|Posted by Michele Zurlo on June 9, 2012 at 6:10 AM|
For this summer, I've decided to read nonfiction. I have a whole box full of library books and about ten more on my Kindle. It's been awhile since I've read nonfiction, much less on purpose. The last time I was in a lesbian book club. We read all sorts of wonderful (and not so wonderful) books. Most of them were nonfiction. This was eight-ish years ago, and there's not a lot of lesbian fiction out there that's worth reading.
At any rate, the state and national standards (at my other job) are driving us toward a focus on nonfiction. This is difficult for someone like me who loves teaching novels like The Outsiders, Seedfolk, The Lightning Thief, Code Orange, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, just to name a few. I wonder if I resist nonfiction because I write fiction and have nothing to say on the 'yes-it's-true' front? My life is pretty boring. I work a lot and hang with my family the rest of the time. I could live with never going on vacation and very little outside socialization. As I say that, I admit that I have friends over regularly, and I quite enjoy their company.
Other than because I'm looking for some good nonfiction to use with my 12-14 year old students, why would I dedicate a whole summer to reading nonfiction? Because there are some darn good books out there now. I meant to grab 2-3 titles yesterday as the Media Center at school was closing down (I take books home for the summer.) I ended up with about 25. While watching my girls' swim practice and swim meets this week, I started Born to Run, which is about that tribe in Mexico who run all the time. I resisted for a long time because I don't run and I'm not all that into reading about obscure cultures. Don't judge me. Not a lot of people are.
Surprisingly, it's a very, very good book. It's told in a narrative format, which helps reel in people like me who need to be entertained if they're going to learn anything new. (I blame Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. They make the news so much more palatable.) The author of Born to Run, whose name escapes me just now, has a very strong voice. He's wry and witty and self-deprecating. He compares running to sex. He embraces the insane. For all those reasons, I find myself enjoying the book. I'll post a review on GoodReads when I finish it. Probably.
In the meantime, my other goal is to finish three novels. I have 75K written on the follow up to Re/Bound (Keith's story), 25K written on Letting Go 2 (I always said I wouldn't, but this idea was too good not to write.), and 50K on Undisclosed Desires (a full-length novel that takes place at Oasis headquarters.) Each of them should end up at around 100K by the time I finish, so I'm off now to work, work, work. I won't even mention all the home improvement goals in the list on my refrigerator.