Monday, July 18, 2016

What I'm reading this week (7/18/16)

I didn't finish anything last week, because my main read is quite long.

This week, I'll continue my way through:

I'm about 750 pages into Gone with the Wind (about 200 pages left). It took me 300-400 pages to really feel fully engaged, which sounds ridiculous, but with such a long book, I think it's to be expected. Pacing and character development in a book of this size moves at a different speed. I find it kind of fascinating. (I'm always geeking over how stories are put together, and this is a fascinating study.) When you have 950 pages to play with, you can use subtlety in a way you can't in a 300-page novel, or even a 500-page novel. It's also quite interesting to me that I can so dislike the main character (Scarlett) and also the main male character (Rhett) and still be enthralled with the story. It really is a fine novel, worth its numerous lauds (Pulitzer prize, anyone?) over the years.

I also continue with:

I'm still very much enjoying 50 Paintings You Should Know. While it's not art-class-in-depth, it's close enough for a casual learner of art. I can't wait to check out the other books in the series. Last week we examined Girl with a Pearl Earring. While I've seen a number of these works before, to sit down with them and really look at them has been a highlight of my day. Oh to see some of them in person!

Last week, I began:

My reading tastes at the moment seem to be for lots and lots of variety all at the same time. I started three books last week to round out my reading and have something from a number of categories. At night, I go systematically from one to the next, reading from each until I've had my fill of that taste. It's like a six-course meal every night. I go to bed sated.

I love being surprised by a book--especially a book that I wasn't sure I would like, had even decided not to read, then picked up and absolutely loved. Lately, I've been in the mood for some nonfiction essays by women who graduated high school when I did, if you know what I mean. Glennon Melton and Shauna Niequist have books coming out very soon, but I needed something now, so I turned to Jen Hatmaker. I'd read her book 7 awhile ago, and I really liked it, but after certain comments made on her blog, I sort of wrote her off. Hatmaker is an ardent progressive Christian (my term, not hers), and I'm not exactly in line with that agenda. To each her own. Live and let love. But something made me pick up her latest, For the Love, and I feel that it's been written for me. She's quite witty, straightforward, and she continually puts her finger on the things that plague most women. Although she writes a great deal about motherhood, which I don't particularly relate to, I appreciate what she has to say. And the fact that she calls maxi skirts "crotchless yoga pants" really endears her to me. I'm about halfway through the book, and I recommend it to folks who are too mature for the Mindy Kalings of the book world. If you know what I mean.

Sara Pennypacker released her last Clementine book recently, and I believe she's replacing the series with a new series about a boy named Waylon. I picked up Waylon! One Awesome Thing last week even though it wasn't on my reading list, and I was hooked at the first page. Although the book isn't hilarious like the Clementine books (Clementine is in the book, though as a classmate of Waylon's.), it has the heart of the Clementine books, and that's wonderful. I recommend Waylon! for the young middle-grade readers, especially boys in this age group who have trouble finding good books.

And because I can't seem to function without having a poetry book nearby, I started Kevin Young's Dear Darkness. I've read two brilliant anthologies by Young, one full of food poems, and one of grief poems, and I've wanted to check out his poetry for awhile now. I have not been disappointed. Young's poems are approachable and domestic. Most of what I've read so far in the collection has been poems based on memories, which are about number one on the relatable poetry scale. 

My audiobook:

I should finish my re-read of Killing Reagan this week, and I'll be glad. Not that I'm disliking the book, but because the audio version is so problematic. I think whoever set up the tracks has never listened to an andiobook--a 30-minute track followed by a one-minute track? Who does that? Terrible. But as for the content, I'd taken on the re-read as a way of answering the question, "What did I miss the first time?" and I'm not really getting an answer to that. I still think the portrait of Reagan, full as it is of negative assertions about the president and first lady, is agenda-based. I'm unsure what to believe about Reagan's diminished mental capacity as early as his first term, nor the idea that Nancy ran the White House, had the exclusive rights to Reagan's schedule, and managed his cabinet. Could all be true, but I don't know. Seems too negative to be believed.


No comments:

Post a Comment