Middlemarch, and Me, and Summer Reading

books at bedsideThere are approximately thirty books in my bedside stack of in-progress and to-be-read books.

I don’t know the exact number.  Creating an actual reckoning of those volumes would probably fill me with so much guilt I would immediately leave the bedroom and turn on the television.

Right now, I am reading:

The Bronte’s Went to Woolworth’s (Rachel Ferguson)

Mrs. Tim of the Regiment (D. E. Stevenson)

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke)

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

But summer is approaching, and I have summer reading lists on the brain.  I still sometimes prepare these for myself.  They usually include some of the thirty-odd volumes which seem to have a permanent residence in the stack of to-be-read books; and other books, newer books, which have caught the changing pleasure of my infantile attention span for the moment.

I know my planned summer reading will include Marilynne Robinson’s Home; I’ve been saving it to read when I was in the right frame of mind, as well as – and I am somewhat bracing myself already – George Eliot’s Middlemarch.  When George Eliot last appeared on my blog, it was related to an article I had read about George Eliot that made comparisons to Jane Austen and even – to a degree – wrote about these two authors as though they wrote the same type of novel.

Because I don’t know whether I entirely agree with the conclusions I reached in that post, at book group last weekend I had a very brief conversation with someone who is far more well read and thoughtful about these matters – and who certainly has what I would judge to be a far less emotional attachment to Jane Austen – than me.  From that conversation, I have determined – the academic within requires it of me – to let George Eliot have her fair say.

So, maybe one of you will add Middlemarch to your summer reading list, and we can discuss our findings.  It’s currently winging its way to me; in the interim, lest it come up yet again, my dearest sister, I am (it was at the top of the list!) determined to finish The Bronte’s Went to Woolworth’s, though I confess I have yet to find myself on an even keel in that novel.

What are you going to read this summer?


8 thoughts on “Middlemarch, and Me, and Summer Reading

  1. naomig@the happy sanitarium

    I’m currently reading “Shop Class as Soulcraft” (Michael Crawford) and having my mind blown.

    Summer Reading List before I read this post:
    (hmmm… you’ve got me thinking about Middlemarch)
    “The Hunger Games” (For sure! I can’t wait-sounds like perfect Summer reading.)
    A re-reading of “Pride and Prejudice”
    “Kitchen Confidential” (Anthony Bourdain-I’m a little nervous about this one, but I feel compelled to read it, and then possibly never eat at a restaurant again, ha.)
    “There are no Shortcuts” (Rafe Esquith)

    I just finished up “Acedia & Me” by Kathleen Norris, and I really enjoyed it, so I might read her “Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith” also. I’d like to make my way through all her books.

    Love your book stack(s)! There’s nothing quite so great as a good stack of books.

    1. slwenz20 Post author

      I’m always somewhat fascinated by readers of non-fiction! I’m desperately under-read in that category. Although the book by Rafe Esquith sounds pretty inspiring! But re: Anthony Bourdain…I’m not sure I would ever read anything which would deprive me of the pleasure of Eating Out.

      1. naomig@the happy sanitarium

        Reading Non-Fiction was actually a goal of mine for this year… prior to this year, I’ve read ONLY fiction, with rare exception. I’m attempting to deepen my thoughts, and broaden my horizons. I’m really enjoying it.

    1. slwenz20 Post author

      Yes, and the next one! Easy reads — the second was better than the first (I thought). Tentatively planning on reviewing them here.

  2. wenzer

    Since you finally did me a solid and finished “The Brontes Went to Woolworths” I have added Middlemarch to my reading list. Oh, no need to thank me. Shall we see who finishes it first? :)


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