Books or Bust: Day 7

As is going to become exceedingly obvious from this exercise, I am terrible at reading only one book at a time. So, here goes . . .

Title: Wayside School Is Falling Down
Author: Louis Sachar
Progress Report: Complete

I don’t have anything to add here except this quote from Mrs. Jewls:

The more love you give away, the more you have left. (95)

This remains a fun read, even now that I am an adult.

Title: Save Me the Waltz
Author: Zelda Fitzgerald
Progress Report: Page 77/203

Finally falling into the cadence of this book. Plus, I ran across this quote which pretty much sums up how I’ve felt about my own identity for a long while:

I am only really myself when I’m somebody else whom I’ve endowed with these wonderful qualities from my imagination. (75)

Fitzgerald gives this line to her protagonist, Alabama Beggs, aboard a ship en route to Europe. She’s flirting (maybe?) with an Englishman who is most certainly flirting with her, but it put me in mind of a vlog a friend recently posted about the performative element of battling depression and social anxiety while trying to engage with other people.

These are two different sides of the same method of social interaction. Whereas Alabama gleefully embraces this semi-fictional persona, Paul (the vlogger) struggles to reconcile authentic engagement with a need to apply some elements of pretend in order to socialize at all. (Thanks, Paul, for sharing this. It’s so utterly relatable that it hurts.)

Title: Mythology
Author: Edith Hamilton
Progress Report: 48/330

Edith Hamilton’s Mythology was required reading for senior English (I think) at my high school for many years. I remember seeing copies of it around during my early years there. By the time I was a senior, though, the teacher had retired, and the curriculum had changed. Or maybe I just didn’t take the class . . .

Since high school didn’t take me through Hamilton’s book, I’m making up for lost time by diving in now. Bonus: Today, a friend loaned me . . .

Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Progress Report: Page 37/588

Gaiman’s book came highly recommended by a number of trusted reading pals. I’m especially excited to read it alongside Hamilton’s Mythology. Not much to report at this time except that I was almost late from lunch because I was sitting in the sun reading.

All in all, a great day of reading. For more on Books or Bust, here’s an introduction.

What are you reading?

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