Reading Journal (18 Nov): Planning for a Quiet December

I’ve returned a number of books and I’ve “quit” a few challenges and so I’m feeling remarkably free to read whatever I want! I’m thinking I may take a page out of the NaNoWriMo’s book and go blog silent (or at least quieter) while I work on other projects this holiday season.

For example, I have a 750-page book that I’ve always been intimidated by. It’s Jesus the Christ by James E. Tallmadge, and it examines the life and mission of the Savior by turning to the scriptures (including LDS scripture). I think I’m going to dedicate December to reading that; it seems the appropriate month for it. I’ll also read a little bit of other things (such as The Pillow Book), but I’m looking forward to stepping back and focusing on a long (and intimidating) book that I really do want to read.

Until then, the next week will also be slower reading-wise as I get caught up on finishing the Harlem Renaissance studying, reading a shorter really old classic or two (I read one last night!), and reading the Gaskell novel for the upcoming circuit. I started Mary Barton the other day and I am so excited to continue reading it after this beautiful passage:

“It was an early May evening – the April of the poets; for heavy showers had fallen all the morning, and the round soft, white clouds which were blown by a west wind over the dark blue sky, were sometimes varied by one blacker and more threatening. The softness of the day tempted forth the young green leaves, which almost visibly fluttered into life; and the willows, which that morning had had only a brown reflection in the water below, were now of that tender gray-green which blends so delicately with the spring harmony of colours.” (page 7)

How is your reading this week? What are you planning for December? Will you be reading slower? Or are you speeding up to finish all your challenges? Continue Reading

Two Neuroscience Books (Proust was a Neuroscientist by Lehrer and Sacks’ Musicophilia)

When I joined the 2009 Science Book Challenge, I didn’t intend to focus on neuroscience, but it turns out that that branch of science is absolutely fascinating to me. These two books I read really have convinced me that science and art are inextricably related each other, for art is perceived and appreciated by the brain.

I think I’d say the Lehrer was my preferred of these two, only because I hadn’t realized the Sacks was abridged. At any rate, I enjoyed both books and would love to revisit either other again in the future.Continue Reading

A Bite of the Spice of Life (Two Books by Julia Child and Too Many Cooks by Emily Franklin)

When I decided to start posting reviews of a few books at the same time, I still intended to write the reviews as I go as I did for my math and science reviews the other week. Although I wrote a separate review for the cookbook memoir I read by Emily Franklin, once I read the two books by Julia Child I realized I could not post my thoughts about Ms Franklin’s book in quite that way.

You see, I’ve been converted. There is, there has been, and there will have been, only one Julia Child in all of history. Her story (which I read in My Life in France) is fascinating and inspiring, her cooking style (which I experienced in part in Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom) is refreshingly simple, and together the two Julia Child books I read gave me hope for my own pathetic cooking abilities. It is, therefore, completely unfair to include Ms. Franklin’s book (and my criticisms of it) in the same post. Nevertheless, because I read Julia Child on the wake of Too Many Cooks, Ms. Franklin is a part of my experience in the past few weeks.Continue Reading