Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Into Reading 2008

I'm a bit late joining in on this communal reading adventure, hosted over at callapidderdays. (That link will take you directly to a page where you can join the reading fun or check out dozens of reading lists!) But I decided to take the plunge.

I've been going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to commit publicly to a reading list. I've got such a popcorn mind! One idea pops and then another one pops and then another, and before you know it, I've connected new dots and wandered far afield from any original reading list (how's that for mixed metaphors!!?) though I usually discover myself reading plenty of good books, just not the ones I originally intended to read. Other books I know I likely will not get to or finish this fall (life happens, and sometimes I realize it's more important to savor a book slowly than to rush to finish it by a self-imposed deadline). But thankfully, there's always winter. Hush. You didn't hear me say that here! Grin.

Without further ado, here's my proposed reading list for autumn 2008.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Having read Hale's Austenland (which I liked) and Princess Academy (which I loved) I'm eager to dip into another of her books. This happened to be the one I spotted first on our library's shelves and I'm looking forward to it.

Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card

When I first read Ender's Shadow (sequel to Ender's Game) several years ago, I was blown away that Card could turn what essentially felt like a creative writing exercise (write an alternative story based on another character's POV) into yet another brilliant novel. So I went on and read Shadow of the Hegemon, the next in the series. It left me vaguely disappointed and I decided to give myself a break from Card for a while. But I've been poking about on his website again, enjoying his writing advice, and I just finished Shadow Puppets. While it wasn't Card's best, it was still a riveting read. Darn it, I care about these characters now, especially Bean and Petra. And he left me completely hanging. So onward to Shadow of the Giant.

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Mostly because I'd like to see the BBC film adaptation, but I really don't like watching films made from books before I've read the books themselves. And because a fellow reviewer on Epinions has reviewed Gaskell's work favorably. I've heard her described as a cross between Austen and Dickens. I'm intrigued!

That's probably it for fiction on my own. We're still doing plenty of fiction for family read-alouds (scroll down to sidebar on the left if you want to see a list of the things I'm reading with my six year old). I'm also re-reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society...I just read it myself a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it, and now am re-reading it out loud to my husband. Thanks to my dear sister, we no longer have to wait months on the library's hold list to finish it!


The Deathly Hallow Lectures by John Granger

Assuming I can afford a copy. My book buying budget is non-existent right now, and the book is so very new I'm sure I won't be able to find it in a library system for some time. But I do plan to read these as soon as I'm able. John's work on Harry Potter is so rich; just his work on the influence of Dante on the HP series (and Deathly Hallows in particular) will make this book a very worthwhile read. (You can still probably find his original Dante essays up at Hogwarts good!) I'm sure there are other gems in this book too. I'm very glad he's published these lectures for those of us who haven't been able to hear him deliver such lectures in person.

Incidentally, I'm re-reading Sorcerer's Stone right now so I can take part in discussions celebrating the book's 10th anniversary in the U.S.

Miniatures and Morals by Peter Leithart

I've read parts of this book on Austen, but never finished it. I was only able to find it via ILL and wasn't given much time (or ability to renew) the book. I recently discovered it's available (in full) via Google reader, and have been trying to read it that way, though the slowness of this old computer and my old-fashioned predilection for holding an actual bound book in my hands makes it slow-going. I plan to keep at it though!

Culture Making by Andrew Crouch

I've got the hold request on this one already, and am very excited. The excerpt I've read is spectacular and really speaks to both my heart and mind.

History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer

I love this huge book, though it's taking me forever to read it. I think I'm somewhere around chapter 53. I've been allowing myself to sip from it as I can.

I usually try to read some church history and/or theology as well. Since I'm teaching a course on Anglican history this fall, I will probably pass on any "extra" church history reading beyond what I feel I need to re-read for that. I'm not sure if I'm ready to dive into another theology book right now or not. I've begun The Cruelty of Heresy, but am sensing a need to take a break. I'd love a simple, practical (classical?) devotional book right now. Any suggestions?

Also thinking of going back to Athanasius' "On the Incarnation." I was discussing it with a friend this morning (whose classicaly homeschooled 11 year old is going to read this in 7th grade next year!) and realizing I have never read it in its entirety. Time to remedy that perhaps. I also would love to re-read C.S. Lewis' introduction to it, where he talks about our need for old books (and how they keep the sea breezes of the centuries blowing through our minds). Athanasius would qualify as my "old book" for this fall, I think!


Kim said...

I read Leithart's book Miniatures and Morals this summer as I read three of Austen's novels that he discusses. It was a good read.

I'm currently reading Leithart's book on the Divine Comedy.

Beth said...

Ah, I just realized I jotted the title down incorrectly. I keep doing that! Despite my propensity to forget the title (another problem when I don't have the actual book in hand!) I've liked the chapter or two I've read so far.

I've been meaning to get to Leithart's book on Shakespeare. I didn't realize he'd written one on Dante as well. So many books, so little time...

Robin said...

I purchased History of the World, but haven't started to read it yet. Good idea putting it on the challenge.

Have fun reading!

Robin of mytwoblessings

Beth said...

I've been reading "at" it for over a year now. :-) I recently got back into it because my little girl and I are going through Bauer's *Story of the World* (vol. 1, Ancient World) for school. It's fun to read Bauer's ancient history for adults and children concurrently!

Erin said...

Looks like a good list! I really need to read Princess Academy one of these days; I didn't finish Austenland before I had to take it back to the library so I ought to take that one out too...

Beth said...

You'd love Princess Academy, Erin! I'm excited because just last week I found a beautiful hardback copy of it (dust jacketed, with Newbery Honor medal still intact) at a used book sale for $1.50. Very glad to have this one on the shelf, as I predict I will enjoy reading it to S. in a few years (and will likely read it again myself before that). Just started *Goose Girl* today, but am only a few pages in...