Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So Many Books.......

Reading is, and always has been, a huge part of who I am. Steve thinks I read indiscriminately, but that isn't really true. I think it's more accurate to say that I read a wide range of genres.

I would love to read more classics, but wasn't sure why I rarely do, until I read Jane Brocket's post and started thinking about it. She wrote that we already know the synopses of so many of the stories, that it seems unnecessary for us to actually read the work (I'm summarizing, please read her post). While I agree her reason is partly true for me, I know that every time I see a movie made from a book I've already read, it leaves me, at best, slightly dissatisfied with all the nuances that were left out. And yet, the only classic I've read over the last couple of years has been Anna Karenina. And that was mainly on a dare from Steve (I'm so competitive!). I think the main reason I hesitate to pick up a classic is that the writing styles are so different from modern day fiction. The bottom line is they simply take more of my concentration and time. And that's an embarrassing reason. So. First up is Elizabeth Gaskill's Wives and Daughters. Mainly because I already own it. Then I plan to read through Jane Austin, starting with one of the ones that hasn't been made into a BBC series (although, heaven help me, I do love them so.)

Just as soon as I finish The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver. And believe me, this isn't a quick read either. But fabulous, as all her books are. And maybe that's another reason I have trouble starting a classic. All the wonderful books that are being written every day. As the t-shirt says, "So many books, so little time." Isn't it great??


  1. It's a good problem to have. I agree, sort of, on the classics thing. My reason is that I had to read so many for university courses. I guess enough years have passed that I should get over that one. And, it's also true that the books aren't as accessible as newer ones. Reading a wide variety of genres is what makes reading books so interesting. There's so much to learn.
    And I also admire Barbara Kingsolver. Read on!

  2. I was a member of the Jane Austen Society back in 1980 before Austen's books became fashionable through the BBC. Love them. I also recommend, for a slightly more modern take on the Regency Romance, Georgette Heyer's books. Try "The Quiet Gentleman" or "The Nonesuch", not the early books. I had a great-aunt who adored Heyer and so I was introduced to her while she (Heyer) was still alive (pre-1976). Now her books are being re-printed again and I'm collecting them as they come out. Wonderful summer reading and beautiful English to boot!
    I read your comment on my blog today re Kaliyana. All I can say is the EVERYTHING is more expensive north of the border. We have a high VAT (value-added tax) too, but our government solved its debt problem with it back in the '90's, so we tend not to complain. You can tell I'm married to a former World Bank/IMF tax economist!

  3. Life's what brings you pleasure.