The Literary Phoenix

Funny, the damage a silly little book can do. Especially in the hands of a silly little girl.

imwayr

It’s Monday, What are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.  It’s a great way to catch up on all the literary ins-and-outs of the previous week, and see what everyone is up to.  Check out this week’s linkup!


Checking in this week, it’s been a lousy week for reading.  The audiobooks have been alright, but others have gotten no love.  It’s because of the lunch break fiasco (wherein I have every intention to take a lunch break, then someone calls/IMs/comes over/emails with an urgent issue and, lol, no lunch for me!).  But instead of focusing on the bad, lets talk about the good!  What did I read?

Well, first of all, I finished Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler.  I persist in my initial impression – I thought it was excellently written, and I really just loved Zelda’s voice.  I’m in love with the narrator too (Jenna Lamia) so I’m glad to have picked up this book.  It’s definitely one I would buy in hardcopy.

1984 by George Orwell

Otherwise, the beat goes on with 1984 by George Orwell.  I’ve reached the point where we’ve met Syme and Parsons, but not much else has happened yet for Winston.  We’ve also seen him in a normal day at work.  Winston also continues to write devotedly in his incredibly illegal journal (#thoughtcrime!).  The last thing I read, he was writing about his wife and an interaction with a prostitute.

I planned to try and get a little further this last weekend, but not much happened on that front.  I am excited, though, because I have this Friday off, so I’m hoping to get a little “cuddle up with a book time” alongside all my chores/laziness/extra sleep.  I work hard, dammit, and deserve a lazy day!

I do have to admit – this book is a bit dry, and that’s probably why fourteen-year-old me didn’t love it.  Still, as an adult, the concepts in it are interesting.  I just have to remember that Winston is showing us the world at this point, and not trying to tell a story.  It’s just his universe.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil GaimanThe audiobook this week is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I’ve been hearing about this one for a few years and how magnificent it is and so on.  I’ve got to give it to Gaiman, his fans are devoted.

Overall, I have mixed feelings… which is my stance on most of Gaiman’s works (except Stardust.  I love Stardust).  I like the story he is telling, but I find myself getting occasionally bored at the way he is telling it.  Thusfar, this is what I know for sure: I like Lettie Hempstock, and I liked Ursula Munkton.  Ursula is the perfect child’s villain – all at once a horrible adult and a real monster.  Lettie, on the other hand, is a wonderful example of an ageless child, wise and responsible, and very matter-of-fact.  I like them both quite a bit.  I particularly enjoyed the scene with Ursula chasing the narrator through the fields, and the storm.  Wonderful work.  But I’m not going to lie, either – I am not head-over-heels in love with this book the way I think most people are.

In other news, I made positively no progress again in Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath.  I really want to try and read a story every night before bed this week.  If nothing else, it should redirect my brain so I can fall asleep more easily.  I have such a busy mind, and particularly when I’m stressed, sleep gets harder and harder to grasp.  At least if I’m not sleeping, I’ll be thinking about one of history’s lost heroines instead of work! … As a sort of side note on this book, however… one of the last stories I read, and I loved was Annie Jump Cannon.  The illustrations are gigantic, but I just particularly liked that one, so check it out.

Not much progress made on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling this week, either.  We listened on the commute into work, but not on the way home.  Where we left off, Harry had just gotten his Firebolt back from McGonagall and was starting to look forward to the match against Ravenclaw.

I listened to two lectures this week in Myth in Human History by The Great Courses.  The first lecture discussed the Navajo myth of creation, with four different worlds and the people kept climbing upwards into different ones, all characterized by color. I believe it was black-red-blue-white.  The second lecture was a discussion on the “cosmic egg” theory, and about cultures whose creation tales discuss how earth was made from the yolk, white, and shell of an egg.  Interesting stuff, but… all these creation stories are making me think very philosophically about oblivion and before/after life and it freaks me out. Yay philosophy?

A bit of an extra this week!  I’ve got my husband listening to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss on his own time now, and I think he enjoys it!  I’d say overall he prefers the Sword of Truth series (which I interrupted to make him listen to this) but he’s at the point where Kvothe is playing his lute again and still listening.  Personally, I think much of the best of the story is still ahead of him.  I asked him if it made him anxious that Kvothe was so in debt to Devi and that she had his blood, and he said no.  Ugh!  That part drove me crazy!  Blood magic is serious business.

You know, now that I’ve written it all out, perhaps I’ve been a little bit invested in books this week… What about the rest of you?  Reading anything good?

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14 thoughts on “Z: The Prisoner’s Rejected Myths at the End of the Lane in 1984 – #IMWAYR

  1. I am glad you loved Zelda…I will be getting my copy today, according to Amazon.

    I recall reading 1984…it feels like a hundred years ago! I remember that we all scoffed, thinking nothing like those events would ever happen. Little did we know!

    I’ve never managed to get past the first few pages of a Neil Gaiman book…sadly, since many love him. But…we can only stay engaged if we love the writing style.

    Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

    1. Rhea says:

      Definitely – I’m reading 1984 with fresh eyes and… oy. It’s unsettling.

      I want to like Neil Gaiman so much. I really do like the story he’s telling, but it is *rough* getting through. I do think that the audiobook has been a little easier for me – since he’s the narrator, he reads it the way it’s intended to be read, if that makes sense. It certainly helps!

      Thanks for stopping in!

  2. Looks like a great mix of books you have read/are working on reading. I haven’t read anything by Gaiman yet, but I have one of his books on my shelf to read this year. I don’t know why but I’ve been avoiding his books all these years.
    I want to read The Name of The Wind soon, as it looks pretty good.

    1. Rhea says:

      Out of curiosity, which of his books do you have? 🙂

  3. Kathy Martin says:

    I hope this week has fewer interruptions for your lunchtime listening plans. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. Rhea says:

      Me too! 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!

  4. I read Z a few years ago and I can see how it would be a great audiobook!

    I hope you find some more reading time this week. 🙂

    1. Rhea says:

      Aw thanks, me too! 🙂

  5. Two books I have always wanted to read but haven’t got around to it yet – 1984 and The Ocean at the end of the lane. Enjoy those books and the rest of your book list this week, a great selection.
    Best wishes for a lovely week,
    Amanda @ Mrs B’s Book Reviews

    1. Rhea says:

      They’re such different books, too! I’m enjoying both, and also a bit bored by both… but on the other hand both are interesting and I’d definitely recommend them if you’re interested in faerie tales (Ocean) or dystopian novels (1984). 🙂

  6. Lots of interesting reads. I think it’s funny how us readers try to get our husbands to read too if they don’t already. My husband rarely reads, but he did read The Maze Runner series last year and I haven’t even read that one. I hope you do get your nightly reading in this week! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Rhea says:

      I’m actually very excited that my husband is finally hooked on audiobooks! He’s WAY ahead of me in the Sword of Truth series now!

  7. It doesn’t seem like you had too bad a reading week! I’m glad there were definite highs for you.

    I myself want to read a Rothfuss although I’m a little worried about the long wait between books…

    Best of luck with the books for the rest of this week and I hope you feel more satisfied with both your reading time and your lunch eating times!!! 🙂

    1. Rhea says:

      Haha, thank you!

      I read George R. R. Martin too, so I guess Rothfuss doesn’t phase me. 😛

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