What I ditched: Gone with the Wind is now… gone with the wind. I just couldn’t do it. Scarlett O’Hara is up there with Emma Woodhouse and Anna Karenina as the most annoying fictional women ever. I get that she is sassy… but to me that loses meaning because she is so stupid. She merely wants to do what she wants and all the descriptions of her boredom and confusion when people begin discussing intelligent things bores me out of my mind. Melanie is just as annoying; sure she’s smart, but even though she is smart she knows her place as a woman and is quiet, meek, and good. I think I would enjoy the book if Scarlett was more of an Elizabeth Bennett: tempestuous to a certain extent, quick-witted and well-read. Swishing skirts, batting eyelashes, and loud sighs do not a clever girl make. I made it to 240 pages and I just couldn’t do it. I disliked every character. I’m fine with unlikable characters if I’m intrigued. I was infuriated by the entire lot of stock characters.
What I read: I finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and I really think I like this book more with each reading. I find myself more perplexed with Dumbledore each time I read. How much did he know? Did he know what Harry must do and survive at the get go? Or was he willing to place Harry in danger for the greater good. I don’t know. I’m conflicted, but to me that makes for a richer reading experience. See the bit above about Gone with the Wind.
What I’m reading: I’ve two books going at the moment: Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton and The Haunted Dolls’ House and Other Ghost Stories by M R James.
Tooth and Claw is so amazing. I knew that the book concerned Victorian-like dragons and was inspired in large part by Anthony Trollope’s Framley Parsonage. I was afraid that it would be about dragons plopped down into Victorian England and would be way too unrealistic. It is completely different! It is about dragons in their own dragon land, but they have the same social structures and moral code as the Victorians. The dragons have very definite ideas on inheritance, family, women’s rights, class, and property. I’m really enjoying it.
The M R James collection is the companion volume to the collection I read several years ago, Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories. I’ve only read the first two stories and am properly scared. I’ve declared it my lunch reading so I can actually sleep nightmare free at night. I’m reading this book as part of Gothic in October.
What’s up next: Tomorrow at some point I should have a blog post up about some mom things impacting my time to read and blog. I’m really feeling the itch to just sit and read for a long stretch of time so I’m very happy that Readathon is fast approaching (October 13th!) Part of the reason I was having a difficult time with Gone with the Wind is that it is such a big book. I could force myself to do 300 or even 400 pages, but with so much reading I want to do and so little time I just couldn’t keep doing it. Later this week I’m hoping to finish Tooth and Claw and then dig into some more Harry Potter. I also have Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian on my radar for another readalong. We’ll see how October plays out, but I’m hoping to go deep introvert for most of the month (excepting the kids birthday party) and really get down to some reading.