Mary's Library

Friday, September 22, 2006

What I'm Reading (cont)

Various Haunts of Men (2004) by Susan Hill. This is the first of the author’s Simon Serrallier detective stories. It’s a cut or two (or three) above the rest. I look forward to many more mysteries in this series.

The Fugitive, the sixth novel in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (aka The Remembrance of Things Past.) This book, first published in French in 1925 as Albertine disparue, has been newly translated by Peter Collier.
If you have had trouble reading Proust in the past (and who of us hasn’t), it’s time to brush off your New Year’s Resolution from 1963 and give it another go as the entire work has been re-translated into English, each book by a different person. So far I’m finding it much superior to the old Moncrieff and Kilmartin translation.

Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell. I’m not much for short stories or for the paranormal or gothic, but these stories are pretty good. A couple are very good.

The Professor by Charlotte Bronte. This novel was written in about 1846 but not published until 1857, after Bronte’s death. It’s the sort of book about which we English majors want to pose a dozen essay test questions per chapter:

How reliable is the narrator?
Why does his brother treat him harshly?
Describe the conflict between the man of inherited wealth and the self-made man. Which does Bronte favor?
What part does the Industrial Revolution play in the plot?
What does the mysterious Hunsden represent?
Why was Bronte unable to get the novel published?

And so on and on. I could list a lot more juicy exam questions. It's that kind of book.


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