My reading is all over the place lately; it's taking me a long time to finish things, in part because Autumn hasn't been very cold and I've been cycling like a fiend. I've also been working on the 4th Annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off because its inventor and fearless leader, Lisa, is off to distant lands to talk to people about raw food. She's a brave and lovely lady.
But I have been reading. I've been plodding my way (enthusiastically! but it's still plodding) through The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom for months now. There are two things you need to know about children's book editor Ursula Nordstrom: 1) She wrote fantastic letters. (E.g., "Someday very soon I'm going to write you a great letter. But not today.") 2) She discovered the genius that is Maurice Sendak and it's her we have to thank for the timeless, wild rumpus that is Where the Wild Things Are.
Letters take me a long time—I read one and then I feel as though I'm done with that author for at least a few months; short stories are the same. It's absurd. My sleepy snail pace with this collection has been exacerbated by the fact that the first copy I borrowed from the library fell to pieces in my hands, and there are only two circulating copies; I may not be able to immediately renew it when my time is up.
(This book was recommended to me by Rohan Maitzen, who is much better at storming through books than I am, unless those books are by David Mitchell.)
And I feel wretched that I don't love this book—Kevin recommended it because he loved it so. But you know, we actually often don't love each other's favourites. I thought Soucy's The Immaculate Conception was brilliant; he objected that it didn't always make sense, and not in a charming way. He loves Cormac McCarthy, who I think is very clever only for having made it as a famous writer who generally can't write complete sentences. We tend to agree completely only on Cloud Atlas; but that is more than enough to build a friendship on.
series of posts worthy of my eddication as I did with Romola last year. However, while I think I love the book much more now than I did in 1998, I just don't have the time; those Romola posts took me hours and hours, and as I worked in a bookstore then, it seemed much easier to find time to spend hours and hours thinking and writing about books.
I lament not giving this novel the attention it deserves, but I'm happy that it seems to have reignited my enthusiasm for my Victorian Lit project—which I am absolutely not going to jeopardize again by trying, again, to read Thackeray's The History of Henry Esmond! I might even skip Villette and go right back to Dickens, just to be safe.
Then there are all these books I haven't even cracked, the most important being my Lisbon guidebook and my Portuguese phrase book. I really, really should look at these books, as we're heading to Portugal in just over a month...but somehow it just keeps not happening. I keep finding myself busy with something else. God, I'm such an irresponsible pre-traveller!