It’s Wednesday reading roundup time, and I’ve been enjoying this week’s reading adventures, in a big way. Before I jump right to it, I can’t forget to send a shout-out to Taking on a World of Words and Coffee and Cats for WWW Wednesday!
What are you currently reading?
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation translated by Seamus Heaney fits my two 2016 reading challenges, #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks and When Are You Reading? I only just picked up the latter challenge this month and am eager to fill in a category I haven’t hit yet this year: books written or taking place pre-1500. As I mentioned last week, reading Beowulf is a meditative experience. There’s a steadiness to the pacing and description, with emphasis on sensory rather than interior or emotional experiences. It feels very immersive. I only have 30 pages to go but am dragging my heels because I don’t want it to end.
Since I’m pacing myself with Beowulf, I started All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane by Amy Smith, a Nook book I’ve had for a good long while. (I tend to stockpile reading memoirs.) Smith, a literature professor, spent a sabbatical traveling through six Latin American countries to lead Jane Austen reading groups. So far, I’m getting a light-hearted and charming memoir vibe.
I also picked up The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan this week. I enjoyed the humorous take on Greek mythology in his Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, both of which my son and I read aloud together. I wasn’t planning to read this new series, mostly because I’m supposed to be reading my own books. But I’ve walked by the book so many times that I couldn’t resist reading the first page. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the silliness of these books. I guess I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old … eh, I can live with that. I’m sure there are worse things to be (*clears throat*).
What did you recently finish reading?
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’d never heard of it when one of my book club friends recommended it for our meeting this month. The book jacket’s description did little to kindle my interest. Well, let me tell you: The first page hooked me, and I devoured the book in two days. It’s funny, raw, moving, tender. In a single page, I’d go from laughing to tearing up to laughing again. This is one of those books I wanted to hug when it was over.
I’m feeling skittish about telling you too much about it because it was such a pleasure to discover it page by page. But I suppose it won’t ruin it to tell you: Ove is a 59-year old man of steady habits and integrity who feels out of step with the modern world. Ove has been wounded by life. The book tells the story of his life, in the present day and through flashbacks.
Yes, that should suffice. Now go out and read this book!
What do you think you’ll read next?
Reading Beowulf is making me want to reread Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. I also want to read Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, which my dear friend Jessica lent me. I’ve also been meaning to read The Time Machine by H. G. Wells for a while.
How about you? What books are on your read, reading, and will read lists this week?