Reading on the beach in Hawaii
When I lived in Hawaii in the mid-1990s my beach reading of choice was the The New Yorker. Not only did it keep me in touch with what was happening in the real world (the world wide web was nascent to say the least), but it is the perfect format for beach reading. All of the articles are printed on contiguous pages so there is no flipping to the back of the magazine to continue an article. It sounds like a small thing, but it really makes it so much easier to read on a beach with all the sand and sunscreen that can muck up the pages. We are headed to Hawaii this winter (haven't been back there since 2001) and I need to come up with my reading pile. Since the trip is during the TBR Dare I could only pick from the pile I wrote about earlier which thankfully wasn't a problem. I made sure I included enough used paperbacks in that pile so that I wouldn't mind if the books got a little trashed on the beach. I think I am going to take along According to Mark by Penelope Lively, one of the two Elinor Lipman novels in my pile, Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry and either Armadale by Wilkie Collins or Dickens' Little Dorritt. That will definitely cover me for quantity and I hope also for variety. After all there is about 10 hours of flying time each direction as well.
Apologies to Salman Rushdie
In my post a few days ago about my TBR Dare pile for the first three months of 2012 I made a snarky comment about Salman Rushdie. For some reason I have had it in my head that Rushdie's writing is not for me and that getting through Midnight's Children was going to be like taking bitter medicine. Why did I think this? On what information did I base this prejudice? Thursday night before bed, feeling up to a challenge--and starting my TBR Dare early--I picked up Midnight's Children. I soon found myself interested enough to force myself to stay awake until I read the first chapter. The next morning I couldn't wait to get to the bus stop so I could resume my reading. And now I am 46 pages in and I can't believe what an enjoyable and interesting read it is turning out to be. This is a perfect example of why the TBR Dare is so great. I don't think I would have picked this up anytime soon, and now I am reading something really great. Now, hopefully it was Naipaul not Rushdie who made those ridiculous comments about woman writers...
|If you have nothing to read on|
the subway, sleeping seems like
a better option than just staring.
Photo from Asleep on the Subway
I couldn't help noticing yesterday morning how many people just sit on the Metro and stare into space. Granted, many are listening to iPods which no doubt helps to pass the time. But how can someone take a precious half hour of the day (or more) and not read or knit or write out a grocery list or sleep. I do sometimes just to stare into space, but not very often, and many of these people look like habitual stare-ers. Maybe they are plotting their entrance into the Republican primaries.
Reading Dickens is the dickens
The effervescent Amanda at the Fig and Thistle is hosting a Dickens challenge during January as a lead up to the old man's 200th birthday on February 7th. My experience with Dickens hasn't been all that fantastic. I had to read Hard Times in college and I kind of enjoyed it. But I have also gotten stuck (repeatedly) in both the Tale of Two Cities and Bleak House. Loved the TV version of the latter, but honestly how many times can I be expected to read about Jarndyce and Jarndyce before allowing my eyes to glaze over. Prior to finding out about Amanda's challenge, I thought it might be time to give Dickens another try and put Little Dorrit in my TBR Dare pile. I think I am going to shoot for having it read by February 7th so I can post a review that day. No doubt my review will be crucial to the global success or failure of Dickens' work.
Will Henry Green get the green light?
Stu over at Winstonsdad's Blog is hosting Henry Green Week beginning January 23rd. I don't know anything about Green and hadn't really thought about participating until Simon at Stuck-in-a-Book mentioned it. What finally tipped me over the edge was Simon saying: "... c'mon, if you all did it for Anita Brookner, you can definitely do it for Henry Green." And I thought, "He's right, I should give it a go..." Well I did. I checked one out from the library and we didn't get along. At all. There might be some Henry Green in my future, but not in time for the 23rd.