May. 3rd, 2017

osprey_archer: (books)
What I’ve Just Finished Reading

I finished Tolkien’s three translations of Middle English poems for my April reading challenge! I quite liked “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and “Sir Orfeo” - I recommend “Sir Orfeo” particularly; it’s a retelling of the Orpheus myth, except the Eurydice character is taken away by Faerie instead of Death. But “The Pearl,” which is not a story but a theological musing in the form of a poem, I found rather a slog.

I also read Colleen McCullough’s The Ladies of Missalonghi, because it was recommended to me as being “just like The Blue Castle, but in Australia,” which indeed it is! In fact there was apparently a plagiarism controversy, which honestly I think is silly. She didn’t copy the prose, and storylines are made to be revamped and reused. Shakespeare did it!

The sexual politics are a bit dated in places (more so than in The Blue Castle actually, which is funny given that The Ladies of Missalonghi was published in over sixty years later), but it does an A++ job on the dowdy young woman past her first youth taking control of her life and standing up to her repressively respectable extended family.

Unread Book Club: I finished The Incredible Journey! Overall, I felt rather lukewarm about it, but the ending did make me cry (because it was almost sad! And then it wasn’t!) so perhaps it wormed its way a little farther into my heart than I realized.

This brings us up to 17 books from the Unread Book Club for the year so far. Not too shabby! Of course many of them are children’s books, which helps.

What I’m Reading Now

Joan E. Dejean’s The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual - and the Modern Home Began, which is about the switch from magnificent grandeur to comfort as the goal for architecture/furniture/clothing styles in Frances in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Moderately interesting but not grabbing me so far.

What I Plan to Read Next

[personal profile] missroserose has pointed out that Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton is in fact an immigrant story, and therefore counts for my next reading challenge, and as it has been vaguely on my list anyway… so I’m going to read that.

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