- Is there any better feeling than finishing a book and starting a new one? I just read Danielle’s post about the excitement of finishing Don Quixote, and I’m looking forward to experiencing that feeling myself — I should finish DQ by next weekend or the following one at the latest. I’ve enjoyed reading the book, but still I’m looking forward to finishing. I’m about to finish Proust too, which means in another week or so my reading world will look very different. I feel sometimes that I shouldn’t be so eager to finish books, that I should savor them while they last, but the pleasure of moving on to something new usually wins out.
- I’m experiencing that happy-to-be-finished feeling right now, actually, as I just finished Susan Ferrier’s Marriage. I’ll write a post on that book shortly.
- Along with the pleasure of finishing a book, I’m experiencing the pleasure of beginning a new one: Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White. I didn’t know it was quite so long! It’s about 900 pages, but I’m guessing it will read fast. It looks like it will be fun — an absorbing story about a prostitute in Victorian London.
- Hobgoblin suggested that I might like to read The Crimson Petal quite a while ago after he read and liked it. As usual, I didn’t listen to his suggestion. Instead, I waited until I got recommendations from other people, and then I got excited about it and decided to pick it up. Hobgoblin seems to understand this and doesn’t take offense, for which I am grateful.
- Imani has proposed a couple of reading challenges, one of which, the Outmoded Authors challenge I’m considering signing up for. She’s currently compiling a list of authors — a list I contributed a couple of names to. If you know anything about my reading tastes, you might be able to guess which ones!
- The whole idea of outmoded authors is quite interesting, I think — the way authors come in and out of fashion, the way they sometimes are popular in their day and then forgotten and then revived again. I love reading stories about how the reputations of authors rise and fall and the factors that play into those changes. A writer like John Steinbeck is an interesting case — I don’t know if we can call him outmoded, as he still gets read and probably assigned in high schools, but I don’t think he’s been a favorite amongst academic critics, unless there’s been a revolution in thinking that I don’t know about. A guy I knew in grad school wanted to write his dissertation on Steinbeck, but wasn’t sure if that was wise — it might be the case that critical work on an unfashionable author would be valuable because no one else is working on him and the work would seem fresh, or it might be the case that no one would be interested in the work at all.
Filed under Books, Reading