WWW Wednesday, 8-January, 2020

I saw this What We Are Reading Wednesday at Climbing Mount to Be Read, originally hosted here, and I decided to type a quick update on what I’m reading and give it some shape and order.

This year has started well. After the exciting buzz of the challenges, lists, recaps, read alongs, and wonderful activity over the blogs, I’ve settled into what looks a non hurried routine, and stimulating conversation with fellow readers.

The second half of 2019, my reading was becoming rushed, I felt unmotivated, and I ended up focusing on one or two books at the time, dropping the ball for everything else. The same that we need to do spring cleaning, or rearranging of furniture, maybe even some house renovations, to clean spaces, and fall in love with our rooms or homes again, my reading life needed reassessment.

I came back to a plan that never disappoints. A book for my faith, poetry, a non fiction, and one or two fiction books. Within those loose parameters, I’m managing to include whatever books I read for challenges or read alongs.

I’m paying attention to the fiction, I can’t have more than one demanding book at a time. It looks as if I have two, The Iliad and The Unconsoled. But being of very different nature, and with Cleo’s help for The Iliad, I’m comfortable reading both. And The Unconsoled I’m doing mostly by audiobook.

Also, this year, I want to keep up with a good balance of books in Spanish, and in English.

So, my current reading looks like this:

  • SPIRITUAL GROWTH:
    The Gospels in the Bible, -Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-. At church we’re having a Bible study of the life of Jesus. I read the Bible in Spanish.
    Total Truth, by Nancy Pearcy. Most likely, Kim and I will be reading a chapter a month during 2020. Maybe we speed it up in the summer.
    Meditaciones, Marco Aurelio. Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.Wikipedia.
    As you can see, Marco Aurelio wasn’t a christian writer. However, his Meditations are worth reading, as there’s always an overlap of truth in many of the philosophies and religions of the world. I’m reading Marco Aurelio in Spanish.

  • POETRY:
    I continue reading Diez siglos de poesía española. Spanish poetry.

  • NON FICTION:
    The Glorious Adventure, Richard Halliburton. This book is Halliburton’s trip recreating the route of Odysseus. Though I’m reading The Iliad, with Cleo and others, -her read alongs are treasures, full of wisdom, they make the reading much more pleasant and easier-, it’s still a good companion.

  • FICTION:
    The Iliad. Though a bit of a challenge, thanks to Cleo, it’s proven a very fun book to read this time around. I read The Iliad in Spanish.
    The Unconsoled, Ishiguro. I’m listening/reading it for the Japanese Literature Challenge, and it’s my intense fiction. It’s not difficult, but it absorbs the reader, and it’s long too.
    Follow Me to Ground, Sue Rainsford. This is a 2018 book that Janakay gave me. It’s an easy and intriguing read.

16 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday, 8-January, 2020

  1. You’re welcome. 🙂 I’ll try to pop back by your new post later tonight or tomorrow to leave my comment. 🙂

  2. Thanks for alerting me. I found it strange to have no comments, -but I don’t assume any would want to leave any, you know?, ha ha ha-. I had disabled the comments and links, maybe because I published this from my phone last night.

    Problem solved.

  3. Just popping by to say I read your latest post. But when I went to comment, there was no comment box. Just wanted to let you know in case you didn’t know. 🙂

  4. I find that I have had moments here and there where I read less books at a time than I normally do. I pretty much focused primarily on Les Mis when I was reading that. I did read The House of Mirth towards the end of Les Mis but found I couldn’t concentrate on it as well because my focus was still on Les Mis. I don’t think I attempted to read anything else except for a couple of essays I finished and a children’s book I needed to finish up. But those weren’t involved or heavy reads.

  5. True, lol. You know what I love and have noticed, that many of the books we all want to read could fit many categories, so as long as we read a few, we will do well with the challenge.

    It’s worth noting that Karen, the founder, didn’t finish her own challenge this year! 🙂

  6. Yes, that one title was raved about in my circle of friends. It has a movie adaptation too.

    That Richard Yates sounds intriguing as well and it’s convenient that those books are made into adaptations.

  7. Silvia: thanks! I’ve actually been checking the dates for some of her novels today. I’ve read perhaps four of Godden’s novels over many years. My favorite was “In This House of Brede;” not sure when it was published. If you haven’t already tried it, you might enjoy the story: successful career woman exchanges a life of action for one of contemplation and enters a convent of (I think) Anglican nuns. As I recall, it gave little old PNP (protestant no preference) me some idea of the beauty and difficulty of the contemplative life. I’m very tempted to use Godden for the 2020 Challenge but she IS someone I’d read regardless, Challenge or not. I’ve been curious about Richard Yates for some time but he’s more of a stretch for me. I think Revolutionary Road and The Easter Parade have both been turned into movies .. . . I’ll have to look at those dates!

  8. Janakay, Rumer Godden has several books that are at the 50 year old mark, and that have been adapted into TV series and movies. (I tell you for the 2020 Back to the Classics Challenge)

  9. Oh, Janakay. This comment is more than sufficient. I don’t need you to read all before, really. This showcases where I am at, and you perceived it very well.

    Marco Aurelious, -and what a fabulous statue-, is grounding, thought provoking, and comforting.

    I’m half way through the Unconsoled. I’m writing about it, lol, you bet! Fear not. The only challenge is the time commitment, to me, that’s all. You will see his other books in this one, his obsessions, his topics, are generously treated here. The humor makes it flow. It’s indulgent. Some say it’s too long, I say that, if you love Ishiguro, it’s his best and most accomplished book. And I am in no rush to finish it.

    Oh, so you have read these three jewels! I have only read Homer, but I may as well continue with the Aeneid, or next year.

    I wish you lots of birds, nooks, art, travels, love and fun this 2020.

  10. Silvia: your reading list sounds both healing and challenging at the same time, which isn’t easy to manage! We’ve had at least one discussion about Ishiguro, a writer beloved by us both; I think Unconsoled may be the only book of his that I haven’t read, as I’ve found it quite intimidating. I shall eagerly await your thoughts!
    Isn’t the Iliad wonderful? As a very young college student, I took a class (“The Classical Epic in Translation”) in which we read the “Big Three” of the canon: the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Aeneid. All three epics were wonderful, but the Iliad was my fav. I can’t remember the translation we used — it was prose but very poetical, with somewhat archaic language that really conveyed the beauty of the work. Lattimore perhaps? In the many years since then, I’ve very occasionally dipped in and out of the poem but there’s nothing comparable to really immersing yourself in it.
    I’ve been thinking of reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations myself (I’ve read bits and pieces, here and there). Somehow I feel that I need that calm, dispassionate wisdom these days. I totally agree that Aurelius’ is very much in harmony with Christian thinking even though he was Roman and a pagan to boot; as I recall many of the early Christian thinkers and fathers of the church found his spiritual message quite compatible. Have you seen a photo of Aurelius equestrian bronze statute, mistaken by the early Christians as a statute of the Emperor Constantine? This isn’t my favorite view, but it gives you some idea . . .http://www.museicapitolini.org/en/percorsi/percorsi_per_sale/museo_del_palazzo_dei_conservatori/esedra_di_marco_aurelio/statua_equestre_di_marco_aurelio

    Well, I’m off to read more of your delightful posts, as I’m very slowly working my way through my back reading!

  11. I thought I had a copy of the Marcus Aurelius meditations, but I’ve had a good look on my shelves and can’t see it so assume it was only an intention to acquire it!

    However, I do have a copy of The Unvarnished Gospels which I do intend to read later this year. It’s a straightforward translation of part of the New Testament shorn of the later chapters and verses assigned to them and of the accumulated conventions that, over the centuries, have distanced ourselves from the sort of reception Jesus’s life and sayings may have had. I shall of course be reviewing this when I finally complete it!

    Like Fiction Fan and your good self I have several books on the go, but it’s rarely as many books or even different genres that the two of you manage! Still, we do what we can, don’t we? 🙂

  12. I always like to have two or three different types of book on the go too, and fiction is the pleasurable reward for the “hard work” of the factual stuff. Enjoy your reading – hope you manage to keep a good balance throughout the year. 😀

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