Classic Books

Wednesday reading roundup: May 18

A Wednesday reading roundup of what I've read, am reading, and planning to read.I had so much fun providing a Wednesday reading roundup last week that I’ve decided to make it a regular thing. Thank you, once again, to Taking on a World of Words and Coffee and Cats for the idea!

Since I’m doing the May Smash Your Stack challenge, as part of the Read My Own Damn Books challenge, all but one of this month’s reads so far come from my collection.

Wednesday reading roundupSomething else I noticed this week: 2016 has found me rereading more often than at any time since childhood. Back then, I’d read the same books on a seemingly endless loop. As an adult, I’ve tended to resist rereading because I feel like I *should be* reading new books. As to why I’m drawn to rereading all of a sudden, maybe it’s something to do with growing older and feeling nostalgic. (This I will want to explore further in a future post!)

Now on to the questions:

What are you currently reading?

My friend Jessica has been encouraging me to read A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole for ages. Which is about how long the book has been on my bookshelf. So I’m multi-tasking by reading this one: I’m finally reading a book recommended by a dear friend and smashing my stack in the process.

I’m also still working on The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe by Ann Morgan. Admittedly, I haven’t made much progress since last week. The primary problem is, I think, my expectations: The book isn’t what I thought it would be based on the description. It’s heavy on research about the international book market and light on book talk.

What did you recently finish reading?

Most recently, I finished rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. I’ve now lost track of how many times I’ve read this book. After rereading The Battle of Hogwarts from The Deathly Hallows last week, I was feeling nostalgic for a good Dumbledore scene. One of my favorites is at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince. Somehow, that turned into reading the whole book again.

I also finished Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, another reread. It has been a few years since I read it. Honestly, I’d forgotten how incredibly boring the first section can feel and what a complete 180 happens in the second part. If you’ve tried to read this book but gave up, give it a go like this: Read the first part like a detective investigating a suspicious character.

What do you think you’ll read next?

My to-read list is so, so long … and overwhelming … and ever-changing. I crafted a nice, long list earlier this month when I committed to *smash my stack.* So far, I’ve been sticking to it, though I am a painfully slow reader. (Which is to say: I haven’t made as much progress as I’d like.) I might try The Time Machine by H. G. Wells next since I haven’t read a classic yet this month. The idea of reading a children’s book sounds appealing to me at the moment as well – perhaps Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.

Not on my original Smash Your Stack list but also tempting: A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel by John Irving, which is in my e-library. I first read it in high school and remember falling in love with this book. I don’t remember too much about the plot, but I remember the feelings reading the novel evoked. For a long time, I called it one of my favorite books of all time. Eventually, it dropped down on my favorite list simply because I discovered new books. I’m so curious to revisit it and see what kind of experience I have this time around.

I’m keen to hear what everyone’s reading, read, and planning to read. Share in the comments?

6 thoughts on “Wednesday reading roundup: May 18

  1. Your blurb on Code Name Verity is definitely intriguing. I’ll have to check it out!

    This week I’m rereading To Kill a Mockingbird and finishing up The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Julia! I reread To Kill a Mockingbird recently as well and loved it all over again. Haven’t read The Madwoman Upstairs – will have to check it out!

  2. I absolutely LOVE A Prayer for Owen Meany. I read it in high school, too, and will still tell people Irving is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorite books by him. It’s so moving. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

    1. Happy reading to you too! And yes, exactly – that feeling of being deeply moved is what has stayed with me about reading A Prayer for Owen Meany. Now I’m excited to reread it. Thank you!

  3. Sigh…I wish I had something new to report from my reading front since last Wednesday….

    More importantly, it’s always awesome to read your takes on books. I was particularly intrigued by how you described your history with “A Prayer for Owen Meany” (which, back when I was in my John Irving phase, was actually one of my LEAST favorite books of his!). It’s so true what you say about those books we love for a while and that then fade away, either because we forget them or because so many other great books come into our lives. I wonder if all bibliophiles feel that way? And of course, then there’s the opposite – those books that stay with us forever and are maybe even cornerstones to our very personalities.

    Also, I am so amazed at how you re-read the Harry Potter series so often – I love the books and movies, and have made pilgrimages to Platform 3/4 in London and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, and yet, besides the occasional re-watching of one of the movies (for a few years, they were doing marathons of them here during the Christmas season, which was a really fun idea), I haven’t dipped too much back into that world. I’m not really sure why. I love that it’s there and am so delighted by it (and saddened by its sad parts), but I don’t feel the urge to re-read the books. No idea why.

    1. I feel like I’m locked into a loop with the HP books, where I watch a movie and then want to reread a book, which them makes me want to watch the movie. But it’s also the associations I have with the books. I discovered them with my son, and we read the whole series aloud together. It might also be part of a larger rereading trend I’m going through this year. I’ve loved a lot of books in my life but have never, as an adult, reread as much as I have this year!

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