Monday, February 9, 2015

What I'm Reading: Alan Furst's "Dark Star"

This is the latest book I've been reading for my espionage seminar: Dark Star by Alan Furst. I like it a lot more than I liked the Kipling book we read.

The only problem is that it's a big, hefty book-- 437 pages. We're taking four class periods to read it, and we've been told to read 100 pages for each class period (class is on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

Whoof. Once you get behind on an assignment like that, there's no getting caught up, and I will admit that I am behind. I'm doing my best, but it's just a lot of reading piled on top of all the other reading I'm doing for my other classes.

I had a slight temper tantrum the other day about all the reading I have to do this semester. I'm honestly not taking that many hours, but the way my classes are arranged, I'm having a bit of trouble scheduling my reading times. I'm getting there-- definitely been making progress, especially in the past few days.

But yikes... a hundred pages per night... I was out reading on the quad earlier, and I marked my reading pace by the ringing of the chimes tower. I finished around 20 pages in an hour, which works out to three minutes per page (although I did occasionally pause and look up at the happy students playing Frisbee and adorable families going on bike rides). At that rate, it would take me five hours to read 100 pages. I think I picked up the pace a bit when I moved inside, but not by a whole lot. 

Aaaaaaaaghhh. It's hard to be productive when I read for hours at a time and it seems like I'm not making any progress. As an English major and creative writing minor, reading is basically all I do for homework (unless I have to write a paper... urk!), and my brain really starts feeling the fatigue sometimes, especially when I've got huge assignments like this on top of the work I have to do for other classes.

Eh. I'll quit whining and keep working on scheduling my time better. Work in progress, work in progress, gettin' better every day.

But yeah, I really am enjoying Dark Star. It took me a little while to get into it, and sometimes it's a bit complicated and hard to follow, but it might just be my favorite of the texts we've read so far. It's about a journalist who's been roped into working for the Soviet Union's intelligence agency just before World War II. There's action, romance, barely evading death, not quite managing to evade death, secrecy, intrigue, suspense... and 437 pages of it.

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