Monday, May 16, 2016

Report for the Four Seasons Reading Club

I feel so very fortunate to be married to a "literary professional" (now retired from teaching college). I'm also fortunate that he has kept a list of the books we read during the 2015-2016 season. We began calling ourselves the "Vacation Reading Club," then the "Summer Reading Club," and then when summer turned to fall, we settled into the "Four Seasons Reading Club." By the organization of the musical year you could say that we are now entering our second season.

We sit together just about every day after lunch (sometimes we read at other times, and between books we take a day off), me with a pot of tea, and Michael with a cup of coffee, and we read an average of 20 pages. We take good advantage of our local university library (and sometimes our not-so-local bookseller) so that we have two copies of each book. We often remark on the exact same sentences or paragraphs, and we both crave more Willa Cather once we finish one of her novels.

(We both read other books in addition to our FSRC books.)

Here's the list of what we have read together during the last twelve months, as well as a list of what we have abandoned. We always vote on whether to abandon a book, and we almost always agree. I enjoyed Our Mutual Friend more than Michael did, but to me it seemed like a random collection of character studies, perhaps of people who he "fleshed out" but didn't use in any of his previous books. Michael has also read a lot more Dickens than I have, so I kind of have a Dickens deficit that should be remedied.

Completed Books:

Herman Meville, Moby-Dick

Willa Cather, A Lost Lady , Death Comes for the Archbishop ,The Old Beauty and Others

Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory ; Ada

William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow

Robert Walser, The Tanners , trans. Susan Bernofsky

David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis , trans. Susan Bernofsky

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Robert Walser, Fairy Tales , trans. Daniele Pantano and James Reidel

Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh, ed. Ronald de Leeuw, trans. Arnold Pomerans

Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark , Lucy Gayheart , Alexander’s Bridge , Shadows on the Rock

Abandoned books:

Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome

Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I

1 comment:

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

I have a soft spot for the Shattuck book because he thought Satie was important enough to write about.