Although the New Year is already six days old, I have yet to finish my first book of the year. I blame it on the fact that I’m reading some longer books.
Churchill’s History, my project book, is going well. I think it’s written in an easy to read format, not at all textbook like. That said, it is rather like Dickens’ children’s history in that it’s obviously a bit biased (although Churchill is obviously more scholarly than Dickens). Besides, there are few references so I wonder how “accurate” much of it is. Despite those flaws, I’m glad I’m reading it and I’m enjoying this immergence into the history of England, as I know nothing.
The Pillow Book has become delightful. It was hard to get in to it at first, as I know nothing about the lifestyle at court in 1000 A.D. Japan. But by referring to the extensive notes in my translation, I feel I know a bit more and I’m not fascinated and interest in reading more about Japan. Can you imagine living in a world where you have to write poems to communicate with people? If you get a poem note from someone and don’t respond properly, it’s a bad thing. Talk about pressure!
Swiss Family Robinson is interesting. It’s a typical 1800s didactic text but I can see why it’s so entertaining for kids. I’ve been listening as we do our home improvement projects but I may finish by reading the etext as it takes forever.
I started reading Toni Morrison’s Jazz, as it’s about people during the Harlem Renaissance, but I haven’t made too much progress. Mrs. Dalloway is my nemesis for the week. I started the etext, but I felt I didn’t know what was going on. So I’m going to start again when I can focus on it, with the physical copy, and I hope I can really get it. I’m a bit afraid now.
The other books are ones I really want to read, but I just haven’t had time for. Maybe in the coming week!
What was your first finished book of the year? Did it bode well for you?
I finished a book on New Year’s Eve. I loved it and I ordered my own copy (and if you know me, you know I rarely buy books, so that is a testament to how great it was!!).
- The ABCs of Literacy by Cynthia Dollins (250 read of 350 pages/the last 100 pages are book lists; nonfiction).
I returned unread or partially read a number of books this week. I have a rule that if I haven’t started a book after three weeks, I can’t renew it for the second three weeks. That said, I admit that a few of the books I’ve kept break that rule. I have been a bit unrestrained in my library books lately, so it’s a good thing it’s free! These books, while they look good, had to go back this week.
- Ways of Telling: Conversations on the Art of the Picture Book Leonard S. Marcus. This book looks so great! It’s conversations with illustrators about what makes a good children’s picture book. But I don’t have time to read it right now.
- Cane by Jean Toomer. I want to read this so badly! Maybe I’ll get to it after February’s Classics Circuit.
- Story Stretchers for infants, toddlers, and twos by Shirley Raines. Nice ideas for tying in picture books to other activities, but I didn’t read it cover to cover.
- Children’s Book Corner by Judy Bradbury. Nice ideas for tying in picture books to other activities, but I didn’t read it cover to cover.
- The Story Road to Literacy by Rita Roth. Nice ideas for tying in picture books to other activities, but I didn’t read it cover to cover.
- Phonics from A to Z : a practical guide by Wiley Blevins. A basic introduction to teaching phonics. Something to return to in the future!
- Cotton candy on a rainy day: poems by Nikki Giovanni. I really like Giovanni’s poetry so I’ll have to revisit it when I have time to.
- Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Weatherford. Didn’t have time for this.
- Jam! : the story of jazz music by Jeanne Lee. Didn’t have time for this.
- Louis Armstrong : the offstage story of Satchmo by Michael Cogswell. Didn’t have time for this.
- Jazz : a history of America’s music by Geoffrey Ward. Didn’t have time for this.
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).
- The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon (175 read of 260 pages + 100 pages of notes; fiction/really old classic).
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (on chapter 45 of 57, via Project Gutenberg/Librivox; children’s fiction). I was listening while I was doing housework and then I am going to finish reading it via the etext.
- History of the English-Speaking People by Winston Churchill, abridged by Henry Steele Commager (75 read of 415; nonfiction). My Project Book.
Old Library Loot
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translation trans. Simon Armitage. I haven’t begun yet. Oops. It’s due soon.
- The collected poems of Langston Hughes
- Jazz by Toni Morrison. (20 read of 220 pages; fiction).
- Golden Slippers, an anthology of Negro poetry for young readers
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
New Library Loot
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I decided to read the hard copy, as the etext confused me.
I have a few more books waiting at the library for me to pick up. Maybe I’ll get them tomorrow!
- Governess by Ruth Brandon. Suggested by Chris at Book-a-rama
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I’ve been afraid of this book, but Jessica’s review bumped it up my list a bit.
- Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. I’ve been meaning to read this and Vasilly considered it a 2009 favorite so I really should.
- The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes. Vasilly loved this illustrated children’s boookbook! I’ve already requested it from the library.
- West with the Night by Beryl Markham. Karen says this is one of the best books she read this decade: a great nonfiction book.
- After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld. Claire had nothing but good things to say about this author’s debut novel.
- Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Jane found some interesting similarities between these two novels. Since I haven’t read either, I’m intrigued.