Friday, July 3, 2015

Read It, June 2015

In June 2015 I finished reading:

  • The Glass Bees by Ernst Junger
  • My Struggle: Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgaard
  • Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds [novella]
That is not a very impressive list. June was a month of a lot of travel, a lot of chaos and transition, and a lot of work at my new job. The job is going well, but all the changes are leaving me kind of drained. In the evenings after work last week I even started (gasp)... watching DVDs instead of reading. I've been working my way through Mad Men, Season 1.

OK, so I'm a little behind the TV-watching world. Still, I'm enjoying these shows -- they are wonderfully written and acted. Honestly, I might watch them even just to drool over the Mid-Century Modern furniture. There is some fascinating character development going on, even in characters that started out rather simple and flat. It's impressive, but still, I gravitate towards reading rather than watching, although I will never give up the chance to watch a great or at least interesting film, preferably in a theater.

I have not read, but listened to, most of the Chronicles of Narnia in the form of the Focus on the Family audio adaptations (I have not yet finished The Last Battle, but I'll finish that in my car trip back down to Ann Arbor on Monday morning.

I will not claim that listening to these audio dramatization counts as re-reading them. These adaptations seem quite complete and faithful, and use large portions of the dialogue and text verbatim, but they are not a reading of the the unabridged text.

Still, I am reliving the stories, and in a very satisfying way. I've also been reading the books out loud to my children, but that is slow going -- a chapter or two a night. We are most of the way through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (I believe that the books should be read in publication order). But how is it that C. S. Lewis did not use the Oxford comma in the title?

I am continuing to chip away at The Long Ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson. This is a very funny and entertaining book but the dry humor demands concentration, and I have found my concentration to be in short supply recently. This would be a great book to read out loud, but my children are too young to appreciate it. So, I have only finished the first part (out of four). I am enjoying the story and I beieve I will finish this book, but it may take me a while and I may allow another book or two to jump ahead of it in line.

I am tempted to pick up the second part of My Struggle. I'm also tempted to pick up something by David Mitchell, or to read Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Maybe I should just browse my own shelves, which contain many unread books, or my own wish list. Any suggestions?

Update, written at the end of 2015: over the next few months, I did finish reading my children The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Horse and His Boy. Unfortunately, I neglected to note exactly when I did so. The exact order and timing are a little bit muddled in my head, because I also listened to the (abridged) audio drama versions of all the Narnia books put out by Focus on the Family.

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