marginalia || The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

I admit there’s some glee in typing that rhyming title. Anyhoo. I wanted to like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, I really did. I figured, I’d always wanted to read this, so why not read it? Hello to the New Year, and all that jazz? My mom got it for me for some Post-Christmas loving, and we had a round of rock-paper-scissors to see who would read it first. I won.

I’ve been stalled around page 120 for days now, and that really pisses me off, haha. I’m a fast reader: I usually sit down with romance novels four-five hours, literary fiction’s from ten hours (as with Revolutionary Road) to overnight (as with The Post-Birthday World). The longer a book stays in my “Currently Reading” side of the nightstand (or floor, as the case may be when I’m at The Boyfriend’s), the more likely I won’t ever find the drive to finish it. I’m a momentum-reliant kind of reader, I suppose.*

It’s not entirely the book’s fault. I mean, the holidays officially came to a close this morning; tomorrow, school begins again for me. I have a ton of work I need to catch up on, midterms and long tests and readings galore.

Then again, it’s not entirely my fault either, haha. The language requires me to adjust to it, for one thing, although I think I bypassed that problem pretty quickly. Even the bits of Spanish threaded into the narrative weren’t that much of a bother. It was bearable. It was okay. It was okay.

And I think that’s one more reason why I need to put this book down, at least for the meantime: I know this is a good book, and I want to like it. And I can’t trust my judgment of MEH right now, with all the crap cluttering my life. So. Some other time, perhaps–I’ll get back to you, dear, I swear.


* With exceptions, of course–I tend to read short story collections/anthologies over a period of weeks, sometimes months–My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead, for example, or Chekhov’s Ward No.06 and Other Stories. I suppose it’s because I like savoring short fiction. And most of the short stories I read are kick-ass (oh, my conceit, haha) that I need to pace myself. I mean, the last time I read a collection straight through, it was No One Belong’s Here More Than You by Miranda July, and man, did I get drunk on that one.

12 thoughts on “marginalia || The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

  1. I think I’m also a momentum reader, which is why I tend to shy away from longer books – if I”m reading a book that takes me longer than a week, then I generally start to get antsy and start thinking about reading anything else.

    Sorry to hear this one didn’t work for you, at least not for now. I have it sitting in my TBR pile… hopefully I’ll have better luck!

    1. You being a momentum reader makes me feel less guilty for setting this aside, :] I think one reason why I read so fast is I don’t want to let go of books that I might just like. :]

  2. I’ll be honest and tell you I don’t really like Junot Diaz. To the point where I don’t even try. I do, however, like your footnote.

    1. Another confession: I’m scared that I don’t actually like Junot Diaz at all, but just trying so hard to. Gasp.

      That footnote’s something I want to explore more. But my brain’s fried at the moment. So. Yeah. Some other time, haha.

    1. I need to learn how to make grand exits like that. I think I just oh-so-bashfully tucked the book back into the shelf, and slunk away. Another one to add to the resolution then.

  3. I completely understand. I can get through long books no problem when the mood is right, but I, too, have always thought of myself as a fast reader, and when I don’t read something fast, I resent the book. It’s an ego thing, and sometimes it really isn’t the book’s fault! Got to try to stick with more challenging reads this year.

    1. Yes, yes. I just feel so guilty sometimes, though, about not finishing a book. Even if I’m almost certain I’ll pick it back up eventually. :]

      Hope you had a great holiday season. :]

  4. I’ve just finished reading this book, and I really enjoyed it. So I’m actually glad that you’ve put it down for another day, pending less hectic times.. =)

    Anyway, just thought I’d let you know I tagged you in a meme. Have been reading your blog here for a while (I’m a lurker.. shh..).

    Good luck with your studies!

    1. Hi, Michelle! *manic waving* I’ll get back to Diaz, though I don’t know when yet. :]

      Also, thanks for tagging me–I’ll be responding to the meme aaaaany minute now, haha. And, goodness, but thanks for lurking, hahaha!

  5. I think this one is the kind of book for which you have to be in the mood. It’s been sitting on the pile for a while, waiting for its moment.

    1. I’m resigned that I was only in the mood for the first 120 pages. Can’t wait when that right moment will come, though. In the meantime, I have to deal with the fact that I actually set it aside, haha.

      Thanks for dropping by. :]


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