Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Reading Post!

I have some wonderful news. I have been diagnosed with hypotension, which is a fancy way of saying I have ridiculously low blood pressure. Today I told my friend I was “hypoglycemic.” I became confused as to why she kept bringing up sugar levels, and then I fainted. Such is the life of a hypotensive. The doctor told me to increase salt intake, and practically wrote me a prescription for all the pistachios I can consume in a single sitting. Pistachios might be my all-time favorite food, right after frosting and butter.

Dizziness is the enemy of standing, so I’ve been getting started on my summer reading. Right now, I’m in the middle of three books, and am slowly compiling a list I want to tackle over the next couple of months. They include:

Paris in Love by Eloisa James: James is a Shakespeare professor and a writer of romance novels. She and her family left their U.S. home to spend a year in Paris. This book mainly comprises the Facebook status updates she wrote over the course of the year, along with some essays. I’m halfway through the book and find it charming, and also I am thoroughly jealous. (How annoying would that be, by the way, to get a daily reminder of your friend’s glorious life in the city of light, eating cheese and crème de fraiche and visiting art museums and sipping hot chocolate under the Eiffel Tower. I don’t know what crème de fraiche is, but it sounds delightful. )

Faith by Jennifer Haigh: I’m about 30 pages into this and, from what I gather, it’s about a sister whose brother, a priest, behaved badly. We’ll leave it at that.

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian: This is supposed to be creepy- a good old fashioned ghost story? I wish I knew how to pronounce Bohjalian.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: I’ve never read it. I have, however, often sung the song by The Police that refers to this book. I’m always surprised they play that song on the radio. It’s quite subversive.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker: Ms. Hatmaker simplifies her life seven different ways. (Gwyneth Paltrow’s severed head does not make an appearance in this book.) I am looking to simplify MY life! Maybe Ms. Hatmaker, who has an even cooler last name than Nabokov and Bohjalian, can help!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Everyone is talking about this book, written by popular suspense novelist Ms. Flynn. I’m trying to expand into some genre fiction for fun, after a disastrous attempt at reading a David Foster Wallace novel, and this has been described as “addictive.” (Infinite jest, my foot.)

Middlemarch by George Eliot: An old favorite that needs to be revisited.

I am open to suggestions! My book choices as of late have been uninspiring. Ho-hum. Blasé. What book(s) have grabbed your fancy as of late? (I’ve read The Hunger Games, The Help, and 50 Shades of Grey.)

Yes, the nice Christian girl read (most) of 50 Shades of Grey. (Did she skip ahead to the sex parts? Why yes, yes she did.)

In case you are totally out of touch with popular culture, 50 Shades of Grey is about a super-rich guy who meets a bland virgin who bites her lip a lot. Guess what drives the rich guy absolutely CRAZY with desire? When our virginal protagonist bites her lip. Like, so crazy that he wants to spank her. And she’s left with this decision- do I let super rich guy spank me every time I bite my lip, or do I hold on to my self-respect? And that, essentially, is the plot of the story. I’m not even joking.

I tried out the biting my lip thing on John and it didn’t go over well. He wanted to know what was wrong with me.

“This is supposed to drive you mad with desire!” I exclaimed.

“You’re weird. Are you fainting again?”

Why yes, yes I am.

I do not recommend this book. Why did I read it? Because I am curious, naturally, and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
I submit that if the book had been about a gas attendant with a secret sex room in his basement, it would have probably been a suspense novel by James Patterson. Alas, what 50 Shades of Grey shows us is that lots of money makes anything seem… sexy. (Imagine a dramatic step off of a very tall soapbox now.)

And this concludes my summer reading post!


Toaster said...

Holly, I have low blood pressure too! I've never officially been diagnosed with hypotension, but I do have a history of passing out. ;) Luckily, it has been awhile, but I ALWAYS have to be careful when I'm getting up quickly to a standing position, especially if I have been crouching. I also have to make sure I don't get over-heated in the type of weather we're having right now (ironically, I am usually always cold!). Hope your own low BP isn't causing you too many problems.

Julie said...

I agree about 50 Shades! I totally read it, got annoyed at the repetitive bad writing, yet continued to finish the books. I've recently enjoyed Expecting Adam, The Kitchen House, and The Paris Wife. Happy reading!!

Amanda Gibson said...

I'm adding these books to my list! Right now I have NO time for reading - but hopefully come September I'll have lots of time for reading and laziness. Not that reading makes you lazy. I'm just really looking forward to that combination of things. It sounds SO much more fun than landscaping and hauling rocks and....landscaping.

Toaster said...

I should have responded about the actual books, but alas, I haven't read any of them. However I thought Bohjalian's Midwives was a bit choppy, although not bad: (And I guess I just thought his name was bow-ja-lean, but I could be wrong.)

Now, for the good news--isn't it nice that we can both have as much salt as we want? ;)

Holly said...

I'm wondering if you get dizzy doing your yoga moves...

I read Midwives years ago. It certainly made me decide that home births were out of the question, I'll tell you what.

Toaster said...

LOL about home birth!

No, I've never gotten dizzy during yoga, but Bikram is out of the question for me!!! :p

Elizabeth said...

I have low blood pressure too... as a "condition" it gets very little respect I think :-)
I just finished reading How to be an American Housewife and I loved it. I also re read the Great Gatzby so I could see the film and compare (the last time I read it I was 17 and in high school.
I have been given 50 shades TWICE (do peeps think I need help?) and haven't got past the first page ...

Heidi said...

Have you read The Giver and it's two following books in the trilogy? I didn't even know The Giver was the first in a trilogy until recently. I loved The Giver, have heard great things about the following two and thus plan to read them.