Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So Many Books, So Little Time....


 


When we were young and foolish and anxious to impress ourselves and others with how learned and well-read we were, we bought, one at a time, the hundred best books in English literature. They are beautiful, leather-bound books and have followed us back and forth across the country and the globe, adding that learned and well-read  ambiance to all the places we’ve lived. Needless to say, in over forty years we've still read fewer than fifty percent of them between us. New plan: now that the OC is retired  we plan to read more of them.

The OC recommended  I start with The Odyssey. Really? I wasn’t thrilled with that suggestion as there was already a teetering pile, threatening to collapse from my night table onto the floor, of library books and books from friends, waiting for their turn to dazzle me. But, I made a start, fully expecting to be bored out of my mind. And truthfully, remembering the torture of translating Latin passages in school, expecting to be reminded that I am not intellectual enough to get a thrill from, or even to understand, the scribblings of long-dead Romans. But, surprise! It wasn’t at all boring. Very readable in fact. I could actually follow the thread of the story. Maybe those old geezers’ writings have survived because the things they wrote about are things that are still relevant today? That said, I’m not exactly steaming through it. As with rich chocolate, I’m pacing myself. One delicious morsel per day as opposed to gobbling the entire box in one sitting. And in between morsels I’ve been chipping away at the teetering pile.

I recently re-read Sebastian Barry’s “A Long, Long Way.” I loved it as much the second time around as I did the first. We all have access to the same vocabulary but the way Barry puts words together is to my ears what chocolate is to my tongue. Another of his, “On Canaan’s Side” is waiting on the night table. And I’m even thinking I might like to reread “The Secret Scripture.” And then there’s “The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty,” and I could even reread “Annie Dunne” just for the pleasure of feeding more chocolate to my soul.

 I have Alice Munroe’s “Dear Life,” a book of her short stories, out from the library. I’m half way through and it’s due back tomorrow. My heart won’t break. I can’t get enthused, which is probably why the Pulitzer Prize committee has not contacted me to sit on their selection board.

A friend lent me Robert Graves “Goodbye To all That” and I’ve dipped in and out and will finish it, in time. Another friend lent me “Life Stories” by Susan Vreeland, and I’ll get to that too. But somewhere in the midst of all these I happened onto “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion, an Australian I'd never even heard of and had to drop everything while I giggled my way through it. Absolutely hilarious, especially if you have a friend or acquaintance with Asperger’s. It reminded me of "The Humans" by Matt Haig and how much fun that was to read. Note to Birdy: drop everything and go get it. The Scot can fend for himself for a day or two.

Waiting at the library for me today is Anna Quindlan’s new book, “Still Life With Breadcrumbs.” Will report back when I finish it. Meanwhile, time for another few chapters from Mr. Homer.

And just in case I blaze through the teetering pile with unaccustomed speed, I’d love to hear what you all have been reading while I’ve been gone.*



* Absence unintentional.. Life gets in the way sometimes. I kept thinking “this week for sure,” and the weeks kept slipping away.  Thanks for your concern and sorry to worry you. All is well. Come see me, I've missed you all.

22 comments:

Gillie said...

For crying out loud....is it really you? So glad to see you back. You leave us hanging with reindeer poop.....
LOVED THE Rosie Project but feel probably not all sweetness and light be have of be around Aspergers :(. I need to pick some Australian bloggy brains to find some good Australian authors. Don't stay away so long again, please, it's very worrying, lol.

Gillie said...

Or be around, I meant to say.......

gz said...

I know how you feel...my pile of books to be read is gradually growing next to my side of the bed....but life gets busy...
then I think of my stash of books all forlorn and needing to be used, hundreds of miles away in Wales.

Read and enjoy!!

patty said...

Just finished "The Hypnotist Love Story" by Liane Moriarty. Have read several of her novels; she is a favorite of my bookclub. We have also read "The Husband's Secret and "What Alice Forgot"

Lee said...

Welcome back, Molly...you were missed. Daily I checked to see if you'd returned, but, alas, you were still missing in action. This morning, however...here you are!

I'll have to take my copy of "The Odyssey" down off the shelf. I often look at it with that intention in mind. Perhaps you've given me the nudge that I need.

Gillie mentions going in search of Aussie authors for you....have a wander through the sites below.

If you've not read any books by Tim Winton...start off with "Cloudstreet"...and go from there. He is a wonderful writer.

But don't leave us for so long between posts! Take care. :)

http://blog.booktopia.com.au/2011/01/11/50-must-read-australian-novels-as-voted-by-you-in-2010/

http://www.abebooks.com/docs/Community/Featured/australian-authors.shtml

Isabelle said...

Hooray! You're back! Glad you're ok.

You mean the OC has actually retired and is living at home with you, doing a little light weeding?

Denice Barker said...

Loved Rosie Project. I'm reading Light Between Oceans as we speak, good list!!

aubirdwoman said...

hahaha roflo I think the absence had something to do with the OC. umm its quite a life change when they stay home isnt it. Oh the Odyssey.. this was read to me in Primary School each Friday afternoon I was enraptured. Have the book again but keep finding others to read. (thanks to you and you followers comments)
I dropped by to see if I could find some books and look what you have presented me with.
Just finished Sweeping Up Glass. Loved it.
and so ends the Epistle of Birdy (Ialways have so much to tell you) Keep well and out of the Oc's way. hugs s

Stomper Girl said...

Molly! So lovely to hear from you again. You made me laugh with your reading adventures. I am not steaming through any books at present, sadly. Ten pages a night seems to be my limit. My younger self would sneer at that, but then my younger self didn't have an ipad...

Dee said...

Dear Molly, you read much more widely than I do. While I'm on the list to get Anna Quindan's latest book from the library, the only other book you mentioned that I've read is "The Odyssey." And right now I'm memorizing Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem on Odysseus--"Ulysses."

Mostly I read mysteries: Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, Anne Perry, Alan Bradley, Deborah Crombie, and many others.

And from this year--2014 to 2018--I am going to grieve the anniversary of World War I by reading books about the war. There are so many fine histories to read and novels and poems also.

Peace.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I read The Odyssey in a college lit class. I didn't love it, didn't hate it. I've read 15 books so far this year, toward my goal of 50. Given my kid/workschedule, that's a lot for me.

Thimbleanna said...

YAY, you're back! But oh dear, I shouldn't read your post -- it makes me feel so guilty that I'v let my reading habits slip so far into the abyss. I still have Esme at the top of my pile though. When I clear out the cobwebs, she's going to be my first strike!

StitchinByTheLake said...

There's never enough time to read - I think I have about 2000 books on my Kindle and will never get to them all. That being said I was intrigued and found The Rosie Project for $1.99 on Amazon so it's just been added to my IPad for reading next....
blessings, marlene

Pauline said...

Will dash to the library and get some of those. I've been reading The Moth, a collection of stories from NPR's show of the same name.

Glad to see you back and blogging. I'm on a bit of a hiatus myself. As you say, life happens...

aubirdwoman said...

Come on Molly ... more news and especially more books. Hope you and OC are well.
LOVED The Rosie Project ummm I do feel thats like The Scot and I so many similarities.
Finished A Long Long Way.... go to
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/A-Long-Long-Way-Audiobook/B0036LPLUY/ref=a_search_c4_1_3_srImg?qid=1397135116&sr=1-3

and you will hear how I heard it.
Perfect .... but so sad and tender.

The others books I am looking for, some are not audible ones.

Just about to start The Sign of Four ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for a change of pace.
Keep well and keep us updaed with your newws
hugs from downunder

aubirdwoman said...

wow Just finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Brilliant I loved it. Hope you and OC are enjoying retirement ;) hugs from downunder

aubirdwoman said...

Oh Molly... I have found Sebastian Barry .....
Hope all is well with you
love and hugs from downunder

Ali Honey said...

Hello Molly. Hope you are well.? Missing you!

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