I’ve been intending to review books in the morning, before my son awakes. I’d have to wake up at 5 to have time to do so. But so far this is not working very well. Since he has not been napping anymore, the evening and afternoon are often just plain exhausting (think: CRANKY boy). I have been sleeping in. Then I’ve been doing Classics Circuit stuff. That’s why there have not been writing posts this week.
As a result, I feel rather behind on blog writing. I did get about 10 hours of Bloggiesta-ing over the weekend, but that barely put a dent in all that I “need” to do. And chances are, the coming week will find me reading, not writing reviews for the blog. And I think that’s okay. It’s all about balance, right? And this exhausted feeling is somewhat mitigated by a good book.
This week I finished Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book. No, it’s not what it sounds like: it’s a diary or writing notebook kept by a lady-in-waiting in the year 1000 in Japan. And it is fascinating. I hope I’ll find time to review it this week. She truly was a blogger born 1000 years too early and I enjoyed her attitudes.
I also got through Mrs. Dalloway. I know I mentioned struggling last week, but I started over again, giving myself at least two hours every time I sat down with it. I read the first 20 pages out loud, very slowly (I read aloud at least half as slowly as I read in my mind) and then I got the rhythm. I loved it: I feel like I should reread it by Friday so I can write a proper post. Alas, I suspect my post will not be satisfying to me. There is so much meat in that book, I think I missed most of it.
And then I started rereading Death Comes for the Archbishop. My book group meets next week and I feel I need to be better prepared by knowing the book better. Two of my friends aren’t coming to the book group – they either are busy or couldn’t get through the books – so if it’s a small group, I really need lots of questions for potential discussion. I’m hoping it goes well: I think there is a lot to discuss in the book, I just have to figure out the best things to focus on. I enjoy the book, so I hope the others were able to enjoy it as well!
- Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad (50 pages; poetry). I love this series!
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (57 chapters, about 12 hours audio or 400 pages, partially via Librivox audio/partially via Project Gutenberg; children’s fiction).
- The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon (380 pages; fiction/really old classic).
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (195 pages; fiction).
None this week!
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.
- Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (100 read of 455 pages; nonfiction). OK, I need to give myself a weekly goal on this one. I enjoy it but it’s easy to forget until Wednesday morning.
- History of the English-Speaking People by Winston Churchill, abridged by Henry Steele Commager (185 read of 415; nonfiction). My Project Book. I’m making good progress, and I’m getting excited to read Shakespeare’s plays about these kings.
- Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (65 read of 120; fiction). I just started this because I saw it on my shelf. I already have so much going, but this is a fast read!
Old Library Loot
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translation trans. Simon Armitage. I haven’t begun yet. It will happen this week! I wanted to finish Mrs. Dalloway first.
- The collected poems of Langston Hughes
- Jazz by Toni Morrison. (55 read of 220 pages; fiction). Not loving it as much as Beloved; hence, the lack of much progress. I just need to sit and read it, because it’s an interesting setting and premise.
- Golden Slippers, an anthology of Negro poetry for young readers. Next up for poetry.
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Maybe I’ll start next week. I need a Woolf break.
- Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (150 read of 300; fiction). I’m rereading it.
New Library Loot
- The housekeeper and the professor by Yoko Ogawa
- Moses, man of the mountain by Zora Neale Hurston
- Black no more : a novel by George S. Schuyler
- Inventing English : a portable history of the language by Seth Lerer
- The picture of Dorian Gray (Norton Critical Edition) by Oscar Wilde
- Cold by Bill Streever. Nymeth makes this book about weather sound fascinating!
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Jenny’s is not the first review of this that caught my eye, but it’s a great review so I thought I’d mention it.
- The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck. Karen says this is the best Steinbeck out there.
- The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. Literate Housewife has a glowing review of this and it just sounds so good!