Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday updates

After Danielle's kind words about my practicality in book-buying, I went out and bought three novels all at once. Oops. But I have an excuse: one novel is for when I finish Hilary Mantel's Beyond Black, which I'm about 150 pages into, and the other two are Muriel Spark novels I'm reading for the Slaves of Golconda. I'll read them all soon and then get my list of books-I-own-but-haven't-read back down to a reasonable 18. The problem for me of owning books that I haven't read is that when I look over my list of 18 books, I'm not tempted by them at all. Somehow owning something and not reading it right away turns me off from the book.

Anyway, the book for after Mantel is David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, which Stefanie reviewed and inspired me to read. If you are curious about my Slaves of Golconda reference, check this out. The group is reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie together and then each member is reading another Spark novel; mine is Aiding and Abetting. I've never read Spark before, so I'm excited about this. Actually, I haven't participated in a book group -- in-person or online -- before, so I'm excited about that too. All kinds of good things going on in my reading world!

And my other reads (because I'm in a multiple-book-reading phase right now): Jane Hirschfield's Given Sugar, Given Salt (see below), Virginia Woolf's Diary, Vol. 1, and The Tale of Genji. Also, I began William Warner's scholarly book on the eighteenth-century novel Licensing Entertainment. More on that one later.

For now, since I finished Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading, I'll leave you with a quotation from that book. I loved it, and if you want to read more, check out my posts below. Manguel says it's okay to steal books (well, sort of):

The act of reading establishes an intimate, physical relationship in which all the senses have a part: the eyes drawing the words from the page, the ears echoing the sounds being read, the nose inhaling the familiar scent of paper, glue, ink, cardboard or leather, the touch caressing the rough or soft page, the smooth or hard binding; even the taste, at times, when the reader's fingers are lifted to the tongue (which is how the murderer poisons his victims in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose). All this, many readers are unwilling to share -- and if the book they wish to read is in someone else's possession, the laws of property are as hard to uphold as those of faithfulness in love.