That’s what she read – my new weekly rundown

Sometimes we all go through reading slumps where the last thing we want to do is sit down with a book. I’m currently in the longest slump I’ve experienced since I first graduated from university. Buying books is not a problem for me but getting through them is taking a lot of effort. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m too fucking old now or just too overworked but I can’t get through a chapter before bed anymore. My eyes start dropping a couple of paragraphs in. If I’m going to continue with my rule to never leave a chapter unfinished then I’ll have to start reading books with much shorter chapters. Next time I’m in a book shop I’m only buying children’s books or the novels of Dan Brown.

Despite these difficulties, I’m a stubborn old thing and am forcing myself to read whenever I can. It just takes me fucking ages to finish one. By the time I finish a book I know I’ll want to talk about I’ve usually missed my post deadline and my review ends up lost in the ether. So I’ve come up with a plan. Not only to guilt me into reading more but to give me a chance to set out my thoughts on books/films/TV shows I’ll probably never discuss in detail. Every Sunday (I know, I know, it’s Monday) I’ll present a short round-up of my week: what I’m reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been buying, what I’ve been thinking. It’ll be great… possibly.

Currently Reading

  • Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer

I read about this book online and I was fascinated to read it. It’s a pretty morbid subject to be reading about before bed but Krakauer is a writer famed for his ability to produce a decent narrative out of tough non-fiction topics. Missoula, as the title suggests, explores how cases of sexual assault are handled in the collegiate and crimial justice system in North America. Krakauer sites several case studies of young women who were raped by students at the University of Montana. It’s a harrowing read as the different crimes are described as precisely as they would have been to an investigating officer.

Reading this book has made me incredibly angry and sad for humanity. The statistics Krakauer brings up regarding success rates in rape convictions are fucking awful. The cynical way in which accusations of sexual assault are first viewed make me want to be sick. It’s hard not to read this book and automatically want to ban all college football and castrate anyone who’s ever played it. I was all set to write a full post about how disgusted I was with society’s treatment of it’s rape victims because it is, a lot of the time, disgusting.

However, the more I read and the further I stepped back from Kraukauer’s work the more I began to question. Not the subject matter, which is undeniably something that should be discussed in great detail. No, I questioned the depth of his argument. I also objected to Kraukauer’s lack of objectivity. The argument is very one sided and his anger towards certain people blatantly comes through at times. He speaks to some of the female victims but they never become anything more than victims. It’s hard to see anything beyond that. Kraukauer’s book just doesn’t do this subject justice and, more annoyingly, gave me something else to be angry about.

  • The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin
I, like pretty much everyone in the world, is waiting for George R.R. Martin to hurry the fuck up and write the next A Song of Ice and Fire installment. I don’t begrudge George taking his sweet time so I’m not going to do my usual thing and rant about it. I decided to do something positive and read more of his books. The Armageddon Rag sounded right up my alley. With a tale of murder, politics and rock and roll, it was a world away from Westeros and exactly what I wanted. It’s a intricate and interesting story that I was initially sucked right into. Then I remember just how long-winded George can tend to be. I mean the chapters are so fucking long that I can’t stay awake to finish one. It’s too much. At this point I’m 177 pages in and we’ve only just started to get into the murder investigation. The post-60s setting is fascinating history but Martin seems to be getting too bogged down in the politics and violence. I’m sure it will turn out to be relevant but it’s starting to feel like I’m reading another non-fiction book now. Can’t decide if I should push on or pick up something else.
Recently Purchased
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Mainly bought because it’s so fucking beautiful but also because I was interested to see how this played out. It’s not a new idea but there’s something interesting about an ordinary person in an extraordinary environment. Plus, this book has been fucking everywhere and I’m so easily swayed. 
  • Ball by Tara Ison
Yet again I’ve been influenced by the internet: in this case Publisher’s Weekly’s Pick of the Week. I’ve saved most of this list to my Amazon basket but only bought this one so far. As soon as I read about this collection of stories I was fucking frothing at the mouth. They sound dark, creepy and fucking brilliant. Seriously, who can read this synopsis and not want to buy it immediately?
  • Hotels of North America by Rick Moody
Another book I was introduced to on Twitter. I read a not completely favourable review of this somewhere (Flavorwire most probably) but was too captivated by the style to say no. Moody’s novel is written in a series of online hotel reviews by our narrator. When he goes missing we have a fairly in-depth look into his life and thoughts. Probably all style and no substance but what a fucking great style it could be.
  • A fucking Kindle

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