Today was much like the rest of the week has been, full of yoga and writing. I have to finish my screenplay and the NaNoWrMo in less than thirty days after all!
While writing I’ve been looking at this beautiful copy of Ulysses sitting on my desk and thinking how its a shame that I never read it in school.
It’s my classic pick of the month and while reading it I can’t help but feeling like I’m missing something. I feel like, and there undoubtedly is, so much going on at a deeper level that I’m not aware of that its disappointing to think that I almost read this masterpiece of the English Language in school if only the class hadn’t been cancelled. The same thing happened to me while in school actually. We were assigned Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury for my American Novel class. When I started reading that book I was completely lost, more so than with this one. It was dense, complex and, as it turns out, wonderful. I was hundreds of pages behind the class, not that it mattered anyway since I didn’t know what was going on, and then the teacher began to lecture on it. Through the lecture I was able to understand the depth and meaning of the novel, go back and read it and with that it became one of my favourite pieces of literature I had to read in my four years as an English Major. I wish I had that chance with Ulysses. In the meantime I’ll have to decide if I want to finish it and maybe find some scholarly material on it to read first.
This summer I became a fan of Vonnegut. While in high school I attempted to read Slaughterhouse Five and thought it was the biggest piece of trash, jumble of nonsense, waste of space, I had read since Stuart Little (I hated the Stuart Little book with a passion in elementary school, have never been one for animal stories). Turns out I just didn’t understand the novel and, true to form, had chosen a book that was far to advanced for me to read, something I have been doing since elementary school, thankfully I’m getting better at reading things I don’t understand since University. I started out this summer by reading Jailbird and loved it, Vonnegut reminds me of reading literature from the beat authors, a favourite literary period of mine, and so recently I got a copy of Slaughterhouse Five. It’s hard to find in used bookstores so I bought a new copy
I’m absolutely loving it. Fast read but not an easy, fluffy one. Vonnegut himself is pretty interesting as well. I was researching him and found a list that he had made at one point in his life grading some of his novels with letter grades. I found this interesting since it’s something I have been doing with the novels I read this year (more on that later) it is as follows:
Player Piano B
Sirens of Titan A
Mother Night A
Cat’s Cradle A+
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater A
Slaughterhouse Five A+
Welcome to the Money House B-
Happy Birthday, Wanda June D
Breakfast of Champions C
Palm Sunday C
I thought this was great especially that the one I read and the one I’m in the midst of reading have two of the highest grades! Any of you Vonnegut lovers?
I was recently overcome by the desire to read some fluff, good old British chick lit kind of fluff so I took this book out from the library
It’s fun but honestly the mood has left me and I’m craving the likes of Vonnegut instead. Will I finish this one? Undecided but the forecast isn’t looking good.
One novel that I started earlier this year and have yet to finish, honestly I hardly got into it at all, is The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.
I believe that reading this book will change my life. Really. Not sure how or why exactly but it’s bound to be something phenomenal.
Have I told you guys about my book journal?
I hope not because if I have this post is about to get repetitive! The book journal is loads of fun. In it I keep track of every book I read or attempt to read this year. I have a list of classics / smart books, one for every month.
January – The Painted Bird
February – Leaves of Grass
March – The Brothers Karamazov
April – For Whom the Bell Tolls
May – Dead Souls
June – The Castle
July – The School for wives
August – The Cherry Orchard
September – Salammbo
October – This Side of Paradise
November – Ulysses
December – Anna Karenina
So far I’ve loved January, July, August and October and pretty much abandoned the rest. As for March I put it “on hold” and plan to read this month, November I’m as yet undecided as to if I will finish the book or not and am actually looking forward to December. I’d have to say my favourite month so far has been January with October a close second.
I’ve been keeping the statistics of how many novels I read and abandon a month as well as the dates I read them, publication information and a letter grade and brief summary of thoughts. It’s a lot of fun!