I go back and forth keeping records of the books I’ve read. I used to in undergrad, because it was kind of fun to see what I was reading for class and for fun. As I’m working in another reading-intensive programme, I thought I’d keep track over the next few months and see what I read; I’m slowly trying to read through my entire book collection so I can purge effectively next time I move. (Last time I managed to get rid of five books, which was a slight improvement over the previous one.)
In October, I have read:
1. Something Rich and Strange, by Patricia McKillip
2. *The Aeneid (books I-VI), by Virgil
3. Searching for Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede
4. One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, by Christopher Brookmyre
5. *The Mystical Theology, by the magnificently named Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
6. *The Confessions (books I-IX), by Saint Augustine
7. The Underground Man, by Mick Jackson
8. *The Song of Roland
9. *The Cosmographia (Megacosmus), by Bernard Silvestris
10. *Inferno, by Dante
11. Lightly Poached, by Lillian Beckwith. This was one of my book sale purchases, about the woman living in the Hebrides; quite delightful, really, and an interesting look at very rural Scottish culture in about the 1960s.
12. Soul of the Age, by Jonathan Bate. A study of Shakespeare, using as its structuring gambit the ‘seven ages of man’.
13. A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599, by James Shapiro. Another study of Shakespeare, this one focussed around the year 1599, its political and social affairs, and the three major plays — Henry VI, Hamlet, and As You Like It — that were written that year. Very interesting.
14. The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis
15. The Complete Fairy Tales (unabridged) of Hans Christian Andersen. This was quite interesting to read, especially as I now know a great deal more about Danish luminaries than I’d ever thought to; also, it seems quite evident that Andersen’s favourite non-Danish writers were Shakespeare and Moliere, at least going by the frequency of references to them.
*There were also a selection of writings by authors such as: Maimonides (Guide of the Perplexed), Ibn Tufayl and Averroes, Thomas Aquinas, and Plotinus and Iamblichus.
Titles with asterisks are ones I also taught.
I hadn’t thought this a particularly reading-heavy month (I’ve been doing a lot of fossicking around on the Internet), as I’m still recovering somewhat from the finishing-the-dissertation process. I suppose this still works out to a book about every two days. Though of course it really goes more in fits and starts; I’ve been reading the 750-page compendium of Hans Christian Andersen for weeks. The mental energy to read some semi-academic nonfiction (the two Shakespeare books were popular more than academic) is something I haven’t had much of in the last few months, and I’m glad to be stretching out into new areas.
Back to Dante’s Purgatorio, which I didn’t quite finish re-reading yesterday, as I’m lecturing on it tomorrow and need to take more notes than usual while reading.
Anybody been reading anything fun?