A few reading notes

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Is it possible for book people to have any self-restraint? I try to prioritize and read with some deliberateness, but no matter what I do, I manage to be reading a great deal at one time so it takes me quite a while to get through things. Well, I am still working on Moby Dick and there are finally whales. Huzzah! But, just when that started picking up, I’ve had to start reading The Sea Captain’s Wife by Martha Hodes for work. It is a very interesting story about a woman from rural Massachusetts who moves to Manchester, NH and works in the cotton mills. She marries a carpenter and they end up moving to Mobile, AL just before the outbreak of the civil war. When her husband joins the Confederate Army, she moves back north and becomes a domestic worker. Her husband dies and somehow she ends up marrying a sea captain from the Grand Cayman Islands.

I’ve also started Flight by Sherman Alexie, because he’s great and I don’t have any other fiction on the nightstand. I’m still reading Outlaw Style by R.T. Smith and I’m in the middle of his section on John Wilkes Booth, who I knew very little about. I also brought home Behind My Eyes by Li-Young Lee who’s one of my favorite poets. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this to come out and it comes with a CD of Lee reading his poems. I’m not sure if I should read and then listen or read and listen at the same time. Finally I just started Stephane Heuet’s version of Remembrance of Things Past and that’s probably the only Proust I’ll ever read.


3 thoughts on “A few reading notes

    David King said:
    February 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I can only speak for myself, but that said, I’m with you: I suspect that avid readers have very little self-control. I know my limits and realise perfectly well that I should read one book at a time, yet I always have a couple of poetry books on the go (do they count?) and usually one or two others. At the moment the others include “War and Peace” (Which should have been enough for anyone! I have not read it before, so thought it about time that I did, but I must say that, at least in the new translation by Orlando Figes, the going is a lot easier than I had anticipated), Ian McEwen’s “On Chesil Beach” and “My Other Life” by Paul Theroux – this last replacing “Satanic Verses”, which I also had not read previously, but which did nothing for me. I don’t know where any of this gets us, but I suspect there are many like us.

    ta said:
    February 26, 2008 at 12:47 am

    I love what you said about poetry books. I have to have at least one going. It’s easy to dip in and out of them. Of course, I don’t always finish them that way. I try to read at least one poem before I settle into my reading. I saw the new translation of War and Peace and I wish it was around when I read it. I read it with my husband – he liked the war and I liked the peace. I think it has the worst ending of any book I’ve read. Maybe I should give it another shot. I’d like to try some Paul Theroux. I’ve never read him. There are surely people out there who read methodically, but they’re probably not very interesting!

    jeane said:
    February 27, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Self control lacking when it comes to books. My husb bemoans: don’t you ever talk/think about anything other than books? Glad to hear you’ve finally found a whale!

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