Book #44: The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien

Since I’ve finished my goal of reading three of my assigned books for the upcoming semester, I’ve got a bit more time to enjoy reading of my own choice. It’s a nice feeling, but it also leaves me with a crisis of deciding what to read next.

At the end of my spring semester I had to read the short story “The Things They Carried” that opens Tim O’Brien’s novel of the same name. I loved the story, so the book has been on my short list for things to read all summer, and now finally felt like the right time.

To be honest, I’m not sure I totally get everything from this book, largely because I’m fortunate enough to be unscathed by war. Add to that the fact that I’ve also been sick while reading this and fairly drugged on Mucinex, and you’ll realize that my views of the book aren’t necessarily totally clear. Much of O’Brien’s writing is poetic and harrowing, and I totally recommend to those interested, but I also have to say that I’ll probably need to revisit this later in life to get a clearer picture of it. It’s a book that’s bound to leave me thinking.

As for how I’m spending my last days of summer freedom: I’m still working my way through Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber, which at 941 pages isn’t exactly a quick read. I’ve also had to leave it unopened periodically so I make sure I’m reading what I should be reading. Hopefully I also have time to squeeze in another play or novel or something before real life resumes. Which reminds me: is it really August already?

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