Monday, February 23, 2015

What's On My Nightstand - March

What's On Your Nightstand

February was such a short month. We're just returning from a week long visit with family which "interrupted" reading time. Not that I'm sorry one little bit about that but it did slow down the reading.

This time our family traveled down to California via Hwy 101 and so I knew we were going to have a chance to stop and see Jack London's Wolf House. With that in mind, I nixed my Laura Ingalls Wilder reading plans and the kids and I plowed our way through White Fang which we finished right before we left town. I'll have my review/our thoughts about White Fang up shortly.

Since we were headed to California it seemed a little far fetched to me to read The Long Winter for Barbara's Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge. We've had such a mild winter in Oregon that it didn't seem quite as fun a read when you can't imagine the bitter cold as well. So, instead, I switched books and we took Farmer Boy along with us on our travels.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge

The Canterbury Tales ended up being pretty much a total flop for me, unless you consider the fact that I was completely unfamiliar with it at the beginning of the month and am now familiar with it all that I wish to be. It's not the length that got to me, it was the vulgarity. I just felt "BLAH" towards it. Picking up that book left me with the feeling that I'd rather not be reading anything at all than that and that's never a good attitude to have when reading.

I made myself read the General Prologue, The Knight's Tale and The Miller's Tale and then I watched this three part animated series (hey. no judging.) and am calling it good.

It is interesting to read and find out about The Canterbury Tales from the perspective of being able to understand the myriad of references made to it even in modern culture (even if people don't quite realize that they are referencing/mimicking it). So I pat myself on the shoulder for being slightly more educated? How pompous of me!! But perhaps it will help if I also confess to you that the only way I was able to understand and track with Chauncer's original language was to read it aloud to myself like a pirate. If you read it like a pirate it actually starts to make a lot more sense. (ha!)

I read the first few chapters of Heart of Darkness before vacation and didn't care for it either. (What a depressing reading month.) But I shall make myself read that one all the way through because it's too short for me to set aside. It shan't be a favorite book though. I can pretty much tell you that right now.

So that all wraps up February's reading, more or less.

Let's look to March, shall we? I intend to have a great deal more fun reading in March.

Mostly I just have stacks of books everywhere and so I'd like to read on a whim.

The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer is the Reading to Know Book Club read for the month. I shall read that.

Then I might pick up any number of the following books:

We shall see what we shall see!

What about you? What's on your nightstand for this next month?


Mark Baker said...

Sounds like you were in my old stomping grounds for your vacation. I grew up near Jack London's house.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Might I say that I'm surprised about neither of your Feb. reads? I "enjoyed" both as required reading in high school. (By the way, if you made it through the Miller's tale, you read the most vulgar of all the tales, if I remember correctly.)

White Fang with your children? Wow! I can't wait to read your thoughts on that one. I think I'm sort of scarred from taking so many English classes in college. ;-)

Barbara H. said...

It has been so long since I read anything of Canterbury Tales (an excerpt in high school, maybe?) that I forgot there was any vulgarity in it - or probably they didn't include those excerpts in an early 70s hs class. I'm surprised it's there. To me the only value in the tales is understanding cultural references to them, and that's not enough to get me into them. Had to smile about reading them like a pirate. :-)

Similarly with Heart of Darkness, I had just enough of it in a class to know I didn't want to read the rest. I am kind of looking forward to the wrap-up post of whoever chose it to see if there is some redeeming value to it I have forgotten, but I doubt I'll ever be inclined to read it again.

Interested to see what you think about The Green Ember. I've seen it but haven't read it.

Lisa notes... said...

I understand your feelings about The Canterbury Tales. I wasn't impressed with them either, which is a disappointment when you hear such grand things. But hey, reading it like a pirate probably was quite an adventure! Heart of Darkness--ugh--same feelings. The Pursuit of God--now that one will be better for sure. :)

Unknown said...

Watching the English looks fun, and I have been wanting to get to Jan Karon's newest as well.

I actually posted for the first time in a loooong while!

My Nightstand Post

Shonya said...

Ugh, I always forget about the Nightstand post! (C'mon, there are still a FEW days of February left for me to finish a couple books up!)

I started The Canterbury Tales with my teens last year and we set it aside also.

Heart of Darkness--I read it with Destry earlier this year. Interestingly, I did NOT get into it, wasn't even sure I understood it, but he had some really good insight that left me. . .while not enjoying it, per se, I'll say. . .appreciating it.

*carrie* said...

Oooh, I want to read the Watching the English one. Oh, dear, my stack is growing. =)

Sharon said...

I vaguely remember reading Canterbury Tales in High school? I think I agree with you; once was more than enough.

Some great selections coming up to redeem February.

We are currently reading Green Ember. You might have heard the wailing when I said no to "one more chapter".

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Just re-read my comment HOURS later (surely I'm not the only one who does that!)--it should say I'm NOT surprised

Cassandra said...

Haha about Canterbury Tales. Sounds like you made it further than I did! I just couldn't take the vulgarity. It wasn't work it just to say I'd read it.

I just placed The Pursuit of God on hold at my library. I'm looking forward to reading it. I hope you get some more uplifting titles read in March!

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