My March reads reflect my current reading phase. In the past, my reading phases were often based on place: Russian literature, Japanese literature, memoirs by or about Middle Eastern women. Then, a few years ago, I began reading primarily contemporary literary fiction. Maybe because I was engaging with book lovers on social media, I was… Continue reading Reading Wrap-Up: March Reads
I had tried to read Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights at least twice before finally getting through it in January. The novel was never assigned to me, that I can recall. But it’s one of those books so often referenced that not having read it felt like an absence. What made me give up on it in… Continue reading Wuthering Heights and the power of love
On love day a few years ago, I got a hearty chuckle reading an article in which Hugh Grant pronounces the prepackaged romance of Valentine’s Day “repugnant.” I mean, that’s a bit hyperbolic, isn’t it? I would have gone with “revolting,” personally. Oh, I kid. I kid … sort of. We have a day to celebrate… Continue reading 5 bookish expressions of ardent affection, or love
I first read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre in graduate school. It was during an ill-advised semester I’d registered for two courses on novels and a third on literary theory. Some weeks, my required reading hovered around 2,500 pages. I constructed elaborate reading schedules derived by dividing the week’s required pages by my average page-per-hour count.… Continue reading Rereading Jane Eyre: Why it’s good to read books we don’t *like*
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812. That makes today the 205th anniversary of his birth. (Impressive math skills, eh?) Twenty-four years later, Dickens would write The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist, at the same time. At the same time! He’s estimated to have created over 13,000 characters. Basically, that would populate a medium-sized town!… Continue reading Happy birthday, Charles Dickens!
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, first published in 1726, satirizes human society and the “traveler’s tales” genre popular in the pre-Google Maps era. Apparently, he wrote the book “to vex the world.” I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I felt quite vexed upon reading the last page. The novel’s full title tells… Continue reading In which I read Gulliver’s Travels and am vexed
Hopefully, we’ve all had at least one moment when we’ve meet someone and thought, “I can’t believe how much we have in common!” These moments can inspire feeling seen, validated, affirmed. They can make us feel less alone, more connected. Here is at least one person out of the billions on this planet who *gets*… Continue reading Modern Wisdom from Classic Books: The Human Condition
When I call film adaptations successful, what I usually mean is, they capture the tone, mood, and spirit of what I experience reading. So what does that mean, exactly? Reading a great book makes me think and create. It invites me to make connections and, from those connections, to make meaning. It allows for ambiguity without… Continue reading What makes film adaptations work?
How much do our expectations for a book factor into how we end up assessing it? Most of us have some experience having expectations for books. Especially when it comes to super-hyped bestsellers. We hear a book praised from every corner of the inter webs and expect to have a transcendent experience. We read the… Continue reading What I learned by reading Nikolai Gogol
My first year participating in the When Are You Reading? challenge hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words is officially completed. And I’m happy to report I was able to read books set in or written in each time period represented in the challenge. When I joined it in June, I had three… Continue reading Updated – Reading time: The When Are You Reading? Challenge