{5}

SINCE MY LAST UPDATE…
Time Spent Reading: 21 minutes (463)
Current Book: I Want My Epidural Back by Karen Alpert
Pages Read: 30 pages (230)

image

I decided to read a bit of this before getting back to my more serious book. It’s hilarious and I’m only a few chapters in 😅

{4}

SINCE MY LAST UPDATE…
Time Spent Reading: 172 minutes (422)
Current Book: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Pages Read: 100 pages (200)

I’m taking a little breather now. I’ve only got 2/3 of my book read in just over 7 hours. I know I’m a slow reader, so this is no surprise. But it’s a little disheartening, if I’m being honest. I almost dosed off a couple times within the last hour, so I’m hoping a snack and some blogging (or just any change of pace) will shake me out of it. I’m going to write a post now addressing one of the Mini-Challenges for the readathon 😊

{4}

SINCE MY LAST UPDATE…
Time Spent Reading: 172 minutes (422)
Current Book: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Pages Read: 100 pages (200)

I’m taking a little breather now. I’ve only got 2/3 of my book read in just over 7 hours. I know I’m a slow reader, so this is no surprise. But it’s a little disheartening, if I’m being honest. I almost dosed off a couple times within the last hour, so I’m hoping a snack and some blogging (or just any change of pace) will shake me out of it. I’m going to write a post now addressing one of the Mini-Challenges for the readathon 😊

{3}

SINCE MY LAST UPDATE…
Time Spent Reading: 142 minutes (250)
Current Book: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Pages Read: 70 pages (120)

I’m going to take a tiny break again now, just like the last time I updated. I’m going to eat lunch and go to the bathroom. Then I’ll get right back to it. I’m really enjoying this book so far–I don’t know if I’ll need a break from it or not, but I’m content with it for the time being.

Dewey Readathon 2012 {1}

image

I slept in today, so I’ve actually only been reading for a couple of hours as of now. And I thought I’d update now, as I’m taking a short break to eat my lunch. I finally got past the boring beginning of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables. I was honestly about ready to give it up. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t like books that go such a long time without any dialogue between characters. This took about 40 pages to get into the better part–I say better because it is not great by any means. But at least it’s better. I think I will end up liking it, but I have about 300 pages to read and I don’t know if I will even finish it today!

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Parts I & II discussion for RBC (SPOILERS)

Here are my thoughts on the first half of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. I’m reading this for a book club discussion, hosted at Rory’s Book Club (RBC) (click here to see the discussion threads).

I’ve found this book to be very interesting so far. I haven’t really spent a lot of time in communist China in books before, so it is very interesting to read about that time. My book’s blurb about the author says that he was re-educated between 1971-1974. And I think that makes me more intrigued by the story–the fact that it’s semi-autobiographical. Or at least that mountain villages and people are somewhat accurate in representation, since he experienced them first-hand.

I, of course, enjoy the fact that much of the story centers on Luo and the narrator (I don’t recall his name being mentioned yet) attaining forbidden books. One has to wonder, would they want to read them if they were allowed to? Or, given the chance, would they read Eastern classics over Western ones? Personally, I’ve never read anything by any of these authors except Dumas. (Authors mentioned were Balzac, Hugo, Stendhal, Dumas, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Romain Rolland, Rousseau, Tolstoy, Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Kipling and E Bronte.)

I have to say that I’m a little surprised that the narrator and Luo didn’t fight over the Little Seamstress. And Luo is the more confident one, as far as the storytelling goes. I can’t help but wonder, if the Little Seamstress is so beautiful, how the narrator has no feelings of wanting her at all. It’s a little strange that we don’t really know anything about Luo’s and the Little Seamstress’s relationship–but all of the sudden, the narrator mentions that they had sex (and even a little detail, at that!). It makes me wonder whether or not that relationship really means anything. But, then again, the narrator just might not relate everything Luo says. The narrator seems to feel inferior to Luo, but is totally okay with it. And I find that a little strange…

Oh, and I’m wondering if there’s any significance to that rooster clock. If the villagers went through all the belongings that the two boy brought with them and saw anything of value, they could’ve taken it and made it “community property”, couldn’t they? (If they were true communists and shared everything, that is.) Or maybe they were just supposed to take away anything “revolutionary”. Either way, it seems like the headman, who so admired the clock, could easily just take it away from the boys. What role will the clock take later, I wonder…

On a previous note, I wonder why the narrator has no name. Even when asked his name by Four-Eyes’ mother, he replied with Luo’s name. What’s the significance to this?!

reading update

I started reading Push by Sapphire (aka Precious) today. Well, actually I’m listening to it on audiobook. And I’m very glad I’m reading it this way. Bahni Turpin is the narrator, and I think it is the way she reads that makes the story so interesting. I’m assuming the book is written in dialect. And, sure I enjoy reading that type of narration because it’s more descriptive of the time and place of the book. But having it read (I hate to say it this way) by an African American woman, plus the dialect from the book is making the story just amazing. And I only listened to about 30 minutes of it!

Oh, and I thought I’d go ahead and just add that Michelle at My Books. My Life. has made me want to read Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson with her review. I read a summary of it already, but was hesitant to read it. Her review has completely changed my mind 🙂

Tenant of Wildfell Hall Ch. 29-40 (RBC discussion, SPOILERS)

This third section is, I think, my favorite of the whole book so far. It’s just really interesting because there is a lot going on and we finally get some answers to some questions.

To begin with, we finally figure out what exactly it is that Mr. Huntingdon did to tick off Helen: he had an affair with Annabella (Lady Lowborough). But I thought it was interesting that this wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back. But, then again, with the time-period the book I can understand why it is that Helen didn’t leave as soon as she found out about the affair. Helen stuck it out for about two years, living at home with her “husband”–I’m sure if they had Facebook, their relationship status would’ve been “separated” or “in an open relationship” 🙂 Anyways…I give Helen a lot of credit for sticking it out. It must be hell to live alongside a person whom you hate. But, as I don’t have children of my own, I don’t think that I could empathize with her. I won’t know until I have children just what I’d go through for them. (Although I know I would go through a lot for my husband, sisters, and other close family/friends.) But what made Helen decide to finally leave Mr. Huntingdon was that little Arthur, at the tender age of four, was already mimicking his father 😦 I cannot imagine a four-year-old behaving the way Helen described it. (I have to admit that the first thing I thought of in regards to a tipsy tot was Stewie from Family Guy, an American cartoon.) But that would definitely scare me into wanting to leave!

But then something pretty unexpected happened, and right at the end of our section! Mr. H found out that Helen was planning to run away and confiscated pretty much anything of hers with value so she couldn’t get money. So we’re left with a cliff hanger before the next section, leaving us wanting to know how she ends up leaving him if he did this. I mean, maybe he does end up dying, although the fact that Helen acts as a fugitive makes it appear he’s alive and well. But, at least now we know at least one of the bad things Mr. H did.

One thing that I noticed about the men in this section is that they tend to know when they are behaving like imbeciles. Mr. H, for example, was misbehaving in order to gain attention. Well, at least from Helen’s biased viewpoint 🙂 And Hattersley basically told Helen that he couldn’t be bothered to think about what he does. He wants Millicent to be his moral compass–to tell him when he does wrong–so that he doesn’t have to be bothered to think. Hattersley just seems lazy when I tells Helen this. And Mr. H appears needy. But I think that these are weird behavior patterns to gain what they want. If they know that they’re not doing good/right things, why bother doing them at all? Mr. H should remember that he’d be paid attention for good and not just bad–Helen always doted on him when he did right. But I’m pretty glad that I personally don’t know anyone who acts like this…at least not all the time 🙂

So, the questions I still need answered are these: How is Mr. Lawrence involved in Helen’s plight? How did Helen finally run away? and Does Mr. H actually track them down (if alive, which I think he is) before the book ends?