Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Lack of time.

It's been a bad few weeks. Nothing has gone to plan, there's always been something major on my mind (some a lot more "major" than others), and when I have had time to myself I haven't had the energy or even the inclination to use it wisely. At the moment, things seem perhaps to be getting better, but I've said that before. So for now, well, I'm using my time to do something nice, which is to say hello and I hope you're all well.

Obviously, I haven't been reading as much as I'd like (which has added to the misery!). Furthermore, all the books I do have on the go are chunksters, so you will see no progress in my 2012 page! Mostly, I'm enjoying them. Les Misérables is absolutely wonderful, and I'm still trying to stick to reading a chapter a week, tempting as it is to rush ahead. I've also started reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins as a readalong with Adam. This book has surprised me: I have read the back of it many times and thought it rather unappealing, however it is on my list. So, when Adam asked on Twitter if anyone would like to join him in a readalong, I thought it would be good motivation. And, well, I am enjoying it!

I'm also reading Tom Jones. Ah, Tom Jones. I am sure this will get my first five stars on Goodreads (He Knew He Was Right missed out owing to a tedious sub-plot). It is not only brilliant, but it is the kind of book that makes you excited about reading. It makes me wonder why I love it if I hated Pickwick Papers. It makes me want to read more 18th Century literature, and it makes me gather little lists of books I want to read. It especially made me want to read Tristram Shandy. It makes me wonder what the crack was between Fielding and Richardson, and, of course, it makes me want to read Pamela. It makes me think even more about marriage and women in the 18th and 19th Century, and most of all, it makes me look forward to going to bed so I can pick it up again. I love it. 

On the other hand, once again, I have to say I'm having doubts about sticking to the War and Peace challenge. I have read it once before, and it is no better the second time around. The only thing that motivates me is stubbornness. And Middlemarch? Well, I will read it. But I can't read it as planned because I forget too much about what has already happened. And, frankly, I want it read yesterday. I don't like it.

Finally, I am still reading The Bible. All I can say is that it is a worthy read: I'm too uncomfortable treating it as literature. I may be reading it as literature, but it is still a religious text.

I do also have The Old Curiosity Shop by my bed, and I have started it, but I think perhaps with reading Tom Jones, The Woman in White, and Middlemarch, I should leave it a little while until at least one of those books is complete! I am enjoying it very much, so I don't want to spoil it in any way.

So there is my reading. I also have a few posts planned: one on Othello and He Knew He Was Right, one thinking about reading the classics, and another on something I found via Jillian - criticism as autobiography. I'm also just a few posts away from my 100th post, so I'm sure I'll have some words then!


  1. I really want to read Tom Jones, particularly since you're enjoying it so much. I quite like eighteenth-century novels (it's my go-to period after the Victorians).

    Out of curiosity, which subplot from He Knew He Was Right did you find tedious? I haven't read it, but I've seen it, and I was wondering if the subplot in question made it to the adaptation.

  2. P.S. I hope things look up for you soon! It's never fun when to be too stressed to find solace in books. :)

  3. I hope you're feeling better!

    You have me wanting to read Tom Jones now almost as much as Clarissa! I actually ordered a copy a few months ago, thinking it was the whole book. But when it arrived, it turned out only to be Volume Two! Boo. :(

    Ha! Sorry you're disliking War & Peace! I've had to slow down on it and Les Mis to make room for my other reads, but I should catch up again in March. I think I'm keeping a pretty good pace on Middlemarch.

    I feel the same as you about the Bible. I don't feel a pull to really discuss it, but I'm reading it pretty steadily. I'm almost into Deuteronomy. I imagine you're well past that. :)

    Thanks for linking me. :) I'm interested in reading your post with your take on the topic, as and if you write it. I'm also curious about your Othello/Trollope post.

    Happy week, o! xx

  4. Like yourself, I originally approached the Bible read as reading literature and it really doesn't work. It is a religious text and history and has to be treated as such. The literature aspect, I suppose, comes from the influence the King James Version had on subsequent English literature and so the language of this specific translation can be approached from a literary perspective. Favourite verse so far: 'Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph'
    2 Samuel, c1, v20
    David lamenting the death of Saul. Don't know why it sticks in my mind, something about the denial and fury of grief.

  5. Jill's post was part of the Literary Blog Hop at my blog. Even though it technically ended a few days ago, you're welcome to link up on the post if you want to. You can find it here -

  6. I hope things are better now. Apathy is probably the worst feeling out there, especially when it starts affecting things we love.
    I can totally relate to wanting books read yesterday. Le sigh. I don't know what's wrong with me lately, but I can't for the life of me enjoy reading as I used to. Great Expectations seems to be bringing my reading-loving self back, let's just hopes it lasts.

  7. Les Misérables was the most powerful book I read last year-I also really liked The Hunchback of Norte Dame-I read Tom Jones many years ago and perhaps your mention will stimulate a reread-the "big" book I am reading now is Vanity Fair-I laughed our loud when Becky through out the Johnson Dictionary she was give by the head of the school when she left



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