Tuesday, January 27, 2004
I learned from the Bookslut blog about the 50 Book Challenge - basically, read 50 books this year and blog about them. My first thought was, !!!!!!!, and I started mentally choosing books. My second, far more rational thought, was, Whoa, hold on there, Trigger! I probably should be spending time on homework, not adding recreational reading, you know?
[Incidentally, if my recordkeeping is complete, I read 43 books last year, not including "Principles of Organic Chemistry" and other school-type tomes.]
So, what am I reading right now? Gods and Generals, by Jeff Shaara, is my "train book" (the one I take on the train), and The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber, is my nightstand book. Gods and Generals started very slow and clumsy, but one year into the Civil War things have picked up quite a bit. It follows four different people with major roles in the war, and I find it irritating when the point of view keeps switching. However, I love war stories, am intrigued by military strategy (which I know *nothing* about and frankly don't want to), and like being spoonfed manageable doses of history. I look forward to the rest of the story. It's no Winds of War, though.
The other book also took me a long time to get into. It's narrated from the point of view of the book itself, which is strange. The first few chapters were the book leading us through the streets of London, introducing us to characters, beckoning and tantalizing with promises of good stuff to come. Odd. It's written in ornate Victorian language (sort of tongue-in-cheek), which I normally enjoy, but I've been reading so much modern fiction lately that my taste for flowery Dickensian prose has faded a bit. I'm finding myself skimming some paragraphs, because he takes twice as long as he needs to to say anything. The best part of the book is Sugar's "secret", that when she's alone she is writing an elaborate revenge fantasy in which the customers of prostitutes die horrible deaths. This I want to know more about. The thing with Henry, who is unbearably in love with the widow Mrs. Fox... eh.
Now, why does it smell like dog food at the office today?