So I started off my day with Sister Pelagia and The Black Monk by Boris Akunin, which I finished at about 3 a.m. this morning. I will post a lengthier review later, but in brief, it was good, but not as good as the first in the series, Sister Pelagia and The White Bulldog.
Other than that, I didn’t get in a lot of reading today. I began reading Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe for the Southern Reading Challenge, but I must admit it was a slow go and I only got about 30 pages into the nearly 500-page tome.
The book begins thus:
A destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania and thence into the hills that shut in Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cok, and the soft stone smile of an angel, is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new magic in a dusty world.
Each one of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago that love that ended yesterday in Texas.
The seed or our destruction will blossom in a desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forthy thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.
Whoa, to say the least. After reading about 30 pages, I have decided I’m going to need to balance this with something different, so I’m beginning tonight The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. I picked up a copy of this at our local bookstore, which interestingly (or not, depending on your point of view; mine, interestingly) was autographed by Alexie. I skimmed through the book and realized that it was the basis for the movie Smoke Signals, for which Alexie also wrote the screenplay. I loved the movie and am now so looking forward to see how the book is different from the movie. I will be starting this here as soon as I finish with this post.
In my first post today, I forgot to list books I bought this week and will be adding to my LibraryThing by the end of this week.
First, I will begin with the 25 books I bought for $10.75 at our libary book sale (with hardcovers noted a with an asterik):
- The Language Police by Diane Navitch (about the battle over banned books in education)*
- A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar (I loved the movie so thought why not try the book?)*
- Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda
- Praying with Julian of Norwich by Gloria Durka
- Remembrance of Things Past: Cities of the Plain, The Captive, The Sweet Cheat Gone and The Past Recaptured by Marcel Proust*
- Seeds of Change by Kenneth Boa and Kerry Livgren (the spiritual journey of Kerry Livgren, guitarist with Kansas; ironically, this one I had given to the book sale and then bought back for 50 cents after deciding I didn’t want to give it up after all)
- St. Peter’s Fair by Ellis Peter (a Brother Cadfael mystery)*
- The Nero Wolfe Primer: And Be A Villian, Black Orchids and Champagne for One by Rex Stout*
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Ressurection (modern translation by David Attwater, with introduction by Dorothy Day)*
- Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
- The Phenomenon of Man by Tielhard de Chardin
- More Adventures of The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
- Triple Wimsey: Whose Body?, Murder Must Advertise and Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers
- A Kierkegaard Anthology, edited by Robert Bretall*
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (which unbelievably I have never read)
- Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avilla
- St. Francis of Assisi by G.K. Chesteron
- One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters (another Brother Cadfael mystery)
- The Power That Preserves, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Book Three by Stephen R. Donaldson
- The Confessions of Jean Jaques Rousseau
- The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust (another part of Remembrance of Things Past)
- The New Pocket Anthology of American Verse from Colonial Days to the Present, edited by Oscar Williams (a variant edition, slightly abridged –umm, like I care with something like this? ummm, no)
- The Road Not Taken and Other Early Poems by Robert Frost
The ones of which I’m the most proud in finding are the Proust, because I had a few of the parts of Remembrance of Things Past, but didn’t have the entire collection. Oddly, I find those two books on a children’s table, the last table I looked on the day I went to the book sale.
The other four books that I bought this week, I found at our local bookstore. They were:
- the aforementioned Sherman Alexie book
- A boxed set of E.B. White books: Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little (which I remember giving to a niece for Christmas one year, but never purchased for myself; plus I never read The Trumpet of the Swan, while, of course, reading and loving the other two in the collection)