Reading Journal (17 March): Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I have decided it would be easier to ramble for six minutes than to try to write all of this out. So if you are interested to hear me talk about books, here’s a special St. Patrick’s Day vlog for you!

If you didn’t have time to watch it (and for future reference), here are the works I’ve finished, abandoned and picked up in the last two weeks.

Finished Books

  • The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer (300 pages; fiction).
  • The X in Sex by David Banbridge (180 pages; nonfiction). For my “genetics” project month.
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (140 pages; fiction). For IRL book club.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (11 ½ hours audio or 320 pages; fiction). I listened to 2/3 and read the last 100 pages. For fun.
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (600 pages; fiction). For the Classics Reads Book Group. I haven’t participated much in online discussion but I did enjoy the reread.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (445 pages; fiction). I couldn’t put it down!

Returned or Abandoned Books

  • Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. I read 8 pages out of about 200 and I was not interested. From what I read, I gather that it is about a man’s relationship with two geishas.
  • Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata. I read about 30 pages out of 125. Again, I was simply not interested. From what I read, I gather that it is about a man’s relationship with his deceased father’s two mistresses and one of their daughters.
  • Palm-of-the-Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata. I’ve read about 50 pages of 250. These are 1-2 page stories. I’m impressed that Kawabata is able to capture interest, setting, and character in such a short format. But, given my comments above, you probably aren’t surprised to hear that I was not engaged or impressed with the themes of these! Kawabata is just not for me, except for The Old Capital, which I did enjoy.
  • Daily Life in Victorian England by Sally Mitchell (60 read of 280 pages; nonfiction). I really am enjoying this, but since I’m not currently reading a British Victorian novel, I’m going to return it for now. I’ll check it out again when I read a Victorian novel, maybe in May. (I’m considering either Great Expectations or Middlemarch next.)
  • A History of Japan by R.H.P. Mason. I decided to try the other history book instead.
  • A History of Japanese Literature: The First Thousand Years by Shuichi Kato. This is the first volume of three; I actually also picked up an abridgement of the three volumes so I’ll read that insead.
  • Introduction to Classic Japanese Literature by Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai. This was a 1940s book and it had a poor organization to it.

Currently Reading

Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week. It has been two weeks, and I’ve added some books below that I need to get reading in order to finish by book club/Classics Circuit days!

My Books

Here are the books I own or downloaded.

  • Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (140 read of 455 pages; nonfiction). I really do enjoy reading this and singing the hymns as I go; I just go slowly, so it’s still here on the list!
  • Reading in Bed edited by Steven Gilbar (nonfiction/essays). A collection of essays about our favorite topic: reading. Occasionally, I’ll post some thoughts about an essay for the Reading Reflections feature.
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, P&V translation.
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

Old Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

  • Japan: A Concise History by Milton Walter Meyer (87 read of 300; nonfiction).
  • A History of Japanese Literature: From the Manyoshu to Modern Times by Shuichi Kato, abridged by Don Sanderson.  (ISBN: 1873410484) (30 pages read of 320 pages; nonfiction). This is a great abridgement of Kato’s three volume tome. I’ve read some and know it’s just what I was looking for, but I have to return it to the library. As soon as I finish the Japanese history book, I may request this again and read more.

New Library Loot

  • Genome by Matt Ridley. For my genetics themed month.
  • Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami. For the Hello, Japan! monthly challenge to read Murakami.
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond (25 read of 40 pages; fiction). I wanted to read this aloud to my son but he is apparently not interested.
  • The Masterpiece by Emile Zola (40 read of 450 pages; fiction). For the April Classics Circuit.
  • Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation by Michael Keller. I’ve heard great things about this book, and it’s beautiful!

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. I’m a little worried about Zola, even more so now…

    I read King Lear in college. I’m not a big Shakespeare fan but that one was better than other things by him I’ve read for some reason. Never seen the movie adaptation though.

    1. Amanda, I’m only about 40 pages into it, so maybe it’s totally unfair of me to judge it. I’m hoping the overall theme is okay, just the first appearance of the main character shows him to be a jerk.

      I liked watching Lear and now am excited to read it. Glad that it was one you enjoyed!!

    1. Chrees, yes, sounds like it would prompt a lot of discussion between you! My book club is tomorrow and there is someone from the South so I want to know what they think too!

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