20 books and 20 lbs (week 23): Salman-ella

Well, I can finally say I finished book #4: “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie. And holy cow, was that a slog. I haven’t had this much trouble reading a book since I started {unnamed Harry Potter knockoff that I got for free at a movie theater and put down as fast as I picked it up}.

So, here’s the deal with “Midnight’s Children”: simultaneous with the birth of India as an independent nation, hundreds of children are born whose destiny are tied to their homeland in a unique and magical way. One of these children, born almost exactly at the stroke of midnight, is Saleem Sanai – a character who is equal parts what he can do on his own and what can be done to him by others. He seems to be a fairly irredeemable person, in a book filled (primarily) with similarly irredeemable people. Innocents are trampled into the dust in one way or another in Saleem’s rambling, long-winded, and often overbaked descriptions of…just about everything. When I complained to DH about how difficult it was to get through this book, he explained that Rushdie is a writer who writes as though he likes the sound of his own (written) voice. I can definitely vouch for that. The book has some flashes of amazing imagery, barely peppering an otherwise completely overwritten tome. Tipping the scales at more than 500 pages (for the paperback version I read), “Midnight’s Children” spends a long time going seemingly nowhere, and then it concludes unsatisfactorily within the span of about 15 pages.

If you’re a fan of Rushdie’s, then more power to you. The only other book of his that I’ve made it through successfully was “Haroun and the Sea of Stories”, and that was A LOT shorter. Plus, I was reading for a book club..so the time pressure to finish it was way higher.

Of course, I’m also a bit behind. We’re nearly halfway through the year, and I’m only starting book #5. That’s a bit troubling. For those following along at home, my new read is “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson (aka “The Bloggess”). I’m not quite 100 pages in, and already I’m in love with her in a massive way. She’s funny, self-deprecating, and completely off-the-wall…but her writing (even when it rambles) makes FUN of the fact that it’s rambling and riffs off it like it’s just another joke. In other words, it’s completely self-aware writing, in a way that poor Rushdie just can’t possibly match. Yes, I said that Jenny Lawson is a better writer than Salman Rushdie. As someone who a few months ago raved about how awesome Dickens was, let’s just assume I’m not talking completely out of turn, eh?

I have a whole stack of other books to get to, with an all-star lineup including (more!) Warren Ellis and (new!) Neil Gaiman, so I’m very excited to continue my book challenge post-Rushdie. Man, it’s like I have PTSD from reading that book.

On to better times, eh? Let’s talk about weight loss…or not.

So, I haven’t been losing a ton of weight, but I haven’t been gaining, either, so that’s a good thing. I’m about 8lbs down from where I was at the start of the year, and I’ve been the same weight for the last three weigh-ins. Partially spurred by summer (yeay!!!) and partially by a desire to try something new, I’m drinking iced tea at dinner every night. It’s a tall glass (probably about 10-12 oz) of unsweetened decaffeinated iced tea. Frankly, this weekend was too nice NOT to bust out the pretty glass pitcher and make some sun tea, and I figured that if I drink more at dinner, perhaps I’ll eat less. So far, it’s working. I find that the combination of the tea and the food is keeping me to a single plate with no seconds on anything – and still feeling full without feeling overfull.

Of course, I don’t think this is a fad diet (I’m not planning on switching to some diet where all I do is drink tea), and I’m perfectly content to drink my iced tea unsweetened (that’s how I prefer it, actually), so it’s not like I’m adding calories. If anything, all I’m doing is adding extra water. I doubt I’ll keep this going indefinitely; more likely, I’ll switch back to water only at dinner but work hard to get through an entire glass at each meal instead of nursing it over the course of the entire evening.

I’ve kept up with the plankaday almost every single day (only two skips – once due to illness and once due to exhaustion unrelated to illness), reaching 2:00 for six straight weeks of planks. It’s pretty crazy to think where I started and where I’ve gone. I still have a belly, but I blame that on my love of ice cream o’clock…and I’m just not ready to let go of some things yet.

But, halfway through the year and I’m nearly halfway to my weight loss goal, but only about a quarter of the way in my reading goal. Time to get a move on, on all fronts, I’d say.

4 thoughts on “20 books and 20 lbs (week 23): Salman-ella

  1. Pingback: 20 books and 20 lbs (week 28): The weight of it all | CrunchyMetroMom

  2. Pingback: 20 books & 20 lbs (week 52): Goals met and missed | CrunchyMetroMom

  3. Pingback: 21 books and 10 lbs (week 28): Overdue books | CrunchyMetroMom

  4. Pingback: 20 books and 20 lbs (week 26): Can I have progress, maybe? | CrunchyMetroMom

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