April 9, 2008 by Tracey S. Rosenberg
This summer, I intend to take a crack at some of the Big Books which teeter in a ziggaurat on the edge of my dresser. I’m currently reading Keith Maillard’s Gloria, which checks in at over 600 pages; I’m enjoying it, but it’s one of those books that starts in the present day and continues that storyline intermittently while paying most of its attention to the backstory. While I’m enjoying the backstory (especially her college years – the sorority stuff reminds me a lot of Pledged), I’m wondering not only where the story is going but when it’s going to go.
But once that’s finished, line up the big hitters. I’m going to try to finish several of these by the end of August, but as I need to put my energy into writing (i.e. finishing MY book), I’m not going to set a fixed goal. It will be like my own mini summer reading program, like the public libraries do, except I won’t get a certificate at the end. Well, maybe I’ll print one up myself.
Possible books, in no particular order:
- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
- Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers [have to get this from the library]
- Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy
- Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
- George Eliot, Romola (I stalled partway through aaaaaaages ago)
- Elizabeth Jane Howard, the Cazalet series
- Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
- Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth
- Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian
It’s quite astonishing how many books one can get away with not reading even when one has multiple degrees in English Literature from respectable universities. There’s just too much to read.
I’ve already read Ulysses and Tristram Shandy and I will not be bothering with Finnegan’s Wake. (Spoiler! Finnegan isn’t dead after all and in fact his wake is the gathering for a group of inter-galactic space vampires who want to activate the portal to the Planet Litwankrivverun.) (Powells is currently showing a first edition for $3800.)
I also have a two-volume paperback Penguin edition of War and Peace but I’m saving that in case I have a hospital stay. I understand Peace is more interesting than War.
[13 days left to use the discount coupon that Better World Books set up exclusively for readers of this blog! Details in this entry. And yes, I know that in this case ‘exclusively’ means ‘anyone who swings by.’]