I am working on a different project today, but I came across this amazing poem by E.A. Robinson (1869-1935), who won more than one Pulitzer Prize in poetry. It’s called “Zola,” and it so perfectly captures why I disliked Germinal at the same time I absolutely loved it. If you’ve read any Zola before, you have to read this poem. If you want to read Zola, same thing.
Even if you’ve never read Zola before, what do you think of this poem? Does it capture your thoughts about any novel or author you’ve ever read?
Happy New Year! I’m ready for 2013.
I am ready to read Shakespeare. For my Begin with the Bard plan, I hope to read two or three nonfiction/commentary books about the man, read two to four plays, and watch a few movie versions as well. I hope as I have as much fun as I did last year!
I am giving myself until the end of February to see how much I can get through. I’d love to have company! Please join me if you’d like. (more…)
This year has been a comparatively light blogging year for me, with the arrival of my dear little Strawberry in February. She’s almost walking, she’s trying to talk, and she’s certainly keeping me busy. The two of us are finishing 2012 with a monster cold that knocked me out on Friday. The Poor Girl hasn’t had a sickness like this before, so she’s miserable.
I also began homeschooling my kindergartner (Raisin) in earnest this year. I started September and October as a schedule keeper and box checker, but I’m finding that we’re having a lot more fun when we take it easy, a little here and a little there. It is kindergarten, after all. I have enjoyed finding a number of fantastic picture books, both nonfiction and fiction, for his level, and he loves to learn. Yesterday after dinner we talked about veins, arteries, and the heart for a good twenty minutes. He could not feel his own pulse so we decided he must not be alive (he thought that was very funny). This kind of learning is much more satisfying to me and to him than following a check-the-box schedule.
As a result of these life changes, I’ve stepped back from the blogopshere in a series way, as well as stepping back from my blog. In past years of book blogging, I’ve had a craving to make charts of my reading progress: how much fiction versus nonfiction, how many classics versus modern literature, how much male authors versus female authors. This year I have no desire to do any of that reviewing. I’m just going to glance through my archives for the year and remind you of some of my favorite things.
You may have noticed I am reviewing an extra helping of picture books right now! Cybils season is well upon me. It works out really well, because November is also Picture Book Month! The fact is that November will be full of a flurry of picture book reviews as I tackle the books on the Fiction Picture Book nominations list for Cybils. (As I’ve mentioned before, I am a round one panelist.) (more…)
If you follow me on Goodreads or if you’ve been keeping up with my comments on my reading, you’ll know that I’ve been interested in reading about American history, since that is the basic course of study I’m giving my kindergarten age son this year. For him, of course, I’m reading living books that expose him to the historic figures he should be familiar with, and that is essentially enough.
For me, though, I’m finding I’m incredibly interested in reading more about these eras. However, my favorite books have always been Victorian novels. I’m woefully unfamiliar with the classics of American literature, although I have read a good number of the obvious ones: Huck Finn, Scarlett Letter, Washington Irving, some of the Harlem Renaissance authors I discovered a few years ago, John Steinbeck, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to name a few.
For your information, here are some nonfiction (mostly) books I may tackle this year:
- 1491 (already read)
- Mayflower (already read)
- Founding Brothers (in progress)
- Those Who Love by Irving Stone (novel about John and Abigail Adams)
- Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Godwin (Abe Lincoln)
If you have a year to read just a few (maybe 10) new-to-you works of American literature, which would you choose? Give me your “essentials” list and I’ll figure out which ones I’m missing.
I’m personally looking for books that may help me understand the era. Maybe Common Sense and the Federalist Papers? What else should be essential reading for an interested adult?
If I do take the plunge and read some of classics of American lit, which books do you think I should I take off of my Classics Club list? I don’t want to just add another handful of books. That list was intended to be a realistic portrayal of what I could accomplish in the coming five years, so I’d like it to stay at 50 classics. Ugh. So many books, so little time!! So much to learn, so little time!!