What are you reading this summer?
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So, while everyone is lying at the beach with the latest James Patterson in their greasy sunscreen-soaked hands, what are we classicists going to be reading?
Myself, I've got 5 glorious weeks of holiday, and not enough money to go anywhere. So, I'll be spending half-days at the local cafe reading the last four Dickens, which I didn't finish last year. They are: Little Dorrit, Our Mutual Friend, The Old Curiosity Shop, and Dombey and Son.
I might also try to read Ulysses again. I never get past the first chapter... not a Joyce fan...
No beach for me either (lack of inclination, rather than opportunity: I live near the sea). I'm hoping to get a bit further with the Palliser novels and read some more Balzac this summer, maybe also have a go at re-reading Buddenbrooks. But I'll probably end up doing something quite different...
I'd to try again with Buddenbrooks, and maybe another Dickens, perhaps A Tale of Two Cities.
Don't think I'll be travelling during the summer, except for a quick wedding weekend, but I don't really have much time off either. Looks like I'll be getting most of my reading done in the air-conditioned subway commute. Joy!
I'm participating in both a Classics Bribe challenge and a Victorian Celebration the blog, so I'm trying to always be reading both one classic and one modern book...a lot of pre-1930s speculative fiction, a couple of children's classics like The Wind in the Willows, some Jane Austen, gothic novels, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Aldous Huxley, Daniel Defoe, modern classics, etc. Well, that's at least what's currently on the pile; I doubt I'll get through that many.
After over a half a century, I finally read The Wind in the Willows. Wow, that Mr. Toad was some sociopath!
I've got a collection of Jorge Luis Borges stories waiting for me. I would also like to read some French romantic novels - Zola, Balzac and/or Hugo.
I picked up some great classics at my library book sale last week. The sale table is replenished with books each Tuesday, and every Tuesday you'll find me picking through the books for a classic bargain. Now, I'm spoilt for choice for my next read..... Balzac, Flaubert, Trollope, James, Dickens, Cervantes or Conrad. I leaning towards Balzac's Pere Goriot as I've never read him before.
#8 I fell in love with Balzac after reading Pere Goriot. After devouring several of his books, I moved on to Emil Zola Both have strong opinions about the world around them but manage to convey them without sounding bombastic. Sometimes, they can break your heart.
I must say, many of the authors you mentioned have survived the centuries because of their ability to capture the mood of the times, strip away the layers of human behavior, but make it readable through development of the characters who carry these novels on their shoulders. That's why I enjoy reading the classics. I realize that human behavior never changes.
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