Here’s the week’s gains…It’s rather embarrassing. The librarians now know me by name and ask about my reading. So here’s the damage:
- Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead
- Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp by Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America by Cathy Davidson (expanded ed.)
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Norton ed.)
- The End of Mr. Y. by Scarlett Thomas
- Sweet and Low by Richard Cohen
- Zoli by Colum McCann
- Simple Knits for Cherished Babies by Erika Knight
- The Courtier and the Heretic by Matthew Stewart
I ended up returning Erik Larson’s Thunderstruck–it just wasn’t my time to read it. It was interesting enough, but my mind kept wandering (which has more to do with my mind’s general lack of direction than Larson’s writing style). I’m finding that my main problem with my reading challenges is my own whimsy. There are times when a book just works, and when that happens, I can become so absorbed in my reading that I forget to eat, get up, etc. When I’m forced to put such a book down, I just keep thinking about it until I can pick it up again. Right now, that book is Middlemarch. However, I’m thinking of having a stern talking-to with my brain and books to encourage them to get in sync. It would be nice if the books that screamed loudest to be read were books for my challenge (or research, but that’s a whole different can o’worms).
And speaking of Middlemarch, I’m reading it in conjunction with watching the BBC adaptation, and I have to say, the character of Dr. Lydgate comes across as much more personable in the movie than my take of him in the book. Somehow I feel that however well intentioned he may be, he sort of gets his just deserts for being so incredibly pompous and remarkably unobservant (for a man of science). That’s the genius of Eliot, though: she does a remarkable job creating complex characters that are full of delicious contradictions and so very human as a result. I love it.
I’m looking forward to sampling my book gains this week as well. I’ve been feeling a pull for some fun nonfiction (and doesn’t a book about Spinoza sound fun?), and I’m intrigued by Apex Hides the Hurt. Now it’s just a question (like always) of where to start. By the way, for those of you wondering if I am really reading all of the books posted in the sidebar under “Currently Reading,” those are the books that I’m most likely to pick up in the next week. I have a tendency to read in spurts. This book here, that book there, a different book altogether on a different day–it depends on my mood. This makes for very difficult decisions whenever I have to travel, as I invariably need to have a (rather large and heavy) sample of genres in anticipation of my different reading moods. I’m somewhat of a dabbler (and unfortunately, not only with books!). Hence the need to discover the perfect bag for carrying all of those books. You see, one fetish simply supports/creates another….Happy reading!