I was going to finish rereading Beloved last night, but instead I fell asleep. Beloved is a powerful, heart-breaking book about the effects of slavery, and while it is brutal, I love rereading it. At this point, because I read it so many times as a late teen and college student, I feel like I know it. I haven’t reread it for probably five years, and yet, it’s still so familiar.
I finished Gulliver’s Travels and my Mormon architecture book this week, but I won’t get them reviewed until I return from my vacation to Utah. In fact, I’m going to be pretty off-line for the next few days. I’ll have my computer and I’ll respond to comments, but I won’t be Twittering (amazing how quickly that became a habit) and I won’t be checking Reader.
When I go out of town tomorrow, I doubt I’ll get much time for reading. Despite the fact that it is a vacation, it’s a “family vacation.” I don’t often get time to read during the weekends (because it’s “family time”), and this is an extended weekend. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to a non-internet, non-bookish weekend! I really feel I need a break.
Do you read while on family vacations?
I’ll probably post next Wednesday that I haven’t finished anything (other than Beloved, which has 50 pages to go and that I’ll finish tonight). I may surprise myself, though.
That said, I am taking two books with me on my trip. The first is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I’m having an IRL book club meeting at my home next Thursday, so I’ll really have to push to finish it if I don’t get any read this weekend. (I, uh, kind of forgot that I needed to read it.) I’m also taking Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, which is the IRL book club selection for the library book club I’m hosting starting in October. I think I’ll read this book at a similar rate to how I read Gulliver’s Travels: a little bit each week.
See my notes by each book below.
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift (355 pages; fiction). FINISHED! For My History of Children’s Literature Project.
- The Soul of Wit: A Study of John Donne by Murray Roston (220 pages; nonfiction/critical analysis). Returned unread. I am done with Donne (for now).
- Bloom’s Major Poets: John Donne (about 20 pages skimmed of 110 pages; nonfiction/critical analysis). Returned mostly unread. I got bored of the criticism. Maybe someday I’ll learn all the details about Donne’s style, but not now.
- Bloom’s How to Write about Toni Morrison (200 pages; nonfiction/literary criticism). Returned unread. I was going to skim the section on Beloved, but I’ve already got plenty to say!
- Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning by Mark Hamilton (140 pages, plus 50 pages of notes; nonfiction). FINISHED! Architecture info is fascinating to me, and I’m going to Utah this weekend so I may see some of it.
- The Pooh Sketchbook, drawings by Ernest H. Shepard for the Pooh stories (95 pages, illustration only; nonfiction). FINISHED! Also new library loot. I “read” this because I love Winnie-the-Pooh. This has the early sketches Shepard made for the book. There is very little text, but I loved looking at the illustrations.
I’m excited to finish Beloved this week, as well as read some lighter fare.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison (225 read of 275 pages; fiction). For the Beowulf on the Beach Challenge, the Summer Lovin’ Challenge, and The RIP IV Challenge. Almost finished!
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (librivox.org audiobook, on 9 of 27 segments, about 16 hours total; fiction). For the RIP IV Challenge. The first five chapters were great. Then it started to drag a little. The librivox is touch-and-go. I wish the narrator didn’t switch every single chapter.
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (25 read of 190; children’s fiction). I am reading this aloud to my son at a very slow rate.
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (450 pages; fiction). For the book club I’m hosting at the library..
- The Stories of John Cheever (20 of 61 stories, 820 pages total; fiction/short stories). Part of my Pulitzer Challenge. On hold for the next week. I think this will be a chunkster for reading during BBAW.
Old Library Loot
- Gulliver’s Travels: The Politics of Satire by Ronald Knowles (150 pages; nonfiction/literary criticism). I may skim this before I return it.
- Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels: Modern Critical Interpretations edited by Harold Bloom (195 pages; nonfiction/literary criticism). I may skim this before I return it.
- Twentieth Century Interpretations of Gulliver’s Travels edited by Frank Brady (115 pages; nonfiction/literary criticism). I may skim this before I return it.
New Library Loot
I got two new books this week. I’m going out of town and not taking many of them.
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (280 pages; fiction). For my IRL book club next week.
- The Pooh Bedside Reader by A.R. Melrose (160 pages; nonfiction/fiction). Because I love Winnie-the-Pooh. This has excerpts from books and poems, early criticism, and personal stories of Milne.
Rose City Reader’s Life According to Literature. This is so funny! When I have a chance, I’ll participate too.
BBAW mentions the daily topics for BBAW. I am so excited about this!! and I love the button – I’ve put it in the upper-right corner of my blog.
- Baking Cakes in Kigali, by Gaile Parkin. Amanda at the Zen Leaf found herself both laughing and crying while reading this story. I’ve put in a request at the library. I’m so excited to read this!
- Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell by Susana Clark. Teresa at Shelf Love listened to the audiobook for her reread.
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. AK at Pulitzer Palavar loved this.
- An Adundance of Katherines by John Green. I write in books thought this defined all boundaries.
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Life is a Patchwork Quilt considers this the best book she’s read all year. And I have it sitting on a shelf, unread!
- The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. Jackie says the room is a character in this novel; it starts with architecture, and we know I’m on an architecture kick lately!
- Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. Eva liked this one a lot.
- The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins. Eva liked this.
- Ourania by JMG leClezio. Emily read this novel in the original French. Not sure I want to read the novel myself (even in English) but I’m so impressed.
- Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I have this on my reread shelf already, so Jason’s review really reminded me of how much I want to reread it. (I don’t remember much of it.)
- The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell. Jason at 5-Squared liked the tone to the contemporary biography.
- 150 Years of Chicago Architecture 1883-1983 by Glibot and Edelmann. Valerie mentioned in a comment that she liked this coffee table book.