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September Reading (Multi-Post)

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  • Michael Parker
    These are my September reads as shown at A Celebration of Reading (a lot of reading went into The Count of Monte Cristo, but I didn¹t finish in time) -- *
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2002
      These are my September reads as shown at A Celebration of Reading (a lot of
      reading went into The Count of Monte Cristo, but I didn¹t finish in time) --


      * Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction -- Jonathan Culler ****
      [new book from B&N]
      At first I bypassed this little text, not because it seemed pithy but
      because I hate to spend so much money for so few pages. Well, every page of
      this book is ten pages in any other and, although I'm still spinning with
      all the theory and all the seemingly abstruse vocabulary, I'm sure glad I
      sprung the nine bucks and read the 150 pages. Now I need to try to apply all
      this cryptic stuff to literature and see if I really understand it.


      * Goodbye Tsugumi -- Banana Yoshimoto ***
      [local library]
      Back in top form, this is vintage Yoshimoto with characters and situations
      that draw you in so that the story becomes a part of your heart.. It seems
      simple, but only Banana is writing with this kind of immediacy and reality
      for her characters.


      * A High Wind In Jamaica -- Richard Hughes ****
      [new book from B&N]
      Although this title is ostensibly a Juvenile, I like to think that being a
      Juvenile allowed the author to simplify the story right down to it's
      essentials and the characterizations and emotions are right there on the
      surface, raw and powerful. This is a wonderful story that all should read.


      * The Mill On the Floss -- George Eliot ****
      [Daughter's copy]
      Excellent! I'm really getting into Eliot and will probably have all the
      titles read by the end of next year. This was a good story and I watched the
      characters closer that I have, perhaps, in other recent novels. I can see
      how Eliot's writing is certainly reflective of the time she lived but you
      can also see that she is concerned that some of the social conventions are
      beginning to change.


      * Rapid Reading Made EZ -- Paul R. Scheele
      [local library]
      Recent emails at several reading groups asked about improving reading speed.
      The method presented in this book seem to involve having your mind take a
      picture of the two facing pages of a book and then, with some exercises to
      focus the mind, you pull the words into your sub-conscious and realize you
      have read the book. I guess, for some. But I am interested in this and other
      reading techniques that use some form of layering to build up understanding.
      This was actually an interesting book despite being a part of the EZ series.


      * Sleep -- Stephen Dixon ***
      [local library]
      I've been predisposed to dislike Dixon for years, ever since I read
      Interstate and voted it the worst read of the year. But I'm beginning to
      realize that hating Dixon and loving Robbe-Grillet is a mixture that doesn't
      make any sense. Dixon it seems writes short stories at an alarming rate and
      even after finishing this collection I have about 400 to go. These stories
      are different but they aren't weird or anything; they're straightforward
      clumps of life objectively viewed without a lot of figurative language to
      interfere with the ciné roman style. I may not be pulling Frog off the lower
      shelf yet but I did pick up Gould at the library for further reading. More
      comments about Dixon soon.


      * Empire Falls -- Richard Russo ****
      [new book from Costco]
      Gee, all the reading groups on Yahoo are tackling this one and I have been
      dutifully reading the discussions and the reviews for the last several
      months. Now it's my time to comment. First, of all the writers that are
      being compared (McEwan, Ishiguro, Franzen, etc.) Russo has the best control
      of his story and resorts the least to tossing in unnecessary scenes just to
      spice up the narrative. Russo's prose is the most pristine; his
      characterizations are the most complete and realistic; and his story is the
      most interesting. Although I hear complains about the sudden surprise at the
      end, everything in the story flowed logically and was preceeded with more
      than adequate hints and suggestions. In fact, this book is almost perfect.
      However, I think I'm going to relegate it and it's ilk to the popular
      fiction pile. Empire Falls could have been written by a dozen authors at any
      time during the last 150 years of so; the same old tired formula for a novel
      and it's beginning to bore me.


      * Video -- Meera Nair ***
      [local library]
      A very satisfying and recommended story collection akin to the recent
      Interpreter of Maladies by Lahiri. I'm enchanted by the Indian themes.


      * The Mystery of Edwin Drood -- Charles Dickens ***
      [new book from B&N]
      It's too bad this was never completed. Even with the outline left by the
      author, it's not easy to just stop, especially when the prose is sparklin'
      and the story line in movin' right along. This will make me want to take one
      of those nasty ol' thick Dicken's novels out of the back of the top shelf to
      be added to the Fat Book Club reading list.

       
      * The Unvanquished -- William Faulkner ***
      [used book store]
      A surprisingly straightforward tale of the Civil War. Faulkner originally
      published all but the last chapter as short stories in various magazines
      prior to the re-work and publication as a novel. Can you believe no one
      wanted to publish the last story? This is a great text to start a lifetime
      of reading Faulkner.



      --
      Mike in New Jersey

      A Celebration of Reading @ http://homepage.mac.com/mparker_46/ACOR

      Now Reading:   
      The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas)
      Adam Bede (Eliot)
      L¹Amant (Duras) [en français]
      Gould (Dixon)
      Just Finished:
      The Mill On the Floss (Eliot)
      A High Wind In Jamaica (Hughes)
      Goodbye Tsugumi (Yoshimoto)
      Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Culler)
      Ready To Go:   
      Amrita (Yoshimoto)
      Judgment Day (Farrell)
      A l¹ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (Proust)
      La Chartreuse de Parme (Stendhal) [en français]






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • anjabe_sp
      ... reading speed. ... take a ... exercises to ... realize you ... and other ... understanding. ... EZ series. And - have you tried it? I believe that a lot of
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 15, 2002
        > * Rapid Reading Made EZ -- Paul R. Scheele
        > [local library]
        > Recent emails at several reading groups asked about improving
        reading speed.
        > The method presented in this book seem to involve having your mind
        take a
        > picture of the two facing pages of a book and then, with some
        exercises to
        > focus the mind, you pull the words into your sub-conscious and
        realize you
        > have read the book. I guess, for some. But I am interested in this
        and other
        > reading techniques that use some form of layering to build up
        understanding.
        > This was actually an interesting book despite being a part of the
        EZ series.

        And - have you tried it? I believe that a lot of pleasure of reading
        gets lost with this method. I used to read like that, without being
        aware of it. It is good for getting through thrillers quickly without
        missing the action but it is practically useless for literature, you
        end up having read the book without b eing able to remember anything,
        also the beauty of the scenes describedis completely lost if you have
        no time to contemplate it.
        Anyway, I was surprised to see that it is actually possible to learn
        to read this way. It had just happened to me as a result of reading
        too much...
        I learned to read word by word and sentence by sentence again when I
        took up reading English books and I must say it is much more fun this
        way.
        Does anybody else have experience with different reading modes?

        Anja
      • Michael D. Parker
        ... reading ... without ... you ... anything, ... have ... I don t really want to read this way or any other speed reading way. My goal is not to get through
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 21, 2002
          --- In classicsreadinggroup@y..., anjabe_sp <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > * Rapid Reading Made EZ -- Paul R. Scheele
          > And - have you tried it? I believe that a lot of pleasure of
          reading
          > gets lost with this method. I used to read like that, without being
          > aware of it. It is good for getting through thrillers quickly
          without
          > missing the action but it is practically useless for literature,
          you
          > end up having read the book without b eing able to remember
          anything,
          > also the beauty of the scenes describedis completely lost if you
          have
          > no time to contemplate it.

          I don't really want to read this way or any other "speed" reading
          way. My goal
          is not to get through the pages as fast as possible. However, as I
          stated, this
          method and others use a process of layering your approach to the
          reading
          that I find interesting. If I was reading something for fun it
          wouldn't much matter
          but when deep reading I would like to get an overview of the work,
          perhaps a
          synopsis, maybe outline the characters and the scenes, etc. Then when
          I'm
          firmly founded I can concentrate on the prose itself, the depth of
          description,
          the nuances of voice, etc. It seems to me that these layered reading
          methods
          where you read the same work over and over with differing "speed"
          techniques might perform the same process and allow a fuller
          understanding
          of the work. In the end, you still must carefully read the work, word
          by word;
          there is no substitute.

          --
          Mike in New Jersey

          A Celebration of Reading @ http://homepage.mac.com/mparker_46/ACOR

          Now Reading:   
          The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas)
          Adam Bede (Eliot)
          The Brigegroom (Ha Jin)
          Amrita (Yoshimoto)
          Just Finished:
          On the Ceiling (Chevillard)
          Yin Fire (Grilikhes)
          A Clockwork Orange (Burgess)
          Real Time (Chaudhuri)
          Ready To Go:   
          A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (Proust)
          La Chartreuse de Parme (Stendhal)
          The Horseman on the Roof (Giorno)
          Hunger (Chang)
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