When I look back at this week, I shake my head with both amusement and horror at the amount of time I have spent reading. No, not pleasure reading-- the assigned kind, where you can feel the professor's whip poised behind your head.
That is not to say that I hate the books I am reading. In fact, I am pleasantly surprised at just how much I have enjoyed the novels assigned. Here's a list of my current reads:
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. This book, often referred to mockingly by critics as a "sensationalist novel," has me utterly enraptured. Call me shallow, but I enjoy the kind of Gothic Romanticism that is often condemned rather than praised. Who can resist solving the mystery of the ghostly lady, all clothed in the purest white, who has recently escaped from an insane asylum? I certainly can't. It is most unfortunate that I really only have time to read the recommended 60 pages a day.
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Years back, I tried reading Austen's Sense and Sensibility, which I quickly abandoned after realizing that I didn't have the patience for her writing style. Now that I'm forced to read one of her novels, I am really enjoying the lady author's wit and humor. Watching her clueless "heroine" blunder through all manners of social situations and bad advice is very amusing. I also appreciate Austen's ability to parody the plot devices of 19th century novels. Maybe I'll give Sense and Sensibility another try...
- The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. The storytelling in this book blew me away. The way O'Brien portrays the soldiers of Vietnam in a carefully neutral light should be a lesson to us all. Just read it.
Wonderful books, all. Too bad I have to read them simultaneously!
I feel like a real English major now. Lucky me.