Wednesday

My very first two literary months


Yesterday I read Jillian's classics club Check in #1 over at her awesome blog A Room of One's Own and also her reblog on a seriously interesting post on two neurotics try to join the classics club and what they found out or around the classics club in 80+ books byLitHitchhiker. And I thought I will also try a little summery of my past two literary months:


First of all I have to say that I am really, really REALLY glad that I joined. Even if I sometimes do not have time to read I still feel comfortable with my goal and know I am in it together with all of you and whenever I read a post in the literary blog world I immediately feel drawn to my book shelf to pick up my current read, or start a new one.

It seems to me that all of you are reading by far more books in a week than I do, and I also know that finishing three books within two months is not a very high performance. But given the circumstances I also have to admit that even if I have wanted to it would most probably not been possible: A puppy moved into my house -- which means I had a new 24/7 job and we also did quite some business traveling... But I am proud to at least have finished a few.

From my 50+ list I have read the following titles so far:

Shakespeare - Twelfth night.
Anna Sewell - Black Beauty
Ernest Hemingway - The old man and the sea

Hemingway was seriously impressing me. Great writing I had missed so far. Black Beauty was a novel which was also pure fun to read, very touching, and especially for animal and horse lovers an absolute highlight!

I am half through with Jane Austen's Persuasion and I did already a quick read-into of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, which is - I know me- only a matter of (short) time until I will read - and most likely finish it quickly. So tempting!! I am reading Siddhartha in German, as this is my mother tongue. For those of you knowing the language, I will include a small teaser:

Ein Buch, dessen Tiefe in der kunstvoll einfachen und klaren Sprache verborgen liegt, einer Klarheit, die vermutlich die geistige Erstarrung jener literarischen Philister aus dem Konzept bringt, die immer so genau wissen, was gute und was schlechte Literatur ist. Einen Buddha zu schaffen, der den allgemeinen anerkannten Buddha übertrifft, das ist eine unerhörte Tat, gerade für einen Deutschen. Siddhartha ist für mich eine wirksamere Medizin als das Neue Testament.
Henry Miller
Uhhh, I seriously cannot wait until I will have time to start - as this bank holiday weekend will be a busy one. My parents are visiting and we will be around the Netherlands a little bit. Maybe we include a visit at the famous Keukenhof Hollands most famous flower, and of course especially tulip exposition. We shall see.

I any case I am also currently reading Night train to Lisbon. A highly recommendable contemporary novel about a Swiss guy in his mid fifties named Gregorius, high school teacher for Latin and Greek who after an incident with a Portuguese lady decided to change his life and leave the city of Bern into the uncertainty of Lisbon....

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If I look at those beautifully presented statistics by LitHitchhiker, I must say, that I am pretty average. I have Dickens and Austen in my list, and from the Top Ten list I only did not include David Copperfield and Bleak House (Yet- haha). Just my Shakespeare consumption seems less than average as the only works I have included was "Twelfth Night".  I just cannot find a good access to Shakespeare yet, and it makes me uncomfortable to read and feel that I do not make any progress and feel like driving on a (too) stoney road... Elizabethan English also seems to not fit my mouth and is perhaps just too difficult for me. 
I was surprised that Anna Karenina was such a top top top hit. I mean it is in my list as well, as I am particularly interested in the novels of that time, as I have already read Tess of the D"Urbervilles - Adventures of a milkmaid by Thomas Hardy, Madame Bovary by Flaubert and Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane who were all working on the topic of social standing of women in that time. Anna Karenina is the one I still miss - but I would not consider it my very personal, very own top top top classic. (Which one that would be I would perhaps need to think as there are some more candidates, but it would certainly be going more into the Austen direction).
Oh, and I was also surprised that George Eliot's Middlemarch was such a popular classic. I have read it once and it troubled me once.. and it is also on my list, but it is on my list because it used to be my biggest literary enemy and it is certainly the book I am most scared from. Even though it is a re-read.

I am not surprised that there is only one Austen work in the top ten, as tadaaa, most of us most probably have already read the classics of the classics already at least more than once ;-) and not so many classics bibliophils would name Pride & Prejudice as the classic still to be read... Or am I wrong here?

Anyways, I loved to see the list you two made, it is awesome, also how it looks! Thank you very much Alexis & Claudia!

Happy long bank holiday weekend & happy reading,
Love,
Svenja

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