Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Odi et amo

This book fascinates me because it is such a perfect example of why I love my Kindle and also why I so often neglect it.

It's a huge, heavy book that's available for free as an eBook. Instant travel companion! Thanks Kindle!

But just look at that gorgeous cover! Clothbound, yum yum. And a well-regarded translation besides. Thanks Penguin!

Sorry, wallet.

(Yes, I am actually going to read this. I was much surprised by friends who liked the movie but insisted the book was better. I didn't think anyone would compare the movie to anything but the musical. And I really didn't think anyone outside a French literature class actually read Hugo... but I'll save all that for the post...)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Aaaaaand that's me

Womp womp. Next and last Readathon post.

Ethan Frome
Mini, you say? How so? This is one of the smallest books I own, physically, that isn't some kind of novelty book. It's one of those cheapie Signet Classics editions I bought a lot of in high school.

So, I read Age of Innocence, not that you'd know because I think I still have not posted about it, which reminded me of this book which I hated with all the hate I could muster in high school. Ethan Frome was THE WORST OMG. But Age of Innocence wasn't bad, and it made me curious to re-read this one and see what the deal was.

Unsurprisingly: no, I cannot read a whole book in an hour, and I really only got through a couple of chapters, but it's not as terrible and boring and pointless as it seemed back in junior year. (Or it might have been senior year, which would also explain a lot.) It does have as its theme "New Englanders have sucky lives" however. Edith Wharton, ladies and gentlemen.

This copy is indeed the exact copy I had in high school, meaning that I have circled the characters' names and highlighted all the most obvious descriptors of them. I also have a sentence written at the end of each chapter summarizing it, which I vaguely recall the teacher requiring us to do. Apparently as late as this I had trouble distinguishing the author from a first-person narrator, because in the frame chapter I have written "The author tells of her 'discovery' of the troubles of Ethan Frome and sets depressing beginning." Extra points deducted for that "tells of" nonsense. So even after reading only a couple of chapters of Ethan Frome it has already taught me humility.

And now I guess I have to read the whole thing, like, on my own time. Oh, these cruel burdens that we unwittingly call down upon ourselves!

Have fun with the rest of the Mini-Readathon, mini-readers!

The Mini-Readathon (now even minier)

I don't really know about Readathons as an organized blog thing. (As you can tell, I'm kind of a sucky blogger.) Alice always wants to do them and can't, that's what I know. But I do love a theme, and the GIF Admiration Society, so here we are!

Now, I'm already Doin It Rong in two ways. First, I will be carrying our awesome theme to a self-defeating extreme by quitting at noon CST. My workload tripled on January 1st, you guys, and I've been freaking out about it all week, which wouldn't be so bad if "freaking out" including "actually doing some of the work".

Yeah, yeah
Anyway, so that's one thing. The other is that I started reading early, just to compensate. Which is maybe a violation of the rules or something? But then I burned up any advantage I may have had with getting dressed. Anyway.


The First Book of Mini-Readathon:

Nancy Drew #8: Nancy's Mysterious Letter
Mini, you say? How so? This is a children's book, written for mini people, which I myself enjoyed as a mini person. Also it requires mini effort.

I read a lot of Nancy Drew as a kid so I was glad to have an excuse/opportunity to revisit
the series and see what they were about. One of the things that struck me in reading this this morning is how little personality Nancy (or really anyone) in the book has. Everything's written in such simple language and there's very little in the story that doesn't relate to the mystery. Kid's books, eh!

The part where Nancy, Bess, and George go to visit their boyfriends at college was the most entertaining from a kitsch perspective. I remembered that Ned was the star of the football team but not that Bess and George's boys are on the second string! Haha. Actually the boys are always referred to as "friends" or "dates" which is sort of interesting -- as well as the fact that the author does not hesitate to put in six pages describing the progress of the Big Game in (what seems to me) play-by-play detail.

There is also a sailor character who says things like "she's gone to the chandler's for supplies and will be back at six bells. Haul your anchor and sit down, lass!" Oh dear oh dear.

Alright, I'll check back in in an hour and we'll see if I manage to read two whole books in my mini-Mini-Readathon.