Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: June 20, 2010.

Well, this week was not much better personally than last week was. Coming off of the break-in to Matt's car, Matt had to have some work done in his mouth that resulted in him being in bed all day Wednesday. We're both hoping that next week gets better.

Speaking of the break-in, we both wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your kind words last week. We can't get out of our lease until the end of October, but we are definitely moving to another area that is nicer. We're both ready for a change and at least we have learned our lesson about looking a little more closely at location when we rent and buy in the future. I think we were just too excited about moving out and getting a place of our own that we were only focused on the inside of the apartment, and not all of the factors outside.

With the hot weather, work at the parks has been busy, but enjoyable. A lot more people are looking for cheaper options to spend time with their family, so the parks are booming. Our attendance is way up, which is great! In times when the economy is hard, things like public parks get cut and sold off (a very real fear in my city), so it makes us happy when people come out and use the park! The only downside to this weather and working outside is that I am now the proud owner of a glorious farmer's tan. I wear jeans to work (no matter how hot it is) and a t-shirt under my Ranger shirt, so my arms and face are about 10 times darker than the rest of me. I wore a skirt last night and there was a drastic difference!

In book news, a friend gave me a gift card to a bookstore that she wasn't going to use, so I made good work of it and ordered a few more books off my list. Here is what I got:

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. This is actually one of my all-time favorite novels, but my copy was ruined when I lent it out. I decided it was time to replace it and found this edition. I liked the cover far more than any of the other editions (I think it fits the mood of the book better). Sometimes, it IS all about the cover and I am happy with my choice.

Ulysses by James Joyce. Joyce is a writer who intimidates me so I am not sure how soon I am going to get to this monstrosity. I think I might start with a smaller work (The Dubliners) to get myself used to his writing style. I'm not sure why I have this intense fear, I just do. Some writers are just scary. I had this same fear of Dostoevsky, but both of the books I have read so far (Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov), I absolutely loved.

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. After finishing Gone with the Wind, I really feel like I need to read this other famous interpretation of the South. I'm guessing I'll read it sooner rather than later. A huge part of me feels kind of guilty for never having read this before, so I best remedy that!

Pamela by Samuel Richardson. Back in one of my college classes, my professor joked that we were lucky to be escaping Richardson's Clarissa, which he made his previous class read in a week's time. Ever since then, I have been more than a little frightened of his work, but I should probably get it over with. This is the smaller of his two books on my list, so I am hoping (like Joyce) to wean myself in.

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I just LOVE the cover of this edition and imagine my surprise when I saw they have all of the Holmes novels in similar covers. Eventually I am going to have to get my hands on them (I am currently reading from a HUGE collection of all the Holmes stories and it is super heavy). I figured I might just get Doyle's work over with in the near future so it is another author I can cross off my list.

I managed to get through a few things this week! I flew through the last eight chapters of Cranford and I am so excited about the final post for the read-along. I also read the third section of Gulliver's Travels in preparation for the next post. I also read all of Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev for my Classics Circuit post on Thursday. It was a PHENOMENAL book and I cannot wait to gush all about it. I'm just sad that it was his only title on my list. I also started The Red Badge of Courage and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but neither is holding my attention. I think I may have to set them aside and find something else in the meantime.

I am finding that I am loving the Russian authors more than I thoughts I was going to. They just seem intimidating, but they really aren't that bad! Granted, I haven't tried Tolstoy yet, but I think I just need to dive in and see how I fare with him.

This week I plan on finishing up Gulliver's Travels for good. I also need to get cracking on The Inferno. Other than that, I am not sure what I want to tackle. I guess I'll have to see what grabs me!

Happy Reading!


  1. I just read about the House of Mirth, from a the novel A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnely that I just finished and liked, and now I see that this is your all time favorite. It's going to be way up there on my list now.

  2. I am sorry to hear about the break-in but I am glad that you are both feeling better about it and able to move on.

    All of those books look wonderful and I am very jealous! I love the cover of The Lost World!

  3. Joyce scares me as well.

    And I'm sorry about the break-in. I hope you manage to find a nicer neighbourhood.

  4. I'm glad you're enjoying the Russian novels. I particularly love Tolstoy; he's one of my favorite authors! Good luck with James Joyce, though. He scares me, too. ;)

    Also, I hope you are able to find a new apartment with a better location quickly, so you can move in as soon as your lease expires.

  5. I've been wanting to read the Doyle book for a while - let me know when you decide to read it and I'll try to join you if I can fit it in. :)

  6. All this park experience will make you a better parent ;). Love the books, I have to get going on my book for the post this week. Love, Mom

  7. I strongly recommend reading both Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man before Ulysses. The books really build on each other, both stylistically and thematically. The hero of Portrait is one of the main characters of Ulysses.

    Dubliners is not written in an unusually difficult style, not at all. Many readers who think Joyce just goes too far with Ulysses and Finnegans Wake absolutely love Dubliners.

  8. We just discussed Pamela in passing in my Detective Fiction class today. It sounds really interesting, although my professor did mention that it's something of a beast as far as size goes.

    I also want to point out that you have, in fact, helped me directly though this blog. On my PRAXIS, there was a question about Gulliver's Travels (which I've never read) that I could only answer because only the day before you had put up your first post about the book :)

  9. Heather-I was planning on reading the Doyle book after I finish off Holmes...maybe in July or August?? Let me know if one works better than the other for you!

    Amanda-I cannot even tell you how happy that makes me! It makes me feel like this is all worth it! And I hope you rocked your exam!