Readerly Rambles: 01/08/2014

What I’m Reading:

Middlemarch by George Eliot: Hurrah! I’m slightly more than halfway through! I used the Classics Club Readathon to focus on Middlemarch. I am completely addicted. I cheer for Dorothea, despise Casaubon, I like Lydgate, laugh at Mr. Brooke, and I am convinced that Will Ladislaw and Fred Vincy and Rosamond Vincy are the biggest “millenials” ever. For folks who think self-absorbed navel-gazing is the stuff of contemporary society, I urge you to read Middlemarch.

Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood: I started this book last night because I am eager to read the entire MaddAddam trilogy and I felt I needed something to modern to balance out the older stuff I’m reading.


Dolly by Susan Hill: For years I’ve struggled to find a way to like audio books. I don’t know if something finally clicked, I happened to pick a good one, or my thirst for reading constantly is responsible for my new found adoration. Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to listen to Susan Hill’s novel, Dolly, rather than music while I work. I am in a small cubicle in an open office area with a great deal of traffic. I slapped on my headphones and dove into this book to satisfy my intense need for a story and to drown out the hum of the office. The book concerns two cousins, Edward and Leonora, a disturbing summer during their youth, and one creepy doll.  I’m nearly done with the audiobook (I plan on finishing on my walk this afternoon) and I’ve already been properly horrified at least a dozen times.

After Dolly I plan on digging into some Sherlock Holmes!

Short Work Sunday:

I’m using my busy Sundays to read shorter works. I plan on reading mostly short stories, but some essays, graphic novels, and poetry may creep in. I’m currently working my way through Rebecca Lee’s collection, Bobcat and Other Stories. This past Sunday I read two tales from the collection, “Bobcat” and “The Banks of the Vistula” . The first story, “Bobcat”, reminds me of Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party” complete with tension, wanted and unwanted guests, and the dissolving of relationships. All of the action, of course, is not immediately visible; there’s lots of loud, fake conversations over different courses and then the bubbling up of tensions, truth, and expectations. I really enjoyed it. The second story, “The Banks of the Vistula”, is set at a college and on the surface it is about a college girl plagiarizing a paper but there are deep undercurrents about the relationship between freedom of language (not speech, but language) and oppression.


Wilkie in Winter: It isn’t too late to join! We’ll be starting The Woman in White soon, but feel free to read whatever Collins you want. You can totally read something else and blog, tweet, or review it as much or as little as you choose. Details here.

Start 2014 Write: More genius from The Estella Society!!! This is a big ole penpal swap and I’m so excited. One of my resolutions is to write more snail mail this year. Join up here!  I think correspondence is on the minds of  many bloggers this year. Just a few days ago I received this mysterious parcel from Thomas.

A numbered postcard and instructions to keep the empty Penguin postcard box leave me to deduce that I will be hearing from Thomas quite a bit this year (so excited). Now to go on my own quest to find stationary, postcards, and small doodads to share with my pen-wielding friends.



  1. Oh, that penpal thing is so cool! I might have to sign up for that. Nice way to connect everybody — and who doesn’t love getting mail? Especially when it isn’t a bill. 😉

  2. Oh my. I sure hope it will still be daylight when you finish your audio book! I would SO creep myself out walking with headphones and listening to something like that. (I creep myself out listening to music and walking alone – can you say, “Chicken?” That’s me!) Love the poster at the top of the book, and am amazed at how your are getting through Middlemarch. It took me much longer last summer to read it. I got a movie version for Christmas, but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet (too busy reading 😉 ). LOVE the Start 2014 Write idea!

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