Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Reading

I've been keeping fairly true to my 2008 Reading Goals. The Tom Jones book put me behind some (also the books I've been sneaking in between my list books). Tom Jones was written in the 1700s and is a difficult read. It took me almost a week to read the first 40 pages! It's 18 "books" with little chapters in each book. Each book is about 25-40 pages, 850 some pages in all. I'm reading a "book" between each regular book I read. I should have this beast finished by the end of the year. It's a good read, just difficult, old-style English.

I loved Beloved. Loved it. It's as I remember other Toni Morrison books I've read - it makes your heart hurt but it's so beautifully written, you can't stop reading. Ms. Morrison shows us the basest, cruelest, most evil that the human race can be but then just when it feels as though she's reaching inside you to pull out your heart and show it to you, you come to that part of the book where you realize that she's reaching inside you to show you where your heart is. She shows you the beauty as well as the horror that is our pitiful, lovely species. Perfection.

I just finished Oscar Wiled and a Death of No Importance. What a waste that was. It's a fluffy mystery and with the cast of characters involved it could've been sensational. It wasn't. It was trite and fairly obvious. I knew about 1/3 of the way through who the murderers were (I was just a little off as to their motives). Very disappointing.

Is it pathetic and sad that I've already decided next year's reading? I'm pretty well decided that I'm only going to read books with sequels. On my bookshelves I have Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/Silmarillion series, The Complete Sherlock Holmes, and many others that I've had for years and (with the exceptional exception of The Hobbit) have never read. I'm ending this year with Roots which would naturally have me starting next year with it's sequel Queenie!

I think for my in between books next year, I'm going to try to clear off my paperback shelf. It's 3 deep with mostly scary books (which are usually my favorite choice) and I need to read them, donate them to the library and move on! Like most of the books on my shelves, had them for years, haven't read them, but still buy more. No more buying, just reading what I've got and maybe borrowing from the library every now and then!

Wordhound, Ruth!


Rooie said...

Oooh, if you want a great series...let me recommend George R.R. Martin's The Song of Fire and Ice. Fantasy but with very familiar politics...magic but with very real characters.

Oooh, and Dorothy Dunnett's Nicolo series. Set in Europe 1400's (if I remember correctly). Wonderful series.

Tammy said...

I'm impressed that you're sticking to your reading list. I'm terrible with sticking to goals.

The LOTR series is one of my all time favorite reads. I read them all in a few weeks time after seeing the first LOTR movie. I actually feel bad that my kids have seen the movies and will never be able to enjoy the suspense and drama of the written word alone. Maybe I'll make my youngest wait until he's read the books to see any of the movies.

Anonymous said...

I will second rooie's reccy on The Song of Ice and Fire. I am on my second time through; book 5 is due out in September and I wanted to refresh my memory as to all that went on in books 1-4. Plus, the series is just so darned much fun that the idea of spending a chunk of my summer up to my neck in kings and knights and ladies and direwolves and intrigues was irresistible.

Nell said...

I've never read Beloved. Thanks for reminding me of that. I'm off to paperbackswap.

sophanne said...

Toni Morrison is amazing- all of her books are excellent reads though Beloved is good for those that like the little bit scary.

I've decided to put War and Peace on my list- though I don't have an official one. That should take longer than Tom Jones me thinks.

Rooie said...

There's going to be a read-along of the new translation of War & Peace on Readerville sometime soon. Come and join us!

(I don't own Readerville or anything...I'm just an enthusiatic participant.)