Burying myself in books

I just learned about the Dakota Pipeline decision, and it feels awfully nice to see some good news right now. These days, I just can’t understand much about the world around me, and it feels like things are so much worse than I ever realized, and only getting worse.

So, the tabling of the pipeline is very welcome indeed. I can’t even imagine what it feels like to the residents of that area, those whose lives were the most intimately impacted by this saga.

All the societal upheaval right now is happening at a time when I’m experiencing personal upheaval, which is inconvenient, but there it is. Time and tide wait for no woman. The world doesn’t toe the line just because I’m in a rough patch.

Not that I haven’t been a rough patch for a while, it’s just a slightly different part of the patch, a more revelatory part, and hopefully that means I’m headed out of the rough patch.

It has simply been tough to navigate how much to pay attention to the outside world and how much to focus inward. There’s a delicate balance somewhere, and I’m hovering near it, but still having to make adjustments.

I’m doing a lot of reading lately, some online, but mainly an assortment of fiction and nonfiction books that I’m juggling. It’s helping me to cope with stress.

I try to alternate content to keep from getting to overwhelmed by information. I also have to switch it up based on where I’m reading; a large, heavy hardcover from the library – out of which I’m jotting down notes into a spiral notebook – is not the best choice for bathtub reading (another highly effective stress-reduction technique). I prefer paperbacks for that.

What I’m currently reading:

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cover image courtesy goodreads.com

Actually, I just finished The Magicians this evening. I was reading it out loud to my husband. (This is a lovely activity that I recommend over TV-watching, not that we don’t do our fair share of that.) We own the boxed set of Lev Grossman’s trilogy, and The Magician King is next.

I’m also reading Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery.

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This one was recommended to me. It’s quite good, but it’s an interlibrary loan, and not the only one I have, so I’m probably not going to finish this copy. I think I’m going to end up buying it.

The other interlibrary loan I’m currently reading, which is due back on the 10th of this month, is another PTSD-related book, also recommended to me (by the same person).

18693771Bessel van der Kolk is a colleague of Judith Herman, and their books are similar, though The Body Keeps the Score is more in depth and much more recent. It’s another one I think I’ll have to buy, since it’s full of very useful information and I likely won’t finish it by the time it’s due.

I finished another book today, this one by myself, by Margaret Atwood.

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I bought The Heart Goes Last at a thrift store recently, with four other books. I paid $1 for the bunch. I decided to reread The Handmaid’s Tale first, since that’s going to be a series on Hulu soon. (How exciting is that??!)

I much prefer that one to the more recent “speculative fiction” story. Margaret Atwood definitely does creepily plausible near-futuristic scenarios very well. The Heart Goes Last jumped around, in my opinion, and wasn’t quite as chilling as The Handmaid’s Tale, but it was still entertaining and unsettling.

I’m not sure what I’m going to choose as my next novel. I have A Tree Grows in Brooklyn off the bookshelf and on deck, but also Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, and Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend – none of which I have read yet, and all of which are my own personal copy.

I’ll just have to see where my mood takes me tomorrow when I get in the bath.

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