I went to the London Theater in the 1780s with Evelina. I got A Sentimental Education in Paris during the 1848 French Revolution. I wondered What Massie Knew as her divorcing parents shattered her world.
I tried to get A Start in Life reading Balzac with Doctor Weizel. At least she has beautiful red hair. I opened The Book Shop I have always wanted to. I lived Off Shore on a house boat on the Thames. I spent some time in a Maoist Reeducation camp along with Balzac and a Little Chinese Seamstress.
I hated to do it but I said Goodbye Tsugumi but I know I will see her again one day. I wondered what The Blue Flower has to do with life as a student in Germany in the 1780s.
. I even heard Fichte lecture. I eave dropped on The Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. I learned some Aussie slang while wondering which of two brothers
was best at Getting the Girl. I spent some time After Dark in Tokyo at a Denny's. I fell in love with Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat that Touched the World. Five teenagers showed me their view of The Real World. I played An Angel's game in old Toledo while I browsed in a very strange library. I was trapped in a Crimson Labyrinth
August 2009 was a great reading month for me. I will list all the Books I read, in order of publication along with a comment or two on each one.
1. Evelina by Francis Burney 1778. A very well done epistolary novel It is her most popular novel.
Samuel Johnson admired her a lot.. In truth I would have enjoyed longer letters from some of the other
parties in the novel.
2. A Sentimental Education by Gustav Flaubert. 1869
Ford Madox Ford is reported to have said that a person cannot consider themselves well educated until they have read this book fourteen times.
In his introductory remarks the translator Douglas Parmee flirts with
the notion that it is better than War and Peace. Almost every list I have ever seen of the
of the world's best novels includes one Flaubert Novel in the top twenty list. My list would now
include two of his novels. I loved this book for its richness, its love of the city life, the great food in the story.
Unlike his more read novel, I liked some of the people in this book. Read this book because you want to,
not because you are assigned it in a class or saw it on a list. This book has a great deal to tell us
about The Reading Life. Once I have read it a few more times I may try to talk about that aspect of the book. Three Tales is also a great read and lets us appreciate more Flaubert's talents.
I would love to receive comments from those who have read Salammbo or The Temptation of
3. What Massie Knew by Henry James-1897. Henry James enters into the mind of of a young girl whose
parents are divorcing. I am reading or rereading all of the novels of Henry James as a personal challenge. I am in the process of rereading all of the novels of Henry James. Like all of his work this is brilliant in
4. The Book Shop by Penelope Fitzgerald -1978. This was my first of her nine novels. I liked it so much
I ended up reading three of her works back to back
5. Off Shore by Penelope Fitzgerald 1979-A Booker Prize Winner. A line in this book has been haunting
me for two weeks now: "She fell in love as only a violinist can"
6. A Start in Life by Anita Brookner-1985-I posted on this in August. Yesterday I bought another one of
her twenty three novels. She wrote her first one when she was fifty and has written one a year since then.
7. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Siuij-1989-I reviewed this in August.
I really like this wonderful book. I will read all of his other books.
8. Goodbye Tsugumi 1989 by Banana Yoshimoto-I posted on this in August.
9. The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald 1995- The very model of a historical novel. Once I have
read all nine of her novels I will post something on what she tells us about the reading life
10. Beaufort: The Duke and Duchess-1657 to 1715. 2001 nonfiction by Molly McCain-a decent
study of life among the nobility. She makes some dubious psychological projections on the subjects.
11. . Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak. 2004 My policy on Markus Zusak is very simple.
Whatever he writes I will read as soon as I can get a copy.
12. The Crimson Labyrinth by Yusuke Kishi-2006-I posted on this in August
13. After Dark by Haruki Murakami 2007-I have already posted on this.
14. Real World by Natsuo Kirino 2008. I posted on this wonderful book in August.
15. Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat that Touched the World by Vicky Myron-2008-I reviewed
this book in August. I look forward to the movie.
16. The Angel's Game-Carlos Zafron. After I read The Shadow of the Wind\ I will try to do
a reading life review of these two books.