Mar. 15th, 2017

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What I’ve Just Finished Reading

Diana Pavlac Glyer’s The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, which I quite enjoyed. I am a total sucker for books about writers groups/writers friendships in general, and the Inklings in particular, and I recommend this for people who are interested in either.

As often happens after reading a book about the Inklings, I feel a strange urge to read one of Charles Williams’ novels, even though every description I have ever read of them - even the most affectionate - note that his prose is super opaque and unclear and all around difficult to read. No, self, don’t do it!

I also finished Miss Read’s Village School; the Miss Read books continue to be lovely and restful. This book had the added interest of a sequence where the characters put on a British history pageant, starting with the Romans and working their way onward from there. It reminded me very much of Rosemary Sutcliff’s books & the sweep of history that they cover - I somehow always assumed that this was Sutcliff’s own unique conception of history (probably because it’s so different than what one might call a popular view of history in the US), and discovering that it actually ties to a vision of history that was popular at the time makes it even more interesting to me.

What I’m Reading Now

Still slogging through the final Obernewtyn book. I still feel like there’s a good story in here struggling to break free of the morass of unnecessary logistical detail with which it has been cumbered - no, we don’t need a step-by-step description of how Elspeth gets every place she goes! (spoiler alert: there’s a lot of walking) - but damn. That’s a lot of morass.

In happier news, I’m still reading The Collected Raffles, which continues to be delightful. Raffles and Bunny have just spent a week living in someone else’s house on the sly while owner is away on holiday, possibly for no better reason than because Raffles wanted to read the owner’s collected volumes of Kinglake. (Kinglake, the magic of wikipedia informs me, is a Victorian travel writer.) He has been neglecting Bunny disgracefully in favor of Kinglake, in fact, and Bunny decides to retaliate by… cross-dressing in the clothes of the absent lady of the house? Clearly that will get Raffles’ attention! The slash is still practically writing itself.

What I Plan to Read Next

My “read a book that won a Pulitzer” challenge isn’t till December, but I’ve picked out a book for it when it comes: Tom Reiss’s The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, which is about Alexandre Dumas’s swashbuckling father, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. How could I resist that?


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