Sunday, August 5, 2007

I'm Suffering From Low Motivation


I don't know if it's the heat, or what, but I haven't been able to motivate myself to write reviews of the last few things I've finished reading. I'm sure I'll get to them, but I might have to lock myself in a room with a laptop to do it. It may also be that the kids are done with day camp, and have no organized activities to keep them busy, so I've had to be camp director around here lately.

I finished On Chesil Beach: A Novel, by Ian McEwan, and mostly enjoyed it. I read Lorrie Moore's first novel, Anagrams, and cried a little. I read a book called Findings, by Kathleen Jamie, a Scottish lecturer in creative writing who lives near where my dad grew up. And I blew through Water for Elephants: A Novel, by Sara Gruen. And The Dud Avocado (New York Review Books Classics), by Elaine Dundy, yet another selection from the NYRB Classics series, made me laugh. But I haven't written about any of them yet.

My son and I are about to read The Kite Rider (no, not "runner"), by Geraldine Mccaughrean, for part of his summer reading project. He has to read a piece of literature set in Asia, and this was one of the suggestions. It is a young adult novel set in 13th century China, and centered around a poor young boy who becomes a circus kite rider, which sounded interesting, so I'm going to read it too. Has anyone heard of this one?

Okay, another reason I haven't written a word lately is that my parents are visiting. My dad picked up my copy of The Glass Castle: A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls, and was completely engrossed within minutes. Later, he was sitting reading it in public, and no less than three women stopped to tell him that they had loved the book. Which proves my theory that a man with a book is mighty attractive.

23 comments:

litlove said...

The heat and lots of holidaying children would be enough to do it, I should think! I loved that Lorrie Moore book when I read it, and the Elaine Dundy too. Just whenever you feel like reviewing them, I'll be interested to know what you thought. No hurry.

Heather said...

Eh, some weeks you just need a break to recharge your batteries. Take it and enjoy it. :)

Dewey said...

I understand that lack of motivation for writing reviews. I'm curious about your opinions of On Chesil Beach. I love McEwan so much, but that was my least favorite of his books, though I read it very fast with great suspense!

Gentle Reader said...

litlove--I laughed as I wrote about my lack of motivation, because it was only as I typed them out that I saw I had plenty of excuses, especially when adding in the visiting parents :)

I loved the Lorrie Moore book, too--emotionally, I found it so very sad, and I also enjoyed the clever "anagram" structure. The Elaine Dundy was funny, and an interesting time capsule. I'll write about both soon, I'm sure...

heather--Thank you, I will! I guess everyone needs a little summer vacation :)

dewey--I had such a mixed reaction to On Chesil Beach, I'll have to write about it, and we can discuss it more. But it sounds like we felt similarly. I love McEwan, too, and label this as my least favorite of his books, also.

Matt said...

I used to review *every* single book i read until I realized I don't have 48 hours a day to do so. :)

Sometimes I feel stagnant about reviewing when I lose interest in reading a book. I'll try to finish it and get over it, but reviewing would be out of the question.

The latest example in this category is The Book of Air and Shadow by Michael Gruber--I enjoyed maybe a portion of it but I'm not crazy about it. I left a blank page in my journal for notes and possibly a review but I have yet to hit the stroke, and I finished it in May.

Bookfool said...

I've been exactly the same! I finally caught up on reviews for my listserv, but they were terrible. I just don't feel like writing, right now. maybe we both need a vacation. Too late, though, for me. Kiddo is about to go back to school.

MyUtopia said...

Join the club, I have no energy to do anything. I heard an interview on NPR
about Kite Runner. I need to move it up on my TBR pile.

jenclair said...

Taking time to write the reviews is a lot less entertaining than the reading itself. I hate it when I postpone the reviews and let them build up because of the time involved in writing when I'd rather be reading. This delaying tactic seems to cycle, though. Nothing wrong with short reviews, either, and some of the books I read don't merit much in the way of reviewing. :(

Gentle Reader said...

matt--you're right, there just aren't enough hours in the day! And timing is everything, for me--if I leave it too long after reading to review it, I lose interest...

bookfool--by the end of the summer I'm usually looking forward to the kids going back to school--gives me just a little more time to myself. But the getting up early part sounds awful right now :)

myutopia--glad I'm not alone :)

jenclair--you've nailed it, it's the postponing writing the reviews that gets me! I just want to be on to reading the next book! Short reviews are going to be my way out of this slump, thanks for the reminder :)

Tara said...

I know what you mean about reviewing books. I finally got to the point where I could review 2, but I'd finished them last week and my thoughts weren't fresh any more. Glad to hear your Dad is enjoying The Glass Castle - I also thought it a wonderful read.

iliana said...

I postpone writing reviews all the time and then I'm scrambling to try to remember anything about the book! So, I feel your pain :)
I say just keep enjoying the books you've read and you'll get to the reviews later. After all this has to be fun right.

Keetha said...

Give yourself a break - it's way hot! When the weather is like this, it always demoralizes me a bit.

I've heard a lot about The Glass Castle. I need to check it out.

Matt said...

I find it very difficult to review book if I procrastinate. Better do it when the plot, the interactions between the characters are still fresh in my mind. After all, as avid readers, we're often entangled in multiple affairs that keep us fascinated but, at the same time, busy.

I seem to have worked up a rhythm to review a book or two every 7-8 days.

Like Jenclair said, some books are just so worth much reviewing at all. Those are the most difficult to deal with because I'll find myself in a dilemma of whether doing a quick review or using the time to read something else.

Gentle Reader said...

tara--my dad whipped through The Glass Castle, finished it in a day. He really liked it, so it's going higher on my list :)

iliana--I'm glad I'm not the only one! But I am still having fun, fortunately :)

keetha--you're so right about the heat. I'm going to go get myself a glass of lemonade :)

matt--I'm with you, I'm much better if I don't procrastinate. As it is, I'm going to have to go back and skim these books again just to remember what I thought!

Robin said...

I think "low motivation" is the sub-title for "August." Perhaps you've reached that point in the summer where you're just living in the moment...enjoying your family, your days, your books, without having to account for any of it.

Melanie said...

I haven't read "Kite Rider" but I do like Geraldine McCaughrean. I read her "White Darkness" set in Antarctica and it was fantastic.

I know what you mean about low motivation, though, and I agree that it must be August!

Buffy said...

Blame it on the weather. It's what I do.

Gentle Reader said...

robin--I love your comment, "low motivation" is the subtitle for "August". You made me laugh, and you're right on the money!

melanie--glad to hear that you like Geraldine McCaughrean, because I'd never heard of her :)

buffy--I will, it's my best excuse :)

Elisa Taub said...

Just ordered The Dud Avocado and am looking forward to it. The only other thing I read this summer was Everyman by Philip Roth which I quite enjoyed other than its depressing nature. I'm hoping this is a good quick read and a nice way to end the summer.

cloudscome said...

I read the Kite Rider last year and I loved it. What a fascinating idea - to put a boy up on a kite in order to scope out the enemy's lines. I lived for two years in the Northeast of China and this book brought back the weather, topography and the history. It's a very exciting read.

I am impressed with how many books you are reading even if you don't feel like writing up reviews. I have been in a slump myself and I agree it must be August.

Gentle Reader said...

elisa--hey there! The Dud Avocado is definitely a lighter way to end your summer--not depressing at all, sometimes quite funny. Let me know what you think!

cloudscome--I'm glad you liked The Kite Rider--I got interested when I read the blur. How fascinating that you lived in Northeast China for two years!

Bellezza said...

I've felt the same way, as you saw in my last post, and thank you for your encouraging words. It must be the heat. Could it be age? :)

Gentle Reader said...

bellezza--I'm sad to say that for me it's both the heat and age. And I can't remember anything, either. Where the heck are my car keys?