I finished Sense and Sensibility this week, and I did end up enjoying it. But I read it so fast, that I finished it and wanted more. I watched the movie, and I still wanted more. It was disappointing to pick up the next book (Dorian Gray) and know it was not going to have the romantic ending of Jane Austen. Should I read Sense and Sensibility again? No, I’m not going to, but I do wish I’d read it a little slower this first time. There is only one first time to reading a book.
I also picked up East of Eden this week. I read East of Eden first when my son was a newborn, and as I read, I loved it so much I wished I could discuss it with someone. I read during my one-book-at-a-time days. (I can’t imagine doing that now.) It was beautifully written, and it was full of deep issues. It would be perfect for discussion. After I finished reading it, I wrote a post or two on my personal family blog. No one commented. I found some book-specific blogs that I could comment on, and I loved the idea of sharing about my reading. Because of my experience reading East of Eden and wanting to write about it, I decided to start my own books blog!
As I began it again this week, I found myself longing to savor the language as I hadn’t savored Jane Austen’s language. I gave myself limits: no more than 10 or 20 pages (or so) at a time. I’ve only read about 70 pages this week and I am looking forward to continuing to read the novel slowly. Since I know what will happen, it doesn’t seem an issue to take it slowly. And Steinbeck is meant to be savored, I think.
I also finished a few other books. These were not take-it-slowly reads. Dorian Gray was okay. It’s creepy and I think we’ll have a good book club discussion next week, but it wasn’t a favorite for me, and I hope I don’t have to reread it. Some of Wilde’s philosophy got a bit boring to me, but the story moved quickly when it happened. My Classics Circuit pick, Black No More, was an interesting satire, and I’m glad I read it. It also wasn’t a favorite: it’s more of a novel I read for historical value. It got me thinking, and I think that was the point.
I’m still enjoying Inventing English slowly, and I picked up a volume of essays (Reading in Bed) about reading that Stefanie has been talking about. Oh, I love it already! I plan on reading these slowly (the entire book is about 150 pages) and I will pick out some favorite quotes to share with you about the joys of reading.
Do you purposely slow down your reading? Why or why not?
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (315 pages; fiction). A happy ending!
- The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (190 pages; fiction). For my book club.
- Oscar Wilde’s The picture of Dorian Gray: a graphic novel by Ian Culbard (125 pages). Since I’m reading the original for my book club; also for the Graphic Novel Challenge.
- Black No More: A Novel by George S. Schuyler (190 pages; fiction). For the February Classics Circuit.
- A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (50 pages; poetry). A Newbery and Caldecott winner.
- Kings : an account of books 1 and 2 of Homer’s Iliad; The husbands : an account of books 3 and 4; All day permanent red : the first battle scenes of Homer’s Iliad; and War music : an account of books 16 to 19 of Homer’s Iliad by Christopher Logue. These are each short (80-100 pages). Oh how I want to read these! But something has to give, and these are due back at the library.
Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week. I did make a little progress on some of these.
Here are the books I own or downloaded. I’ve been rather horrible at reading my project book this week! I still have eleven days in the month to finish it, though, so it’s okay.
- Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (125 read of 455 pages; nonfiction)
- DNA by James Watson (120 read of 405 pages; nonfiction). My project book. I space out after about 10 or 15 pages a day, but other than that, it’s okay.
- A Raisin the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (drama). Not begun yet.
Old Library Loot
- Inventing English: a portable history of the language by Seth Lerer (110 read of about 250 pages; nonfiction).
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck (70 read of about 600 pages; fiction). For the Classics Reads Book Group.
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I will read it this time around!
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. The brief biography in the introduction is very good, so I’m looking forward to this one!
- Reading in Bed edited by Steven Gilbar (15 read of 150 pages; nonfiction/essays). A collection of essays about our favorite topic: reading.
New Library Loot
- I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World by Martin Luther King, Jr. (200 pages; nonfiction/speeches).
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave (nonfiction/memoir).
- Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (fiction).
- The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata (fiction).
- Apologies to an Apple by Maya Ganesan. Amanda enjoyed this. I can’t find it at the my library, but I’ll keep it in mind for the “someday” pile.
I also have a long list of English history books and Shakespeare history plays to read! Thanks for your recommendations!