Well, it only took me about two years, but I finally finished it! I started reading An American Tragedy when I was still working for KPMG. It’s about a guy who seems to be achieving the american dream, but ends up ruining his life. It appealed to me because, at the time, I wondered if Shane and I were right to put so much value on my career. It’s not as if I was working because I had to. We were making what seemed to us to be an insane amount of money at the time. We were really in love with the idea of all this money. We had many giddy conversations about how much we would be making in 2 years, in 5 years! in 10 years! Things seemed so easy. What a comfort it is to not have to worry about money. But, the thing is, it’s never really enough. The more you have, the more you want. I struggled a lot, wondering if I really was doing the right thing for my family. In the end, I don’t regret trying to have a career. I’m so glad that I did. I would otherwise be constantly questioning if I would be happier if I did work. Having lived it, I can honestly say, that is not what I want. It’s too bad it took a miscarriage to make us realize that. But, I’m glad Shane and I were, at least, not too far gone to see that.
So, anyway, about the book 🙂 I really couldn’t identify with the main character as well as I thought I would be able to. I found him weak and shallow and moving about life without much thought. I might be weak, but I certainly don’t move through life without much thought. And also the writing. Oh, the writing. At first, I loved the seemingly endless sentences. It was like reading poetry in a way. The author would go on and on about the smallest details. I could almost feel like I was there, if I read most diligently. But, after a few hundred pages of this… it got old. And so, it took me two years to finish. But, I finished. Yay me!.
I don’t usually watch Oprah, but I happened to catch an episode last week, in which she talked about a movie she co-produced called Precious. It’s about a fat black girl who’s abused and has kids really young. I sensed that she overcame what ever issues she had, so I borrowed Push (aka Precious) from the library. I’m a sucker for a story about someone who overcomes difficulties. It’s very short, about 150 pages. So, I finished it in a day.
It was traumatic, disgusting, sad, horrific. I cringed at the things her parents did to her. How totally ignorant she was. But, I had to keep reading because I just couldn’t read those awful things and not know that she somehow overcame them. And she did. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie.
I just got Perfect Hostage from the library. It’s about Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma. I’m mildly interested in Burma because when I was a docent at the Library of Congress, I met an older man who was from Burma. He was also a docent. He was extremely nice and gentle. One of those guys that you wish was your grandpa. He was missing his left arm and said he used to be an official in the Burmese government. I really wanted to ask him so many questions. How did you lose your arm? What did you do for the government? How did you leave Burma? Was your family able to leave also? But, I didn’t. I was afraid I would cause him to recall terrible memories. But, I really enjoyed talking with him (about ordinary things) because he seemed so remarkable to me. Whatever happened to him, he didn’t allow it to poison him. He was so kind. I just found that so amazing.
I’ve only read the intro so far. I think I’m really going to enjoy this one.