar. and i think i only read a few pages of wuthering heights, but i don't remember why i stopped. i do have a lot of trouble keeping the names straight in those russian novels (all those sashas and multiple last names).

Nothing said...

You know...I also have been reading Anna Karenina. It's a Barnes and Noble Classics paperback that I bought a few years ago and never got around to reading. I finally sat myself down a few months ago to crank my way through it. 200 pages in I still feel like I am slogging through a mucky swamp. I'm not a huge Russian classics fan, but I have to say: compared to Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy is a bit of a drag.

But, then again, I am a big Dickens fan, and he can get a times, so what's my problem?

Yes Is A World said...

I just bought Anna Karenina last week and your post made me decide to start it today. I got through the introduction, looking up only 2 words. I guess tomorrow I'll actually start the novel itself.