Mary's Library

Thursday, April 27, 2006

What I’m Reading

I’m still reading Bleak House (published 1853.) I read only a page or so each night to make it last. I’ve come to love Esther’s narratives and my heart is breaking for John Jarndyce. Dickens really did a fine job with this tragic story.

American Theocracy: The Perils and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (©2006), by Kevin Phillips. Whatever possessed Phillips to choose religion for the title of this book, in which the religion section is so weak? I haven’t read the finance part yet, but I find convincing his argument that much of US foreign policy has been controlled for the last century by our need for oil.

High Rising (published in 1933), by Angela Thirkell. It’s delightful.

Abide with Me (©2006), by Elizabeth Strout. A clergyman begins to fall apart as he copes with a family tragedy in this excellent novel.

Miss Marjoribanks (published in 1866), by Mrs Margaret Oliphant. I didn’t like this book for the first ten chapters or so, but I’m beginning to warm to the eponymous heroine, who really is hilarious in her lack of humor and blind egotism. Don’t tell my Not-Trollope group. I’ve been grousing to them about the book all month.

Flaubert: A Biography (©2006), by Frederick Brown. Just what I need! Another lengthy biography of a literary figure, and a French one at that. But the author of Madame Bovary (published1856) is such an interesting guy and the book is so well written that I’m hooked.

The Autobiography and Letters of Mrs M O W Oliphant (©1899), edited by Mrs Harry Coghill. Yawn. This is slow going. However the book I’m reading is one printed in 1899 and some of the pages are still uncut so I’m enjoying “the reading experience,” so to speak, if not the text. (M O W stands for Margaret Oliphant Wilson.)


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