lessons from Steinbeck

I wonder how many blog posts I start with “I’ve been reading [insert book title]” or something along those lines… There’s no doubt that books give me plenty of food for thought, and writing is how I digest those thoughts. Here is another such post.

This last month or two, I’ve been reading John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. It was lent to me by a friend from work because I’d expressed interest in reading more of Steinbeck’s novels. Previously, I’d only read Of Mice and Men, and that was all the way back in high school.  Continue reading

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and so it ends

This was just going to be a short post to say that I have, on this day, finished reading Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy, not that I really need to state that), but, as it turns out, I’m not very good at writing short posts (surprise, surprise). Still, I’ll try to keep this kind of short, or at least not terribly long. (It’s less than 700 words – does that count?)

No spoilers here – just some general comments, and quotes from other sources.

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and so it begins

I just started reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. It’s been about two weeks, and I’ve just finished Part One. I honestly don’t know what the whole story’s about (that’s my preferred way to read classics – or any book, really – I never really extensively research about the storyline, themes, characters, etc beforehand) so I’m just talking about Part One here.  Continue reading

Gatsby

I have mixed feelings about this book. Or I think I do (?)

I’m afraid that my view of it – as I was reading it, and now that I’ve finished it – was tainted too much by other people’s opinions of it (good and bad), and by having watched the movie (in August last year, I believe).

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parallel stories

I’m currently reading Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, and concurrently reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

I started reading HW&EW on the plane to Japan. I figured that it would be somewhat appropriate to read a novel by a Japanese author while I was there, and I’d been meaning to read more of Murakami’s works anyway.

A couple of weeks ago (and a couple of weeks since getting back from Japan), I was out in the City to get a haircut. Subsequently having a bit of time to kill before dinner, I decided to retreat to the library. Out of curiosity, and just because that’s what I do, I browsed the “recent returns”. At the time, I was somewhere in the middle of HW&EW, so I wasn’t really looking for something to borrow out and read, but when I picked up ATTB, and read a few pages, I just couldn’t put it down.

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much-loved novels

For the last month and a half, I’ve been reading Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. I’ve never read anything by any of the Brontë sisters before (someone once told me that they thought Wuthering Heights was quite boring, and that probably (unjustly) put me off all of their novels), and I’ll admit that the only reason Jane Eyre made it on to my to-read list is because it is the favourite novel of the same friend who has recommended and lent me several brilliant novels in the past – novels that I probably would otherwise not have come across or picked up.

I am convinced that this friend of mine has the best taste in books of anyone I know. Well, either that, or she’s just really good at picking books for me.

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