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Books Maketh Life Better….

February cometh, it means winter soon endeth and that makes me sadeth!

Apologies for the really bad prose, but as all my regular readers know, the potential demise of winter season take a toll on me. There was great mismanagement at the time I was born by the powers above and instead of being born in the cold Alpine Tundra, I was born in the wonderful, albeit extremely HOT Tropical lands! Such are the ironies of life, but we have books to fortify us and help us imagines lives, very different form our everyday mundane reality! My February reading plans fortunately are exactly suited for such flights of imagination from 17th Century Restoration England to 19th Century France to Middle Earth….its all there!

To begin with, as part of Reading England 2016, I read Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier, which is set during Restoration England, specifically Cornwall. (One place I really really want to visit in person, despite exhaustive imaginings of the place, thanks to various Authors who wrote about Cornwall and Jane with her lovely descriptions of her hometown!). Moving on, I am reading The Fortunes of the Rougan’s by Emile Zola as part of 12 Month Classic Challenge; the February theme being A classic you’ve always dreaded reading. Sigh! Everybody assures me that I will love Zola, but so far I have been kind of wary about reading French authors as my experience with Flaubert and Hugo have not been too successful. Though I love some Victor Hugo’s works, but I could not abide by Les Miserables, but then I read it at a very young age and I have a feeling, should I re-visit it again, I will end up liking it. But that is another project for another day! I am reading Miss Marjoriebanks by Margaret Oliphant for my Women’s Classical Literature Reading Event.

This month, for my Lecito List Read which got an impetus from my having absolutely no self control, I start a re-reading of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien with Cleo. The plan is to read the entire three volumes in piecemeal fashion from February to June. I am also continuing with the Metamorphoses by Ovid ReadAlong, again with Cleo, O and Jean. (I have been fascinated with whatever I am reading and so far, while I am not sure of Ovid as a person, I am very glad I am reading the book!)

Finally while there is no definitive plan and no special efforts, I did realize that over the last couple of years, I have been reading the novel variety of fiction and some poetry; I used to love Dramas in my undergraduate days and it seemed a good time as any to re-visit some of them. I am almost done with Shakespeare’s Richard III and for the month of February, I am re-visiting another old favorite of mine, She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith.

In easy readings I still have the he Lake House by Kate Morton and , I also got The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric, books I could not complete in January (Yep! I finished all the heavy Classics and could not finish the more contemporary reads!) because I was too busy reading things on the fly, like W.M. Thackeray and Agatha Christie.

Overall, I had a really good reading month in January and I hope I able to keep up my gutso of sticking to the plan in February as well!

Until then next post then, Happy Reading

 

 

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Regarding The Fortunes by Zola: this one is slower than Germinal (my first Zola). His topics tend to be severe and heavy. Nonetheless, I do love Zola’s writing (which is why I continue reading through the series); he uses words like a artist uses paint.

    February 1, 2016
    • I think you have hit the nail, when you say that he paints through words. I have just started The Fortunes, but I can feel that immediately. I know he is not a light read, but exactly difficult would he get is something I am worried about. However, now that I have started the book, unless it gets reallllllllly bad, I will finish it.

      February 1, 2016
  2. I LOVE Zola so perhaps, knowing our twin brain, that will make you feel better. However! (yes, a caveat!) his material is heavy, and not just heavy in the form of content, but heavy in that it can weigh on your soul. I read two of his novels quite close together and then needed a looong break. He is one of the best writers without exception, and as Ruth says, he paints with words, but for me he left a burden that you feel. It’s a worthwhile burden, but one that needs to be sloughed off and some free air breathed before you can start with him again.

    I can’t believe you’re trying another duMaurier …….. I’ll wait and observe if you wither and curl up into cocoon of frustration. I still feel the effects of Rebecca.

    Okay, you need to read Les Miserables again, and when you do, I’ll read it with you. I love this book. Yes, Hugo is verbose and yes, a couple of his characters are nauseating, but he brings such depth to others and the story overall is amazing. We must fix you, Cirtnecce! 😉

    I agree with you about Ovid. Many of his stories have no surviving Greek texts, but I tend to think they would be less flamboyant and raunchy than Ovid’s versions.

    I’m starting on The Lord of the Rings today! Oooo, fun!

    I’m not sure if you’ve read Henry V, but I have it staring at me, if you want to read it together sometime.

    Okay, I’m finishing up my long letter. 🙂 It looks like 2016 has started off well for many of us readers. I just hope I don’t have to virtually pick you up off the floor after duMaurier! 😉

    February 2, 2016
    • I have hopes that I will like Zola…he does not write, he paints! However I will read The Fortunes and then take a break! I am as you know someone fundamentally happy and bouncy and the harsh realities of life, while they are facts and have to be faced and dealt with, sear my soul. Having said that, most great books talk about unpleasant things, because, life is that – unpleasant for many! So I will plod on with Zola and read some nonsensical stuff in-between so that I can keep a grip! Ok…Hugo should go there for a re-read and how about mid year, like Aug for a ReadAlong! I don’t know about fixing, but I do seem to get tempted in reading all kinds of things! Ovid is Ovid…the more I read his work, the more I think that is the ONLY way to describe him. LOTR is such a pleasure..I had forgotten how much, until I picked it up again! Henry V added…..let me know when and where. I am beliver Cleo, I will try another Du Maurier even if it kills me. LOL! But actually I had already bought Frenchman’s Creek last year as part of my Reading England 2015, but naturally, being a Du Maurier, i really procrastinated in reading it. This year it seemed a shame to start a whole new series, without finishing what I had already lying around. Hence Du Maurier and Lady Ann by Trollope which I finished in Jan. Hang around…you may be hearing me scream once I start reading Du Maurier and I will need intellectual and emotional support! Now here is where I stop my letter! 😉

      February 2, 2016
    • Cleo, I was like that, too! After Zola, I needed a decent break to let it all settle – especially after Germinal.

      February 3, 2016
      • Ok ladies…I will take this slow and easy and one book only with substantial time!

        February 4, 2016
  3. Ooh Richard III, good one! I really love the Henry plays too. Have you read The Terror by Dan Simmons? If not and you want to actually feel cold while reading, that is the book for you. Nothing like Arctic exploration and your ship being stuck in the ice to make the cold creep over you!

    February 2, 2016
    • Ohhhh! Stefanie…nope! will look Dan Simmons for sure!! Will need COLD books as Summers descend! 🙂

      February 2, 2016
  4. I think I too was born in the tropics when perhaps my existence should have been temperate regions. Tropics heat is not easy! Happy February reading.

    February 6, 2016
    • Oh! Lets not get started on Tropics….the very thought of it makes me sweat…literally!!!

      February 6, 2016
      • Roflol, poor you. It is actually still cool and pleasant on my end.

        February 10, 2016

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