osprey_archer: (books)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
What I’ve Just Finished Reading

Pierrepont Noyes’ My Father’s House: An Oneida Childhood, which I liked very much; although of course I would, being fond of a) childhood memoirs (I tend to agree with C. S. Lewis that “I never read an autobiography in which the parts devoted to the earlier years were not far the most interesting”), b) memoirs about cults (really anything about cults), and c) the nineteenth century.

But even if you are interested in only one of those things, this is an engaging book; much recommended. The one thing it will not give you is a clear description of the Oneida Community’s collapse: Noyes was ten at the time and found the whole thing ominous but fuzzy.

I also finished rereading A Wrinkle in Time. I’m glad I reread it because I no longer feel that vague gnawing sense that I just didn’t get it - but at the same time, it’s a bit sad to reread it and realize that I’m just never going to love that book the way that some people do.

What I’m Reading Now

Kidnapped! I only intended to begin it, but somehow I ended up halfway through the book already. It’s such a cracking good adventure yarn, it’s very hard to put down!

I have begun Jane Langton’s The Astonishing Stereoscope! It’s early days yet, but I have high hopes that it will live up to the other books in the series - or at least the early books in the series; I hold a real grudge against Time Bike for being so dreadful that it stopped my exploration of the Hall Family Chronicles, even though I adored both The Diamond in the Window and The Fledgling. But fortunately the good books in the series are the kind that are just as good if you read them first as an adult.

What I Plan to Read Next

The Railway Children, which I also intended to read next last week, but I bought Noyes’ memoir at the museum and it simply had to take precedence, so… But this week I am quite determined! Railway Children or bust! Unless I find something simply irresistible in Amherst.

Date: 2017-07-19 12:26 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
Unless I find something simply irresistible in Amherst ---which you might!!

But meanwhile, IIRC, there's a beautiful PBS adaptation of The Railway Children, available only on DVD (as opposed to streaming) via Netflix that I've just now made a request for--and also made the request in my library network--so maybe that'll arrive while you're here, and we can watch it (provided either you don't mind spoilers or you finish the book first).

I agree with CS Lewis too, about people's childhoods.

Date: 2017-07-19 12:53 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (man on wire)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
... And it may take a few days for the DVD to come in, in any case. The race is now on between CWMars (the regional library network) and Netflix.

Date: 2017-07-19 02:20 pm (UTC)
landofnowhere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] landofnowhere
I tend to agree with C. S. Lewis that “I never read an autobiography in which the parts devoted to the earlier years were not far the most interesting”

Indeed! I recently read Sonia Sotomayor's memoirs, which are definitely an example of that.

Date: 2017-07-20 03:08 pm (UTC)
landofnowhere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] landofnowhere
I actually just started reading the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong, which looks to be a promising exception; the author was selected to marry the Crown Prince at age 10, so there's a little bit of stuff about her family before that, and then a bunch about the selection and wedding, but it doesn't have the sense of wonder one usually gets from modern childhood memoirs; and also the author is a good Confucian daughter and thinks her parents are perfect.

Date: 2017-07-19 02:54 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (ishmael)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
It takes a lot of work to make grown-up life as vivid and strange as childhood is naturally. Not that grown-up life can't be vivid and strange! But by the time we're thirty most of us have gotten used to the fabric of things.

I don't think I quite got A Wrinkle in Time, even though I loved it. On the other hand, I know I didn't get A Wind in the Door, which I absolutely hated as a kid. Or maybe I did, I don't know.

Kidnapped! is one I really should re-read. Though I am sorry to learn that, contrary to all my childhood memories, it does not actually have an exclamation point in the title.

Date: 2017-07-20 01:09 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (ishmael)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
What's both really interesting and frustrating about Proust is that he never seems to get used to anything, so he brings some of the intense weirdness of childhood into grown-up life. It disorienting because you spend (I spent) large sections of the book being confused about how old he is. And then, at the very end, he looks around and sees that everyone is suddenly old!

Now I realize that I remember almost nothing about Kidnapped(!), except that it was a Ripping Good Yarn and involved kidnapping.

Date: 2017-07-20 03:14 pm (UTC)
landofnowhere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] landofnowhere
When I was sick as a kid my mom gave me a (possibly abridged for kids) copy of Kidnapped that she'd gotten from the library used book sale. I tore through it only to find out that the last pages of the book had fallen out. But I guess if I'd gotten to the end I wouldn't have been much more satisfied? (I never thought to look up what happens in the end; and at this point I have no memory of anything that happened in the book.)

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