Archive for February 18th, 2014

What I read today: Tuesday

February 18, 2014 @ 9:10 pm | Filed under:


I’m not going to have time to write anything thinky in the next couple of weeks, but I thought I might try jotting down a few quick reading notes each day, just to keep the blog warm.

Last week I decided to try something new: instead of reaching for my phone and checking my mail when I wake up, I’m reaching for my phone and reading a book. My boys wake up très early and get to watch TV for 30 or 40 minutes before Scott and I drag ourselves out of bed. Usually I use that time to doze, and then check in on everything that’s piled up in my inbox during the East Coast’s head start on the day. But I’m always grumping about not having enough time to read—I fall asleep three pages in, every night—so I thought I’d give a morning reading session a go. It’s been quite nice. I have eleventy-thousand books queued up, so naturally I decided to reread Middlemarch. (I’ve given up trying to figure out my capricious reading whims anymore. If a book insists it wants to be read, I read it.)

This is my third trip to Middlemarch. Read it first the year between college and grad school, when I was working as a publicist for my undergrad alma mater’s drama department and trying to fill in gaps my English degree hadn’t. Loved the novel, had trouble settling on anything else for a long while after. Reread it a few years ago—I could check my archives here to find out when—and loved it even harder. And now here I go again. Why is it I’m hollering at Dorothea every time and yet she still goes and marries him?

So anyway, this morning it was a chapter and a half of Middlemarch (enter Fred Vincy, munching on a grilled bone).

Later: the first section of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with Rose and Bean.

Poem: “The Summer I Was Sixteen” by Geraldine Connolly.

After lunch: a couple of chapters of Helene Hanff’s Underfoot in Show Business, which is making me deliriously happy.

Assorted articles online.

No picture books! Made a Staples run in the early afternoon that ate up our Rillabook window.

“…which says the word you have been unconsciously listening for…”

February 18, 2014 @ 7:52 am | Filed under:

“No doubt it has happened to many of you to pick up in a happy moment some book or pamphlet or copy of verse which just says the word you have unconsciously been listening for, almost craving to speak for yourself, and so sends you off hot-foot on the trail. And if you have had that experience, it may also have happened to you that, after ranging, you returned on the track ‘like faithful hound returning,’ in gratitude, or to refresh the scent; and that, picking up the book again, you found it no such wonderful book after all, or that some of the magic had faded by process of the change in yourself which itself had originated. But the word was spoken.”

—from The Art of Reading by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

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