Monday, April 6, 2015

New Feature! Monthly Reading Update

Given the haphazard nature of the posting on this site, I thought that maybe putting up a short status on the 6th of every month of where I was at, besides being a good record for myself, would make the blog seem a little more regular or 'alive' especially during long absences.

A List Reading (ca. 1994 GRE Literature Guide): Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. Progress (pages read) 16 of 940.

B List (1966 Illustrated World Encyclopedia List: Henry Fielding, Amelia. 528/611.

C List (Bourgeois Surrender Challenge books): Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. 301/493

It is unusual that I have three novels, and all old ones at that, going concurrently. The A List in recent years has trended heavily towards criticism and books about books with the occasional poem rather than prose fiction, and the C List is not set up to be biased towards novels. The Dostoevsky being such a monument of world literature it might seem that it ludicrous to have other books going at the same time so that one can devote all of one's intellectual energy towards trying to get something out of him; however I have finally managed an arrangement when I read the 'A' list books at work (during breaks and other legally sanctioned down times only, of course), and the 'B' books during the alert times of day at home. A little of the 'C' book is the last thing I will do at night before going to bed, which is why there is an emphasis on their being shorter, easier, and more modern than those books in the other two lists. Also the Brothers Karamazov will be coming up again on the B List, which unfolds in alphabetical order, within the next 3-5 years, so I am taking this first reading (though I did get through the first 300 pages at least back in school), which I just started on Friday, in a less intense manner than some might think proper.

A little anecdote regarding my Tree Grows in Brooklyn reading. We had an old wartime copy of this book at home and I started reading that, but one night when I was evidently too exhausted even to get through a chapter of that I must have put the book down in an unusual place or fallen asleep holding it and had it drop out of my hands because for a week afterwards I couldn't find it again, and finally had to take a more recent copy, which had much larger print, page breaks between chapters and so on than the old war-issue copy, so I am on that now. After another week went by I finally found the other copy placed in one of our book cabinets in which it had not been before, lying on its side where it would not have been visible with the door closed. Obviously someone had found it and put it there without telling me.

For the record, the page progression in the wartime copy would be/is 256/420.

The entirety of this post was written with a screaming (though already well-fed and changed) baby in the background. I guess I will have to go attend to her now.

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