emily (voiceofyoureyes) wrote,
emily
voiceofyoureyes

most of this interests nobody but myself

Books meant to be, but still not read this break (including those purchased with full intention reading):

1) The Master and Margarita (Bulgakov)
2) Their Eyes Were Watching God
3) The Things They Carried
4) Runaway (new Alice Munro)
5) Wallace Stevens (Collected Works)
6) Rilke (The Book of Images)

Books begun, but not yet finished:

1) A Compact History of Infinity (David Foster Wallace)
2) The Gastronomical Me (MFK Fisher)
3) The Intuitionist (Whitehead, gift from Isaac)
4) Uncle Dynamite (Wodehouse, from my Uncle Fred Omnibus)

Books read:

1) Away Laughing on a Fast Camel (4th book in Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging series)
2) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
3) The Second Summer of the Sisterhood
(all at work on Friday, though I had to finish the 3rd one at home)
4) The Fixer (Joe Sacco, graphic novel about Serbia)
5) Summer Blonde (Adrian Tomine)
(edit: I did remember one more, "Men and Cartoons" which is Jonathan Lethem's new book of short stories. trying to be vonnegut and not coming close to succeeding, but strangely impactful nevertheless.)

and, well... I'm trying to remember and frantically scanning the piles of books around my room to see if there's anything respectable, any novels that don't have pictures or cheesy teenage girl plot lines, but I think that's it. Not quite what was planned, nor how my vacations usually go. In the past, there's been a lot more down time, days upon days of lying around the house with a book. This year, there have been valiant efforts to make a dent in all sorts of genres - food/memoirs, pop science, a few novels - but nothing has grabbed me quite enough to really concentrate on it. And the time hasn't really been there either; life at home has been nearly as busy and as scheduled as was this last semester. I've upped both my exercise regimen and my caffeine intake, and have otherwise been working constantly and seeing friends and family (extended and nuclear) for the majority of my remaining waking hours.

The poetry is another story. There's more that didn't appear on the list, books (Anne Sexton, Bukowski, William Carlos Williams, Dylan Thomas) that I pulled down from my shelf where they have been quietly secluded for quite some time. I love the idea of reading them but I don't really know how to go about doing it. Every time I run into Rilke as an example of something or other (usually the problems of modernity; that's what it always is, really), I love it and crave more. But now that there's a whole book, sitting on my floor staring up at me, I don't know what to do. Read a few poems each night? Open the book randomly or read straight through? Read it out loud to myself (blushingly, in whispers with the door closed, when there are other people in the house; tentatively and then more boldly when I'm sure that I'm alone)? How many times should each be read, how much care should I devote to absorbing each one? It's a totally different way of approaching writing, but it's required by the drastic differences in the form. And when I love a poem, fall into it and for it, it makes me feel like I should quote it to someone or write it down for myself. It seems easier than quoting a novel (which I want to do, too, often, but very rarely actually do), because you can see it all right there on a page or two. But really, should I be transcribing every word I read? It seems excessive, so instead I make imaginary bookmarks that I know I will forget in a day or two, if not as soon as I turn the page. I wish it were easier to remember things that I love.
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