Well, I finished one whole book of my summer reading list. Alas, I did not finish it (The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford) in time to participate in the Slaves of Golconda discussion. But next time, I swear. It was a small sense of victory to check it off my list–a victory that was quickly deflated when I saw that it only counted for 1%.
The Good Soldier was an eerie book for me. Because I had read other people’s take on the book before I began it, I knew that the narrator was unreliable, and I knew the general outline of the story. And yet, it read like a mystery for me. I think this might be because John Dowell (the narrator) was so unemotional in telling “the saddest story,” and I kept waiting for him to care about something, to notice something. I thought the disjointed narrative style was well suited to the tale, and the ending left me feeling rather bereft, although of what, I can’t really say. I think, however, that the sadness of the story belongs less to the characters of Dowell’s tale, than to the society that Ford depicts in all of its glorious decay. It is definitely a book I will read again.
Having finished one book, it’s on to the next! I’ve got Middlemarch with me today, although Villette is calling my name rather insistently. All in good time (says the woman who carries at least three books with her everywhere she goes).
In non-book news, I have taught myself a new fiber art! Armed with instructions I found on the web (I have books, but I can’t seem to find them) I taught myself to spin yesterday. I’ve had a spindle since Christmas and I had some fiber as well, so I figured, rather than read, why not try making some singles? While things finally clicked and I know (sort of) what to do, I can honestly say: I suck at this. I know it takes a lot of practice, but I am no good at drawing the fiber and I overspin/underspin/can’t seem to spin evenly, take your pick. But it’s great fun and I’m now addicted. I immediately began looking through websites to drool over spinning wheels (much to Apparent Dip’s chagrin). The only problem concerns Myzithra (the youngest kitty), who also thinks that spinning is great fun–apparently drop spindles are the new cat toy. She already loves to chew on my circular needles (a sock is on hold until I can replace the one she damaged) and she likes to think that she’s saving me from the evil yarn that sits on my lap as I knit (who knew that such a little cat could somehow put all of her weight into her paws as she pounces on yarn? I’m practically bruised!). So helpful. I can only imagine what she’ll be like when I finally pull out my much-neglected loom and start weaving!