Wednesday reading roundup: August 3

This week's reading roundup finds me with with three books in my currently reading pile and a very, super, long list of books to read next.My sincere thanks, as ever, to Taking on a World of Words for the weekly inspiration of WWW Wednesday and to Coffee and Cats for introducing me to it. They have been so successful at inspiring me to read that I’m sticking with it despite just having written a monthly recap!

What are your currently reading?

I have three books going at the moment though haven’t managed to get very far in any of them.

In paperback, I’m reading Chinue Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, which I picked up at a library book sale last month. It’s set in a fiction Igbo village called Umuofia and centers around Okonkwo. Hardworking and stern, he’s driven by a desire to achieve in ways his father never did – achieving titles, material success, and the respect of his peers. I’m only about a third of the way through but feel a deep sadness permeating this story. Perhaps this is because I sense an irreconcilability between the emotions characters feel and the emotions that are “acceptable.”

I’m also still working on Harry Mount’s Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus, which I’m determined to finish this week. Mount chronicles his travels along Odysseus’ path. A memoir angle is woven in as well as Mount recounts the end of a relationship. His voice is very Britishly charming – much poking fun at himself and the wry humor I love. He’s also teaching me quite a bit about the ancient world, which I appreciate, especially because he makes it accessible and engaging.

Homer’s The Odyssey was on the first reading list I made at the beginning of the year. Eight months later, I’m finally getting to it! I’m rotating between the Fagles translation I have on my Nook and the Fitzgerald I have in paperback. Since I’m still in the first book, I don’t have a favorite yet. However, Fagles has been most often recommended to me. And it’s easier to read because it’s on my Nook. This makes me suspect perceptual bias will lead me to favor Fagles. Still, I’ll do my best to rank based on the language.

What did you recently finish reading?

The only book I completed is the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. As I mentioned, I read it on Sunday when it was delivered to my Nook. It’s weird to read a script, especially when what you really want is a nice, big 750-page novel. I do wish I could see it performed, or even see the staging on film. Reading it made me so curious to see how the effects were achieved. That said, I found the plot engaging – no surprise there since time travel is a big part of it. I enjoyed spending time with the characters, meeting new ones as well as the adult versions of my favorites. I can’t help but wonder how this would have translated to a novel format and what the critical reception to the plot would have been!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Each week, my answer to this questions looks remarkably like the previous week’s answer: I honestly don’t know. After doing such a lousy job on #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks in July, I’d like to do better this month. For that purpose, I combed my Nook and compiled a (super, ridiculously long) list of books I’m hoping to read sooner than later. And by “sooner,” I mean sometime this month … just as soon as I get through the three above.

The Revolving Door of Life by Alexander McCall Smith

The Old Curiosity Shop (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens *

Strong Opinions by Vladimir Nabakov

London: The Novel by Edward Rutherford *

The London Train by Tess Hadley *

Homer’s Daughter by Robert Graves *

Why Read the Classics? by Italo Calvino *

The English German Girl: A Novel by Jake Wallis *

Any of the Joseph Kanon novels I have in my Nook *

Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story by Rachel Kadish *

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron *

The Books in My Life (New Directions Paperbook) by Henry Miller *

Imagined London: A Tour of the World’s Greatest Fictional City by Anna Quindlen *

Book of Days: Personal Essays by Emily Fox Gordon *

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines *

Spooky Little Girl: A Novel by Laurie Notaro *

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell *

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Neffinger *

Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour by Rachel Shukert *

On Reading: From “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau *

The Girl Under the Olive Tree by Leah Fleming

Falling in Honey: How a Tiny Greek Island Stole My Heart by Jennifer Barclay *

Any of the many Jill Mansell novels in my Nook *

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Any of the Hamish Macbeth Mysteries (31 Book Series) novels by M. C. Beaton in my Nook

4 Replies to “Wednesday reading roundup: August 3”

  1. Glad you also enjoyed Potter! I wondered how much longer it would have been as a novel instead of a script and how much more detail we could have gotten. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

    1. Hi Sam! I suspect Cursed Child would have been one of her longer ones – there is definitely enough plot for it. 🙂 I would have loved to see this as a book, needless to say. Happy reading to you too!

  2. In the previous post, I commented that I hoped you’d tell us what “Odyssey” translation you ultimately thought was best. It’s so cool to have an update – even though it may not be the final verdict. Yay!

    I also enjoyed your further comments on “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. I keep feeling like I won’t read it till all the buzz dies down…and then reading your comments here and in the last post, now I’m rethinking that….

    Your to-read list sounds great, and has given me some ideas for my own. I totally forgot about that Miller book, and I love how he writes, so thanks for reminding me…and once again making another addition to my intimidating (but exciting!) to-read list.

    As for “Her Fearful Symmetry”, that is one of the weirdest, most memorable books I’ve read in recent years. If you do go for it, I hope you like it, as well.

    1. Hi Alysa! I remember you mentioned this about “Her Fearful Symmetry” in the past. I picked it up during (yet another!) e-book sale for this reason! You know how much I loved “The Time-Traveller’s Wife,” so I hope to get to this sooner than later, but it’s so hard to tell where my whims will lead me…

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