I haven’t done as much reading as I would have liked this past week, owing in large part to the gradual, mass-scale invasion that is (er, was now) my college graduation. But I did swing in to Barnes & Noble one day this week to give my Rewards card a workout, and bought Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. I began Unaccustomed Earth today as a nice break from some of the longer books I’ve been reading recently. It’s my first Lahiri, though I’ve owned The Namesake for nearly a year now.
Reading the first of the stories in this book, also titled “Unaccustomed Earth” has made me hungry to read the rest, and I suspect it won’t be long before I cross this book off as having been read entirely. Lahiri’s images are elegant in their simplicity, and I can’t help being drawn in by her. I can almost feel Ruma’s emotions as she’s going through this new and awkward phase of her life, which itself is a testament to the power of Lahiri’s writing, because I have yet to reach that stage of my life (and have different cultural values). I’m very impressed with her so far. I’ve made it my goal, though, not to read more than one of the short stories in a day. I think it’s important to give them time to set in, without immediately crowding my mind with images and emotions from the other stories.
In other news, I am currently on track to finish The End of the Affair by Graham Greene this week, and it will be nice to be able to cross that one off my list as well. I’ve got some really mixed feelings about it. It’s dragged for me in some places, but in others, it’s been a very good read. Definitely worth it.