Once I grew past the American Girl books, I always loved Caddie Woodlawn. In my pre-teen/teen years, though, it was A Girl of the Limberlost. Strangely, though, I’ve never met anyone else who read these as a child, and I can’t understand it. I re-read A Girl of the Limberlost recently and it was as wonderful as I remembered it being.
Laying open books down on their faces. The Ogre gets furious when I do that, because I’ve snapped countless bindings. It’s a terrible habit.
I really can’t handle more than one. When I have a lot going I never finish any of them.
Yes! For the better! I read more now, actually. Before blogging I went through this horrible period where I didn’t read at all and watched a lot of TV. It was awful and brain-killing and mostly related to depression, but I’m back now. And feeling much better.
Not very. I’ve had as a goal to intersperse fiction with educational books (either philosophy or religion: right now I’m working through Pieper, next up is Chesterton) but usually I get a few pages in and revert back to fiction because I realize that I haven’t ready anything in a few days. Bettering oneself is just so hard.
I never had a problem reading in vehicles until I had children. Now it makes me sick. Those little buggers ruin everything!
Curled up on the couch, with a glass of wine nearby.
I give anyone anything they want and then promptly forget I did so, which is why I’m missing so many books. But that’s good information for those of you want to borrow from me.
Not anymore; that habit was beaten out of me in college.
When I’m feeling particularly studious. I love reading the Ogre’s books because he has WISDOM (seriously, my husband is brilliant) scrawled all over the margins in his illegible but beautiful scrawl. He also does this weird thing where he makes circles and connects them in some mathematically-driven insight system. I don’t understand it.
Oh yeah, you have to! Otherwise you’ll forget that you ever once understood this stuff.
English is the only language I can read in. I once tried to read Alice in Wonderland in French, but gave up pretty quickly when I realized that that book doesn’t even make sense in English.
When it makes me think, when I learn something new, when I feel connected to the characters, when I close it regretfully. When it’s good, basically.
Finishing it. I recommend everything.
Fantasy, maybe? I love Tolkien and Harry Potter. But I also love historical fiction, and I love magical realism (Midnight’s Children, anyone? What brilliance!) So basically, I like them all, except Faulkner.
Philosophy. The Ogre lives and breathes philosophy, and when he tries to tell me about it he always has to start at the beginning. (The very beginning, as in “Okay, my thick-headed wife, the great chain of being is…”)
Gah. Yes, but I think they’re awful. Awful, awful, awful. And they’ve never helped me as much as reading an actual good book has.
Our battered, cover-less copy of The Best Recipe. I turn to it for everything.
Sense and Sensibility. I read it for the first time exactly one year ago, and it was just…miraculous. I think I understood the virtue of restraint for the first time ever when I read that. (I identify, just a little, with Mariane.)
Wine and grapes. It makes me feel sophisticated, plus then I get all emotional about the plight of the characters.
I try not to read criticism. It ruins everything.
I think it’s fine if you have reasons for it, but I think critics need to remember to be kind to the author. After all, the author actually created something. It’s really easy to pick apart a book, but not so easy to write one.
French. They’ve written so many important things, I’d love to read them in the original. Plus, I would really love to read Raissa Maritain’s poetry.
Absalom, Absalom, hands down. It took me six months to get through. It was amazing, brilliant, the kind of book you could spend a lifetime unpacking, and I really hated it.
Anything else by Faulkner, ever again. Except A Light in August, which I already read and hated even more than Absalom, Absalom.
Richard Wilbur. He holds the Junior Poet part of my heart. But T.S. Eliot and Auden run very close behind.
Not too many, because I can’t afford the fees I inevitably rack up.
Captain Ahab. He’s just so flipping crazy.
Something I know I’ll enjoy, that I can start and stop without having to back up. Something simple and pleasant…likely suspects are Jane Austen, Tolkien, etc.
There was an ugly two or three-year period there after Sienna was born when reading was, honestly, too difficult to undertake. Something that had never happened to me before. It was sad.
The Ambassadors. Seriously, Henry James? Could you possibly pack a few more words into that twelve-page sentence?
I keep them. What if I need them again?
Yes, everything else by Faulkner, and all of James Joyce except The Dubliners. The Ogre loves Joyce, and after my first attempt at Portrait of the Artist (which was abandoned about a page in when I said to myself “why is there a cow here? What’s going on?”) I’ve never gone back. I really should, though, just so I can talk about it with my husband. Maybe that will be my Christmas gift to him this year.
Half of a Yellow Sun, because the suffering and horror those people went through was something I never knew about. It made me angry because little children are still suffering and starving all over the world and we just ignore it. And then it made me angry because even if I don’t ignore it, what can I really do to help? It’s a horrible situation.
Half of Yellow Sun, again. The Ogre handed it to me after he read it and I started it grudgingly, and then after I finished the last page I immediately flipped back to the front and started it again (sorry, I can’t get the italics off now. I have no idea why the font is so wonky today).
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Jane Austen, Tolkien, or Dickens.