Another Week, Another Month

A double tulip - but doesn't it look like a miniature peony?

I can’t believe it’s the end of April already! For that matter, I can’t believe that we ever entered April. This I might have to possibly attribute to the chilly weather we’ve endured well into spring this year. It’s been just warm enough for the bulbs to open up, at least when the sun is out, but we’ve only had a handful of days warm enough to sit outside. I’m not exactly an out-of-doors person, but after being stuck indoors a good part of the winter, between snow storms and ice storms, I’m getting a bit antsy to at least sit and read outside.

Or even study outside. This last week saw almost no literary reading, although I did manage about 20 pages of Conversation in the Cathedral. I actually read quite a bit of other things, it just happened that most of it was study material. Exhilarating. If I had the discipline, I would just drop all other things and charge through these tests as quickly as possible (I can set my own schedule for when I take them) so that I could then get to the reading I actually want to do.

In more exciting news, I am way behind the times in showing off my latest literary acquisition:

I won Tess (my choice from the Penguin cloth-bound selection) from Allie as part of a mini-challenge during the recent Read-a-thon. Thank you so much, Allie! It has been at least 10 years since I’ve read any Hardy, although I did see an adaptation of this on PBS a year or two ago, and I am looking forward to this one.

It won’t be this coming week, though. As usual, I have a looming library deadline, and I’ve maxed out renewals, so Conversation in the Cathedral will be taking precedence over other “fun” reading this week. (This, incidentally, is why I have difficulty reading from my own shelves. No deadlines.)  I would also like to start the other book I have out from the library (How to Read Literature Like a Professor) if I have time. And maybe, just maybe, I will return to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. And you? Any exciting reading planned for this week?

In which I wonder about my own plans

I had a couple of thoughts this past week relative to my great books reading plans:

  1. Why bother challenging myself with the classics when I’m having so much fun with the Ohio Building Code? Now I know why no one volunteers to do this. (Darn it all, the office had to go and skew young. Where’s all the old timers that knew this stuff?)
  2. It’s been firmly settled in my mind for at least a month that I’m taking Pride and Prejudice with me on vacation. A classic. I’ve been spending inordinate amounts of time the last week trying to decide which classic I should take with me…Duh.

Regardless, I’ve had a number of thoughts pertaining to my great books reading plan. I’m trying to sort through them all to form a coherent goal more precise than “read great books better,” which is admittedly very loosey-goosey. I think what it ultimately comes down to is that I would like to feel that I can pick up a more contemporary work of fiction, read it, and form a valid judgment as to its merits which isn’t dependant on the opinions of others. I want to know for myself what a “great book” is, which means I will have to read many books traditionally considered “great” or “classic” in order to even begin to approach this goal. More soon…