Reading Log, January 2008
I am a bit shocked by how much I read in January. If I kept up at this rate, I'd end up reading over 100 books in 2008. I have read over 100 books in other years, but it does seem unlikely. I reverted to my old habit, a couple of times, of reading a whole whole book in a single sitting or two. It's not that hard for me to do, but it does require neglecting some things that probably shouldn't be neglected. Ahem.
Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie--A comfortable reread, in spite of the fact that it involves neither Hercule Poirot nor Miss Jane Marple. Plenty of red herrings and suspects from which to choose. Classic Christie. Love it.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card--Another reread, and in fact it is the second time I have reread the book. I find the story very gripping, partly because it combines educational philosophy (of a sort) with a good story. Although I already know what is going to happen, I still find the process and the story interesting. I've read all 8 or 9 books connected with the "Ender" story, but I don't know if I'm up to rereading all of them.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini--Gratified, I am, to discover I am not alone is rating this book less than spectacular. I do trust my own judgment, but I was afraid I might find myself all alone...or afraid that I had missed something hugely significant. However, I rather think not.
Dear Enemy by Jean Webster--An audio book, and although it was not what I was expecting, it wasn't that bad.
A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro--This is such a fascinating author.
Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse--An audiobook, with too much cricket, but kind of fun to listen to anyway. This was my first encounter with Psmith, and he's not anybody I'd want to know in real life.
Original Sin by P.D. James--I wrote a review of this one that I'll post in a day or two. It was a very engrossing mystery and story.
Persuasion by Jane Austen--A reread, of course. I did not read any of Jane Austen's books in 2007, the first year in ten that such has been the case. Clearly, this year is going to be different. How many authors can have their books read and re-read to such an extent and still be captivating? Jane never disappoints. My 14 year old daughter read all my Jane Austen novels in 2007!
Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander--A children's books I preread before giving it to my 10 year old daughter. I have nothing to say about this book, which probably speaks volumes in itself. I think it will be most enjoyed by children who already have some knowledge of history, so that they will recognize the time-periods in the book. I liked the Prydain Chronicles by this author much better.
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella--I found this English book in a Polish thrift shop, so I picked it up for next to nothing. It was funny and entertaining, and an interesting view of how much women (and men, too) give up when they buy into the fast-paced, "success"-oriented lifestyle so glamourized by the media.
The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye--I've wanted to read this forever, and included it as one of my non-fiction books for January. Reading it on top of John Erskine was interesting, because much of what they say is the same, and THAT is because they both hearken back to Aristotle's Poetry for their ideas.
Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt--I wasn't able to join in all the discussion about this book, because I fell behind in my reading, and in fact, I still have a few chapters left to finish. But I will finish it!
Pickwick Papers by Charles Dicken--I'm sorry to say that I haven't finished this yet, but I did read from it during January.
"A provincial guy," "Holobutow," "A very controversial discussion with God," and "A Nihilist" by Adam Zielinski--short stories translated from German. They were all very short, and not especially remarkable, but that is at least in part because they are rather badly translated. I may skip finishing the rest of the stories in this (library) book because the prospect of reading more of them holds no appeal at all.
I have bumped into interesting-looking reading challenges on several blogs lately, but I am steadfastly resisting them all. I must make my own challenges. So, for February, I plan to read two more non-fiction books--The Tale of Beatrix Potter by Margaret Lane and Exit Into History by Eva Hoffman. I will also be reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Nobel Prize winner in 2007), rereading another Austen novel, and after that, who knows? Oh, I also have to finish Pickwick Papers and the the Hazlitt book, of course.
And find another audiobook to listen to.