Bookmarking

As we tread our way to the end of November, with the finish line for Twenty Eighteen nearly in sight, I feel the urge to begin a series of retrospectives—as is traditional for this time of year. This brief post (as brief as anything I ever promise to write) is intended as a snapshot of where I am just now.

First things first, however. The Classics Club blog has just revealed the Classics Spin number for the title members have to read over the next two months, and that number is…

one — and my title is … Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley. I have until the end of January to read and review it and I’m both dreading it and excited to finally get round to it! Am I right to dread it? Or is it all that one should hope for from a Brontë sibling’s imagination?

As usual I am amid several titles rather than being a serial reader. I’m currently enjoying E Nesbit’s New Treasure Seekers, which I put down while I raced through Eric Amber’s The Mask of Dimitrios. Before that I finished Malaysian Tales (edited by blogger and author Daphne Lee) with a review in hand. I’ve put down Jasper Fforde’s recent novel Early Riser for now, with the intention of picking it up when the first snows of winter take hold (just to get back into the mood, you understand).

Also waiting is Katy Mahood’s Entanglement and Kate Atkinson’s Transcriptionyou’ve got to love these one-word titles for getting to the point!—though I’m aware I haven’t yet decided whether to read The Vampyre or Vathek as a Christmas ghost story. I’ll keep you posted. (You may of course already be yawning, as this post has been anything but brief.)

How about you? Are you gearing up for retrospectives too? Or is the thought of all this bookish navel-gazing dampening your spirits?

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14 thoughts on “Bookmarking

  1. Oh, I just need to get back to reading, period. I’ve a fantasy and a mystery I’d like to finally READ, but finding time to take in others’ words in the midst of holiday hullabaloo has been so bloody hard. Yet time we must make, or there will never be time, yes? Looking forward to your retrospectives, as always! xxxxxxx

    1. I’m still in awe of how you can juggle family and blogging, Jean, and still find time to read, however little that may be! And Christmas is so demanding too with all those expectations…

      Anyway, I intend to tantalise with the reviews I’m preparing to write and schedule, even if you never get round to reading the originals, because I’m ornery like that! 🙂

      1. HA! You’re awesome. I’m actually happy we’re traveling a bit for a few different Christmases with inlaws because that means I get to read in the car. That may be all the reading time I have, but I’ll take it! 🙂

  2. I save up all my retrospectives posts for the last week of the year when I traditionally do a series looking back at hits and misses, stats and my books of the year.

    I slightly envy you – I find it very difficult to read more than one book at a time, unless it’s one fiction and one non-fiction!

    1. No need to envy me, Annabel, I’m prone to short attention spans so if something is heavy going I will happily swap to a lighter read for a while! I also find that different works very often inform each other in surprising ways, or get me thinking along parallel lines.

      As for retrospectives, I ideally would leave it till later in the year but I know the next little while is going to be quite busy, hence the piecemeal drip feed… 😁

  3. Shirley isn’t one of my favourite Bronte novels, but I certainly think it’s worth reading. I found the political and social background interesting and liked the relationship between the two main characters. I hope you enjoy it.

    I’ll look forward to your retrospective posts…I’ll be saving mine until nearer the end of December as I still have lots of outstanding reviews from October and November to try to fit in before then.

    1. Thanks for the advice, Helen! I was aware Shirley dealt with an earlier social and political era (actually only half a dozen years before Charlotte’s birth) so will be curious to read about the personal lives and relationships.

      As for the retrospectives, I’ll leave the stats till near the end of the year, but think I may be drawing out some general trends and odd blips before then. But I shall still look out for those 2018 overviews and New Year resolutions from fellow bloggers!

    1. You can, Lizzie, and you will! I’ve avoided the film (Peter Lorre as the English writer? And with a change of name? Not what I’d imagined) so as to have my own take on the novel. I have to say though that I enjoyed it…

  4. I’ve read Shirley twice. The first time I loved it and the second time I found it dullsville. Who knows what a third read will bring? I do think it’s worth your effort – but it’s a much less well integrated book than Jane Eyre or Villette. Be prepared.

    1. 😀 I continue to be intrigued by this book, the more I hear about it! I’m not sure I’d manage three reads, but I hope it will help pave the way towards the uplands of Charlotte’s other two novels. 🙂

        1. I actually read The Professor first, Lory, thought I’d start with the foothills and lead up the eminences of Charlotte’s output; and the same with Anne (Agnes Grey was my entrée). And of course I’ve read Jean Rhys’ Jane Eyre ‘prequel’. All in all, I’m getting there!

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