Saturday, 2 October 2010

A round up of my bookish news

I have done a guest post over at Fluttering Butterflies on Clovers 'awesome women' today so head over there to read about Beatrix Potter.

I have also been quite productive and have finished my list of American Classics which I hope to read. They are all listed under the page 'The American Project' at the top. I think I have a good mix of classics and more contemporary novels, there are a couple of non-fiction books and even a western in there. I wanted to have around 50 books in the list and I have ended up with just over so I'm quite happy with that, please let me know what you think of the list in general.

Finally I am currently struggling through Moby Dick. I am reading this very very slowly and am now half way through but everyday I swear this will be the day I give up on it. For some reason though I don't want to and every day I find myself reading a tiny bit more. Does this one get any better?

Posted by Jess


  1. I have never tried reading Moby Dick and the more I hear about it the more intimidated I feel about starting..

    I am heading over to your post about Beatrix Potter right now. I love her and always want to read a biography of her but have yet to buy one.

  2. I would not be surprised if I die without ever having read Moby Dick! There is nothing about it that appeals to me!

  3. Moby Dick does get better! Especially when Moby finally shows up. Unfortunately that's not until the very very end!

  4. From what I've heard from people, Moby Dick is a love it or hate it sort of book. If you haven't loved it thus far, I can't imagine you will later. I can't really speak for the books - I've read two other Melville books (and hated them) but not Moby Dick - but from what I remember my husband saying, it's pretty much the same all the way through. Of course, he liked that...

  5. Your American list is very impressive, quite the project! I'll have to add a bunch of those to my 'to read' list. Despite an American education in literature I've missed a lot.

  6. Moby Dick is a little tough to get through but persevere. I think you'll be happy you read it when you're finished. It gets better, too so just keep up the great work!

    I'm excited that you wrote a post about Beatrix Potter! I collected her books & china figures of her characters when I was a little girl. I will always have a soft spot on my heart for her.

  7. irisonbooks - I would love to read a biography of her as well, interesting life.

    Stephanie - I swear the only reason I'm reading it is because its a great American classic and I have to read extracts for my course.

    rhapsodyinbooks - ah so I only have another 200 or so pages of boat and whale describtions to get through then LOL

    Amanda - I have to read another of his books for my course (thankfully a short story) but I'm not looking forward to it!

    Marieke - I suppose theres only so many books you can fit onto a course other wise you'd be reading American classics for years.

    Amy - I think I do want to finish it just so I can say I have, I'll keep going but its some effort.

  8. Hi, Jess,
    It is a well-known fact that, for some people, Moby Dick is a cure for insomnia.

    I suffered terribly from insomnia my senior-year of high school. Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and Kafka kept me up until all hours.

    Then we were assigned Moby Dick. And I could not stay awake, no matter how many cups of coffee I drank.

    Yet it was my brother's favorite novel and the favorite of many men I know.

    Maybe, just maybe, some things are a gender thing.

    Best wishes and happy reading,
    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

  9. I wrote quite a bit on Moby-Dick recently, if you're interested. It's from the point of view that it's a great book, though, with pleasures packed into every page.

    I mean, you're already past "Clam or Cod?" Maybe it never gets better than that.

    What are you finding in it, or not?

  10. I've never read this one Jess - hope it picks up for you?

  11. I checked out your list. You have some great titles, including a few that aren't on my own list!

    I haven't read Moby Dick (yet), but I did read Typee by Melville in college. It started out slow and boring, but I really loved it by the end. Maybe that is the case for all of Melville's works?

  12. Judith - haha your comment made me laugh. Its also one of my dads favorite books so maybe theres something in that gender thing.

    Amateur Reader - Im going to check out your writings on Moby Dick later when I have more time so thanks for that! It started off well and I enjoyed the sermon but as soon as the boat sailed off I have got bogged down in info on Whales/Ships/harpoons etc to really see anything else.

    Bibliophile - I will keep going on it for the moment, half way through at least.

    Allie - I have another of Melvilles short stories so I think maybe Ill read that next in the hope that it will give me inspiration to carry on!

  13. Moby Dick! There's an ambitious book to read. Hear it's a snoozer.

  14. I just checked out your list for The American Project. I love the idea of this project! You've also got a really great list. Two things: as far as the Pynchon's you have on the list, I loved The Crying Lot of 49 but for the life of me could not get through Gravities Rainbow. My advice is to start with Lot 49 so you're not overwhelmed. I also have a recommendation to add to the list: White Noise by Don DeLillo. When I think about contemporary American classics, this is the first one that comes to mind.

  15. I have never been able to get past the first 10 pages of MD. Sad to know that half way through it is just as vexing. It looks like your version might be the one illustrated by Rockwell Kent?

  16. I only made it to the third page when I tried Moby Dick once. I do intend to try again. We'll see if it's worth it.

  17. Clover - so far it really it LOL

    Brenna - thanks for you rec, I have added your suggestion onto the list (I'm so glad I asked as there are so many great suggestions I have never heard of)

    I will read crying lot first then, thanks for the warning LOL

    Thomas - That version of MB is not the version I have (I just prefered that cover) I'm reading one chapter a day - its personal now LOL

    Shelley - The first chapter was one of the worst, I nearly gave up then :)

  18. At least you've opened it. That's more than I've done. Keep us posted!