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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: My nightstand over the past one month

The Sunday

One thing I was worried about while pregnant was how much my reading was going to suffer after baby arrived. It may seem like the least significant thing to worry about (and some have told me so); and post-baby, I did (and do) have bigger things to worry about, such as SIDS, weight gain, head shape (my mom has made me paranoid about this one), nanny or daycare?, why is she spitting up?, how will I leave her and go to work?, and countless others that any mom could probably relate to. To even mention books or reading when there is a new baby in town seems somewhat selfish. Heck, there is even an expectation that you shouldn't be entertaining yourself (reading, phone browsing, watching TV) while caring for a newborn.

But I wanted to continue reading as well as I could after having a kid. The best way to pass on a love for reading to your kid is by you reading. Read with her, but also read for yourself when you can. I found that there was not much I could do while nursing her, so that was my favorite time to read. Next week, once I return to work, I expect my reading time to reduce even further - that's probably when the real challenge starts, but I'm glad I have been able to read plenty until then.

The first thing I did just before baby arrived was to load my Kindle and nightstand with books I considered lighter fare - fast-paced books with either cozy or exciting plots - books I can read when I'm fighting a general state of sleeplessness. It was a little difficult finding the right books - there were a few that I started reading and abandoned right away. If a book didn't fascinate me from the first sentence, I didn't try to spend more time with it - the main reason for this was because many times I've had to drop the book to attend to the baby and I didn't want to have to reread passages to reacquaint myself with the book. 

With that in mind, these are the books that graced my Kindle and nightstand over the past month and a half.

I've read (and loved) A Window Opens, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, My Man Jeeves (cannot wait to read more Jeeves), and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I started reading both Seveneves and The Girl on the Train - both are from the library and due back in a little more than two weeks. Seveneves is turning out to be an awesome read but at 800+ pages, it is practically a doorstopper and I'm not sure if I will have the time to read it cover to cover. Armada is the only one I haven't started yet but that's because I have it in print and I haven't yet mastered the art of reading a physical book (especially a hardback) and nursing a baby.

All the above books are entertaining even in bite-sized chunks. (They actually made cluster feeding something to look forward to.) They also had short chapters that provided a sense of conclusion whenever I put the book down. I'm now hoping to squeeze in some physical books. I've been mostly reading ebooks on my phone so it will be nice to hold a book for a change.

I am most looking forward to reading Salman Rushdie's latest, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. (I have read only one of his books, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which was fabulous.) I'm not sure Between the World and Me will be a nursing- and sleeplessness-friendly read but I'd love to give it a try - maybe I will read it during an upcoming road trip. Pretty Baby should be exciting to read - all thrillers are wins with me as far as their attention-holding power is concerned.

What do you think of these reads? Are there any others you would recommend?