After almost three years under my belt (time flies :/) of teaching, I finally feel pretty comfortable with the hectic day-to-day mechanics of lesson plans, grading, communication, etc.
What I missed the most about my daily “me” time when I was so overwhelmed my first two years was reading. No, reading textbooks, lesson plans or rubrics most definitely does not fill the same niche as reading stories. But I was so totally brain-dead at the end of every school day that it was completely pointless to even attempt a novel.
This year, I’ve been back in my normal routine at about a book a month and am loving the escape a good read provides. Several months ago, I picked up Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri at a used bookstore. I must not have been paying attention upon purchase (or maybe forgot between purchase time and commencement of reading), but this is a collection of short stories instead of one novel. I’ve never been really a short story kind of gal. I dutifully read Hemingway’s collection and all the ones we read in school, too. But I’ve always loved getting really lost in a novel as opposed to becoming involved in characters’ lives only to get cut short twenty to thirty too short pages later. Here’s what the cover looks like in case you happen upon a copy ~
Yeah, yeah, I know we were all taught to not judge books by their respective covers, but something imparted to me cerebral, slowly-paced, introspective stories after looking upon this cover. Which was maybe why I didn’t pick it up right away. Not that I don’t like books that make me think, but sometimes you just want to escape, you know?
Well, Lahiri, in my unprofessional (but avid) reader’s opinion, has perfected the short story. I devoured the first about a married couple of Indian heritage and was so sad when it ended (not because it ended but because it was so sad), and am enraptured by the second, the story of a little American girl, daughter of two parents from India that have a friendship with a visiting Pakistani professor during a time of great conflict between the two countries. I had to force myself to close the book last night well after 10 o’clock even though my eyes were burning from fatigue.
I wanted to share this book recommendation with you (in case you haven’t already discovered Lahiri’s prose) and of course also ask you for any additional recommendations! Summer reading is around the corner 🙂