It’s Monday, September 21st. What Are You Reading?


Hi. I’m alive(ish). House stuff has kind of calmed down over the last week, which has been great, but I’ve still been pretty busy and haven’t been reading nearly as much as usual. I registered to take the GRE next month, so now that’s hanging over my head. I took it once before starting my Master’s program, but that was over five years ago, which means the scores are no longer valid. You guys, I am just so not great at math, and a month is nowhere near the time I need to learn everything I should have learned since, oh sixth grade. I’m just crossing my fingers I can rock it out on analytical writing and verbal reasoning. My application for grad school is due three days before we close on our new house, so…yeah, smushy brain.

All of this looming stuff is making it pretty difficult to focus, even though I’ve had a little more time this week, but I finally finished both Black Earth and The Heart Goes Last. Despite my worry over nonfiction not holding my attention, I decided to pick up The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which seems to be going okay. And I couldn’t resist all the mixed, sometimes glowing reviews I heard of Lauren Groff’s Fates and FuriesI had to grab it from the library.

There’s an added bit of fun here in Richmond this week: the UCI Road World Championships have taken over the city. I don’t follow cycling, but this is a pretty big deal and it’s fun to see the whole city rally around such a big event (despite our moaning about road closures). The last few races will run through our neighborhood over the weekend, so we’ll be setting up and checking them out.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

  • Good luck on your GRE and sorting out the house. I’m sure you’ll get back into a normal reading habit soon.

  • I can’t imagine how you’re reading with the GRE and the house closing… I’m impressed! I haven’t finished a book (or blogged a thing) in weeks between travel and running and work, and I’m not even moving. Best of luck on the GRE–I’m sure you’ll rock it! And looking forward to hearing what you thought of the Atwood.

  • Lindsey Stefan

    I am with you on the math thing! It is not my strongest subject…but I would never say anything like that to my kids! I hope they escape the math phobia that I have.

    Can’t wait to hear what you think of Fates and Furies!

    • I just saw a video today that showed how they teach kids math differently now and it seems so much easier – I hope it makes math more enjoyable for your kiddos!

  • Oh my gosh – you have so much going on! Good luck with the GRE studying…I’m not so hot at math either, my verbal and math GMAT scores were over 100 points apart! Can’t wait to hear what you think of F&F. And – I’ve been hearing so much about this cycling event…even though I don’t really follow it either, I always love a big deal sports event, so hope you get to see some racing!

    • That’s how my scores were the last time I took the GRE! My quantitative scores were such an embarrassment…I feel like it’s going to be pretty similar this time. The bike event is cool! Especially because there are visitors from all over the world – makes it a pretty fun thing to see.

  • JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    I’m surprised you rereading at all – yikes!! Fates and Furies is getting so much buzz right now… had to put my name on the library hold list. Should get it sometime this fall. Good luck studying!

  • Kay

    Wow! Lots going on. I’m interested in Fates and Furies. Good luck with your math stuff. Actually, I’m better at the math than the other. Go figure. Somehow, most of it just clicks with me. I’m sure that you will be wonderfully. Oh, and good luck with all the house stuff as well. Take care.

    • I *so* wish I could be a math person! Every once in a while I’ll hit a problem that clicks and it really is an awesome feeling – just need it to happen a little more often :)

  • I’m amazed you even found time to read with your busy schedule! I hope all goes well. Black Earth and Fates and Furies both sound interesting and look forward to reading what you thought of them. Have a great week!

    • I can’t wait to have a little more time with Fates and Furies, I’m desperate to know what all the buzz is about!

  • I am confident you will rock your GRE. Just think about how nice it will be to have it done. Choose a great book to read as your reward. :)
    BTW, I’m hoping you loved the Atwood? Just checkin’.
    Fates and Furies is waiting for me at the library right now…

    • I didn’t love, love the new Atwood, but it’s a good read and it definitely has a ton to turn over in regards to gender. Worth reading, for sure.

  • I’ll be starting Fates and Furies this week as well (hopefully!) I’m really looking forward to it! Good luck on your GRE!

    • I’m totally looking forward to reading it, too – I can’t resist a book that has a ton of buzz and some mixed reviews, I have to know what it’s all about.

  • Gina

    I’m 150 pages into Fates and Furries and reserved about my feelings for and about it. I can say that I’m very “hooked”.

    • I’ve heard the same from SO many people, but have also heard there’s a switch about halfway through worth hanging on for!

      • Gina

        And I’m there! At the switch!

  • Maybe if we combine our two smush brains, we’d have one fully-functioning brain. I feel you, lady, and I don’t even have house things to worry about!

    I’ll begin burning some sacrifices for your own math section. I think I already told you in another comment, but on my second practice test, my math performance went down significantly. D’oh.

    I hope your books turn out well this week, but I totally won’t blame you if you don’t get a single page read. I had some time to churn through some SORCERER TO THE CROWN this weekend, but other than that, audio books have been the only thing saving my butt on the reading front.

    • Ugh, I don’t know if it would be possible for my math score to go down from my first practice test. I’ve been watching some YouTube videos, but I’m so scared to take another!

  • Anita LeBeau

    I’ve been absent from blog reading so I didn’t know about the move…congrats, I’ll need to back track and read up. Wishing you the best with the GRE, one good thing is that you get immediate results, not that nagging waiting for scores.
    I just started Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg, I think it’s going to be gut wrenching, in a good way.
    Happy reading.

  • Ti Reed

    Good luck with the GRE! I am not good at math either. I am not sure what I’d do if I had to take a test like that now. I know Khan Academy helps quite a bit but yeah, how can you learn what you need in such a short time? I hope you do well!!

    • I’ve been giving videos like Khan Academy a shot today and they’ve been a great help – I’m definitely a visual person and kind of zone out staring at math in a book, so they might be the way to go for me.

  • Vasilly

    Oh wow. You have so much going on right now! I’m crossing my fingers with you on the GRE and everything else. Good luck.

  • I don’t envy you on taking the GRE but wish you luck and know you’ll knock it out of the park. I’m one of the lucky ones who didn’t have that requirement when I got my Masters. Ti Reed is right about Khan Academy being extremely helpful. You’ll do great, I’m sure.

  • UGH! I soooooooo hated the GRE (and I had no idea it wasn’t valid after 5 years)! What are you going back to school for?

    • I didn’t know there was a five year limit either! I’m applying to do a PhD in Special Education and Disability Policy – fingers crossed :)

  • Math…ugh. I know I studied some before taking the GRE (that seems like so long ago!) and, thankfully, I managed to squeeze by with my other, non-math related, skills – ha! I’m sure you’ll do great; study what you can, when you can, considering all you have going on right now. I’m loving The Heart Goes Last; I can’t wait to see how this is going to end. A cycling event that travels through your neighborhood? Sweet! That’ll be fun to watch, for sure!

    • I totally squeezed by the last time I took it, so I know it’s possible, but I’m hoping my math skills haven’t deteriorated even more since then!

  • How are you liking Fates and Furies? I have been hearing such great things about it.

    Good luck with all of your studying!! I am sure you are going to rock the GRE, and the house stuff will just fall into line.

    Have a great week!

    • I’m less than 50 pages in and really loving the writing. I heard it has a slow start, but it’s more engaging than I expected.

  • Good luck with the GRE. I’m sure you’ll do great. Don’t let the math intimidate you… it’s just numbers. :)

  • Good luck on the GRE! No matter what happens at the end, and I’m sure you’ll do just fine, at least it will be over (that’s what I told myself, haha). I’ve spent the last few weeks starting grad school, so life is also insane over here :)

    I’ve heard really interesting things about The New Jim Crow, and look forward to hearing what you think. I picked up Between The World and Me this weekend, and hopefully will get to it soon. Hope all goes well for you this month!

    • I will be SO glad when it’s over! Ohh, I can only imagine how batty things must be for you just a few weeks in – hopefully things calm down a bit soon!

  • What’s a GRE? Good luck regardless, and with moving. Just done it and feel like I will never finish unpacking. Have a good week.

    • It’s the Graduate Records Exam – a test most graduate schools have set as an admissions requirement….and not fun ;)
      Good luck with the unpacking!

  • The GRE math is just basic math–with a review I’m sure you’ll be just fine! :) I’m reading Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin. Well written–the first 70 pages were shocking. Don’t know when I’ve hated a character as much as I hate Hunter… Then back to The Joy Luck Club for the Check-in #3 and more Gone With the Wind! :)

    • Oh, you overestimate my math skills ;)
      I was FLOORED by the beginning of Golden Boy, too. That’s something you just never see coming.

  • Oh yeah the bike races are major! We happened to see them last year in Florence by just coincidence. But they should be really good, even though it’ll likely shut down a lot of the city. Hope you get a chance to check them out! cheers.

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