Feelings are hard.

You know how sometimes you’re not sure how you’re supposed to feel and it makes it difficult to name what it is that you are feeling? After reading way too many emotionally intense books throughout September that’s exactly where I’m at, and I am having a difficult time naming my feelings about what I read.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I read The Handmaid’s Tale, The Kite Runner, and Parable of the Sower concurrently and all three are emotionally intense and as a result I ended up numb by the time I finished them all. I definitely learned that I am not capable of absorbing that much emotion all at once in a way that honors what the authors were doing with their writing. One at a time, I probably could have been present to the narrative, but all three was impossible for me. So, as per my usual, I simply shut down emotionally in order to plow through the narratives and add a few more books to my list and complete The Book War September Challenge. Admittedly, not what I would recommend to anyone wanting to delve into any emotionally intense literature, but I learned I really can only take one at a time. What can I say, I have the “emotional range of a teaspoon.”

That being said, I am glad to have read these books, even the one Hannah challenged me to read, Parable of the Sower. It is very easy for us to become complacent and avoid knowledge about the pain and challenges facing many of our sisters and brothers in this world (and in the potential realities we create for generations to come.) Dystopian literature is most certainly NOT my favorite genre and I rarely pick it up knowingly, but it holds important truths that should not be swept aside so while I find it difficult (and less than fun) to read, I understand it’s importance as a way to push the reader to think about things in a new, if uncomfortable, way.

Needless to say, I do not think I’ll be picking up the next book in the Earthseed series (Parable of the Sower is book #1) but it’s always good to stretch oneself and I am absolutely certain, Hannah could have chosen something much worse for me to read for this first Reading Challenge. Here ends Reading Challenge #1, stay tuned for information on the upcoming Reading Challenge #2. (Spoiler: you all can participate too!)

Read on my friends!