Books are easy. Books I log elsewhere. And yet the only book I entered at GoodReads in April was The Wheel on the School. Can that be right? It’s true I went into one of my periodic reading lulls after my ravenous appetite in March. That’s become my pattern, it seems: a feverish binge and then a (usually sudden) inability to settle on anything, a stretch of weeks when I reach for crossword puzzles instead of a book at bedtime.
I think I needed time to digest after the rich feasts of March!
• The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
• The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald
• The Giver, Lois Lowry
• Queen of England: The Story of Elizabeth, Helene Hanff
• And my Forster binge: A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread, Howard’s End
With Rilla, The Secret Garden—we are a few chapters from the end. And the usual range of history, science, and poetry with Rose and Beanie, and picture books and beginning readers to my three youngest.
Poetry has been delightful; Herbert last week and Herrick and Marvel this week. Next week brings us to Milton, and to prepare, I’ve been watching these lectures at Open Yale. Extremely engaging. Milton’s one of my gaps. Never studied him formally, had only read bits and pieces, and knew him largely through quotes and references—especially Dorothea’s repeated comparisons of her Mr. Casaubon (shudder) to the esteemed poet. This lecture series has been wonderfully illuminating and I’m glad I finally stopped passing it by in favor of other courses.
Also re-read a good bit of Jane Eyre (for discussion with Rose) and watched this lecture on YouTube. I wish the professor had been credited; I’d like to seek out more of her work. Quite good.
Rose and I started off reading Gulliver’s Travels together but she surpassed me and I doubt I’ll catch up now that she’s finished. Gulliver isn’t quite what I want when my head hits the pillow after a crammed-full day.
Hang on! I read Miss Marple stories all through April! Huh, they aren’t showing up on my GoodReads list. Probably forgot to enter the date. Well, it was The Tuesday Club Murders, which I’d read before. I remember now: I had a cold, and Christie is always my go-to reading when I’m sick.
This week’s reading has included a lot of prep for a new endeavor of mine: now that Mystery Class is over, I’m going to do a six-week poetry workshop with my Journey North kids. Very excited about this. Starts tomorrow.
Of course, some of my most fascinating (and challenging) reading has been for my editing job—a delicious gig for a knowledge junkie like me. But it, too, contributes to my late-evening literary slothfulness. By ten o’clock, my brain is quite simply done with words—except the kind that fit one letter at a time into little boxes.
Review and Interview Roundup
“…it spoiled the melon”
“The exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting…is denied to me.”
Books That Caught My Eye at SDCC, Part 1