I guess one of the upsides to the super cold and snowy winter we just experienced is that I finished reading 4 books in March, bringing my total for 2014 to 9. Last year, I didn’t finish my 9th book until June, so I am quite pleased with my progress.
I already wrote about Mrs. Dalloway and Slouching Towards Bethlehem. The next book I read was The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, which was this years One Book, One Philadelphia selection. Private Bartle is a twenty-one-year old soldier recently returned from Iraq. The novel bounces back and forth between his time in the service and his life when he returns. Although the book is well-written, it follows the pattern of so many war stories: naive young man goes into the army, bad things happen, he comes home psychologically damaged. Because it is set in Iraq, many of the details are new, but the trajectory felt so familiar that I was unable to feel engaged.
I followed-up my rewarded re-reading of Mrs. Dalloway by re-reading To the Lighthouse. As with Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse is a longtime favorite that I hadn’t read in many years and it held up well. My recollection was that I preferred To the Lighthouse, but after reading them last month, I found Mrs. Dalloway to be the more interesting novel. That’s not to say that To the Lighthouse still isn’t wonderful, but I found myself much more engaged with Mrs. Dalloway this time around.
On a sad note, I recently found out that Readmill, the site via which I read the two Virginia Woolf novels, is shutting down. I had only recently discovered it and really loved the selection of classic novels and found the reading app to be one of the best I’ve used. Readmill users can download their libraries and use another app. I will take advantage of this but will miss the Readmill interface.
- The Illearth War
- The Wisdom of the Heart
- Léger: Modern Art and the Modern City (library book)
- The Goldfinch (ebook)
- Mrs. Dalloway (ebook)
- Slouching Towards Bethlehem
- The Yellow Birds
- To the Lighthouse (ebook)