NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reading Notes

I'm not good at reading more than one book at a time, not counting audiobooks. But I've got a couple going that can truly only be digested in small servings.

I can only concentrate on The Faerie Queene for a Canto at a time. I finished Book One, Canto Four last night. There was a wonderful series of verses when the Red Cross Knight is at the House of Pride and meets the queen, Lucifera. There is a parade of her advisers -- Idleness, Gluttony, Lechery, Avarice, Envy and Wrath. The descriptions are as fantastic as they are grotesque. I loved it!

The other brain twister I'm working my way through is How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization by Mortimer J. Adler. He has chosen a number of topics to be found by studying The Great Books, and waxes philosophical on them. Philosophy is not a forte of mine, but he makes a lot of observations that I like to spend a bit of time mulling over after I finish the chapter. With titles like "How To Think About Freedom", "How To Think About Learning", "How To Think About Art", and a couple dozen more, you can see there is a lot of fodder there for contemplation.

My fun book between all of this is Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, which I haven't gotten too far in, but I love his writing. It's mesmerizing even when there's nothing going on!

Happy Reading, Everyone!


Serena said...

Those are some hefty reads you have going on at one time...good thing you have the Remains of the Day to break it up.

Joy said...

That's exactly how I feel about Ishiguro! To me that shows quite a talent. :)

Lezlie said...

Serena ~ I wish I had more time to dedicate to that one! Once I get past the Adler book, I'll open up some time.

Joy ~ I agree completely. I'll be working my way through his bibliography in the future.


bermudaonion said...

I can only read one book at a time, too, unless of course, one of the books is a cookbook or reference book.

Lezlie said...

Bermudaonion ~ It is taxing my poor brain, because I can't decide which one to read when it's time to get started! :-)


BooksPlease said...

I like to read a few at once and these sound good choices as they're so different.

I loved The Remains of the Day - the book and the film. I'd love to read The Faerie Queene and I hope you'll write more about that and the philosophy book - it sounds a real challenge.

Lezlie said...

BooksPlease ~ Since both of those will take me some time to get through, I thought I'd try something new this year and comment on them as I go along. I don't like to write long reviews, so this way you'll get a little more about them than if I just wrote about them at the end. I'll make sure I make a point of talking about the philosophy book a few times. I think you'd like that one. And The Faerie Queene!


Terri B. said...

Great idea to comment on the longer books as you go. I've thought of doing that for books of essays or short stories since I have a difficult time pulling all my thoughts together for collections.

I can't wait to see what you think of Faerie Queene. It is one I plan on reading ... sometime!

I'm with you; I don't generally read more than one book at a time. I can do it if they are quite different (e.g. a fiction and non-fiction at the same time) or if I just need a break from something huge.

Lezlie said...

Terri ~ So far The Faerie Queene is two thumbs up! It's hard in spots, but not anywhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you about the Remains of Day. My roommate kept asking me what it's about and I would say something along the lines of "Oh, it's about this butler..." and she couldn't figure out for the life of her what was so interesting. I couldn't put it down.

Happy reading :)

- Lu

Lezlie said...

Lu ~ My husband is wondering the same thing. :-)


Dar said...

That's some heavy reading you have going on, that's why it's hard to read more than one at a time. lol. I've never read any of those so I'll be watching for your reviews. I currently have 3 books on the go, about to start a 4th one today.

Lezlie said...

Dar ~ While I am enjoying all the books, I am looking forward to lightening it up a bit, that's for sure!