Monday, August 15, 2016

Mid-August Finds Me

I hated the title of this post, then it struck me that it sounds like one of those novels from the 1910s that end up getting reprinted with great acclaim by something like Virago Press. So there it stands.

Mid-August finds me in the middle of several books again:

1. Burr - Gore Vidal. Novel.
This is my main read right now, and I'm enjoying it more than when I read it back in 2012. I can't help but wonder if Lin-Manuel Miranda had a look at Burr as well as the Ron Chernow biography of Hamilton, because I have come upon several passages in which I nearly burst into song. My most recent hum-along is The Room Where It Happens. I'm having a brilliant time!

2. Villette - Charlotte Bronte. Novel.
 I should give up, but I don't. I won't. I can't. I'm 18 chapters in! I predict a mad reading/listening rush to midnight on New Year's Eve. Bronte! Bragging! Rights!

3. Triptych - Joyce Cary. Novel.
Even with the new magnifier, the print in this book is putting me off. I don't know what I'm going to do. Hoping to finish at least the first book in the volume, Herself Surprised, but more and more, I'm just not feeling it.

4. Washington: A Life - Ron Chernow. Biography.
I had to switch to the e-reader edition because I got tired of lugging the physical book around. Also, there were print issues with this one, too. I am so irritated with my eyes for wavering and watering! Stop that, you two! I'll turn this head around, I swear I will!!!

5. The Emigrants - Johan Bojer. Novel.
Written in 1924 and translated into English the following year, this Norwegian novel is about a family leaving Norway and pioneering in North Dakota. Although I haven't gotten beyond the first chapter, this book pleases me on several fronts: It's old. It's about the emigrant experience. It's about pioneers. It's obscure.

6. Heroes of the Frontier - Dave Eggers. Novel.
I was captivated by What is the What, Eggers' novel based on the life of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Heroes of the Frontier seems very different so far -- it starts out with a dentist unexpectedly taking/whisking away her two young children on a vacation to Alaska. So far, I'm drawn in and asking the sorts of questions an engaged reader asks.

Mid-August finds me wanting something very much. I can't even say it here. Not now. But I want this particular thing BAD. On alternating days I'm:
1) hopeful
2) resigned
3) despondent
4) actively snarling and looking for rocks to throw at the "thing with feathers"

Some days, I'm all of those things in succession. Today was like that.

Mid-August finds me running out of shelving space in my bedroom. Time to cull the herd.


Sam said...

I started writing a review of Joe Queenan's "One for the Books" last night and will probably use this quote from the book regarding his feelings about having to purge his collection to make room for newcomers: “This was excruciating. My books have been part of my life forever. They have been good soldiers, boon companions. Every book has survived numerous purges over the years; each book has repeatedly been called onto the carpet and asked to explain itself. I own no book that has not fought the good fight, taken on all comers, and earned the right to remain. If a book is there, it is there for a reason.”

I think he pegged it.

Bybee said...

Say Amen!

Unruly Reader said...

OK. "Room Where It Happens" is officially my earworm of the day. I've dived right down that rabbit hole...

I (very much) hope you get the thing you want.