After finishing two books in the past two days - Stoner by John Williams and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo - it feels like I'm at loose ends. There are literally stacks of books surrounding me, yet I am unable to move on.
Stoner is a beautifully written, incredibly moving character study. A true five star read, it has earned a place on my list of all-time favorite books. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is narrative nonfiction at its best. A sobering look at life in a Mumbai slum, it's an important book, but at times devastatingly sad and difficult to read.
So, now what? Last night I read the first chapter of several novels I would expect to enjoy under normal circumstances but, in light of these recent reads, they seemed trite and uninteresting. In the end, I turned on the television instead.
Later, I had trouble falling asleep and decided to listen to an audiobook. Scrolling through the titles in my library, I came across Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (possibly my favorite novel) and listened to a couple of chapters. Perfection! I'm long overdue for a reread, but it's going to be a read/listen combination this time around. Thank you, Wallace Stegner... my bookish hangover is cured.
P.S. I plan to review both Stoner and Behind the Beautiful Forevers soon.