Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 Fail Pile #1: The Marriage Plot

I was supposed to love The Marriage Plot. It’s about a girl who just graduated college and who is trying to figure out what to do next. She’s an English major at Brown, taking a class on semiotics, which involves a lot of what I’m writing about in my Thesis Monster. There are also constant literary references to books and such that I understand because, well, I was an English major. She’s a lot like me when I was in college.
So why can’t I get through this book?
I really have no idea, but I’m almost two weeks in (and behind schedule for my 50), I’m only 40% through, and now I’ve lost interest. I even thought about scanning through the rest of the novel just to see what happens, but I don’t even care enough to do that. I guess my biggest problem with it is the part I should enjoy: all of the literary references. And they were great for a while, but at the point where I stopped, that’s all there is. Nothing’s happening but a list of authors and books and ideas. It’s like the Ready Player One of literary references, and I’m bored.
I’ve also been very busy. I got married on Tuesday, and Palmer and I are looking into buying a house soon. Books aren’t exactly at the top of my list right now. And the tight 50-book schedule is kind of wearing on me. I got through more than half of them last year before I had a job and before I got engaged, moved in with Palmer, and got married. Trying to read through books so quickly has made me choose books that are shorter than I want, and I have to read them so quickly that I don’t really enjoy them. Which makes me think it might be a good time to say, well, if I don’t read 50 books this year, that’s okay. I’d rather enjoy what I do read.
So I’ve put down The Marriage Plot, for now, anyway, and picking up Ethan Frome. I don’t think I’ve ever read any Wharton, and I’ve been meaning to for a long time. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s okay not to read it really quickly and that I don’t need to catch up to my schedule. We’ll see what happens.

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