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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon: On early morning reading in bed

The Sunday

I've been up since 6 am (not that early for me nowadays) and reading Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In. It's been a while since I've read anything in bed in the morning - a time when the world around you is still asleep and only the dog is also awake (but then she's awake whenever any human is awake so that she can demand that they pet her).

I started off the morning with reading a little about superheroes and their origins - part of an online course I signed up for on edX. I love watching superhero movies, I wish I were introduced to them earlier. Every time, I watch a superhero movie, I find myself wishing that I understood the canon better - how it originated, how the characters are related to each other, what their back-stories are, how old these stories are, whether they are based on or inspired by real people, and so on. After each of these movies, I ride a high where I'm obsessed with these stories and wonder how amazing it would be if they were real, minus all that collateral damage.

Attending this course is my answer to understanding this superhero world. I have never hesitated to read a non-superhero comic book but when it comes to superhero comics, I usually look the other direction. Not knowing much about the canon makes it hard to dive right in. Usually, the way to fix this is by reading more comics, but I'm overly particular about doing things in sequence, and therefore would like to know a little bit of history before I jump in. I can already hear my husband tease-laughing me about this, but in my defense, I do this for pretty much anything. I can be quite a nerd sometimes.

After spending about an hour on that course, I moved on to read Lean In. I have to admit - I'm loving this book so much that I cannot recommend it enough, especially to those who work in corporate companies - men and women alike. To think that I had once insisted that this book was probably not for me! Sheryl Sandberg talks about a lot of the silent issues that plague women in men-dominated industries. By silent, I am referring to those issues that don't usually get to the front page of newspapers, as far as women issues is concerned. When there are more obvious gender issues happening in the world, who wants to bring attention to the quieter discrimination happening in boardrooms? Sounds like elite problems? Ever since I started reading this book, I have started viewing my own workplace differently and responding to the same problems differently, plus I am more aware of when I am myself falling victim to many of the red flags Sandberg mentions in her book. Honestly, I loved going to work every day this week - I did feel like a totally different person with a brand new outlook.

Just having those three hours in the morning to read has brightened up my mood immensely. Not that I was in the dumps or anything, but I feel like I am super happy and excited about nothing in particular. I feel like this day has immense possibilities - so unlike most Sundays, when I wake up with the Monday Blues flu. I don't know if the reading had anything to do with it - maybe reading some positive stuff in the morning really gets the day going. Maybe I should spend all my mornings reading something inspiring or learn something new. Maybe I should delegate morning chores or fiction reading to later in the day.

After that long rejuvenating reading stint, I spent the next couple of hours, preparing brunch - a South Indian combination dish of Puttu and Kadala, which is one of my favorite dishes from my childhood. This pregnancy has left me craving for so many childhood favorites that I have tried to either make them at home or have at an Indian restaurant. These efforts to make them at home usually involve a phone call or text to my mom to check on ingredients and allowed substitutions, and sometimes also to my dad. Luckily, today's brunch was a success and I couldn't stop licking my fingers. We have plenty of leftovers, so I'm looking forward to having more in the evening or maybe sometime tomorrow.

Now that the best part of the day is over, it's time for the chores. I don't mind them so much today - I'm probably still on a high. I want to head to Kohls to get some maxi dresses for myself and a coming-home dress for our little peanut. We are halfway through painting the downstairs family room to convert it to a playroom. I need to order the crib and several baby necessities today. Hopefully, all these will leave me with plenty of time to read more.


Ti Reed said…
We don't have good Indian food neat me so your brunch feast has me salivating.
Andi said…
It sounds like I need to dive headlong into Lean In. My workplace has been such a drag lately, and I've been so flustered at all the things, I could use a new perspective.
bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
I used to love reading in bed but just can't do it anymore. Lean In sounds like a must read!
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
You sound so happy and positive today. I think you may be on to something with the morning reading! Hope you can continue the rest of the week.
Kay said…
I love Indian food and it has been quite a while since I had any. Must think about that. We moved far north of our usual favorite restaurant for Indian food. I miss it.

I'm a superhero lover myself. I got started so many years ago by reading my little brother's comics. I love the movies that come out, probably more than my husband. He read Archie comics. Your course sounds like a lot of fun.

Take it easy and have a really good week!!
iliana said…
Your dish looks delicious! I love staying in bed after waking up on the weekends and reading for a bit. Wish I could do that every day but oh well work calls. I've never felt the rush to go out and read Lean In but after your take on this I'm curious now. I work in a male-dominated industry so I would be interested to see how I could apply this to my work. I may have to look for this one at the library! Hope you had a good time at Kohl's - I was there yesterday and scored three tops - yay!
Athira / Aths said…
I am so glad I made it finally. I've been thinking about this particular item for a while, so I've been craving it.
Athira / Aths said…
You may definitely enjoy it. I found that reading the book really changed the way I looked at things. It didn't make the problems go away but I was able to address them better and respond properly than ignore it or get angry about something.
Athira / Aths said…
If I read in bed at night or after lunch, I would fall asleep right away. But morning reading seems to work quite well.
Athira / Aths said…
We don't have many Indian restaurants in my town either, and sometimes I do wish I could eat outside than cook Indian at home.

Glad that you love superheroes. I am slowly getting there. I do love them but you probably won't see me have a conversation about them. Yet.
literaryfeline said…
Fridays are my mornings to linger in bed a little longer than usual and read. :-) I don't always get to, but if I'm going to, that's the day.

I know what you mean about wishing you understood the superhero cannon better. I drive my husband crazy with my questions, I'm sure, but I'm so fascinated by them. The online course you are taking sounds really interesting!

I hope you have a wonderful week, Athira!
Darlene said…
What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning. Quite often if I wake up early enough I love laying for a while listening to an audiobook and cuddling the dog. My dog would probably stay in bed all day if I let him. Lol. And you're expecting a baby I see! Congrats! I've been so out of touch with the blogging world for the last few years that I'm sure I've missed a lot of important stuff. Last, your meal sounds amazing!
Belle Wong said…
Sounds like a really lovely Sunday. And I'm taking the same superheroes course! But I'm behind on it :( I have a couple of weeks to catch up on right now. Your brunch sounds delicious!
Lisa Sheppard said…
Pregnancy really is one of those times when you want the familiar foods you grew up with.