Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feb. 24: Sunday afternoon, post vacation.

Well. Some wonder-glitch of the Chromebased interface led to a breakdown in the communication between Goodreads and blogger--not that it had been great to start with!--so I have edited my earlier posts so they are. . . prettier? I hope? And here they are.

August Folly, by Angela Thirkell, audiobook 

OH, what a pleasure! The reader (I don't think it was my beloved Nadia May, but it was someone equally good) was wonderful, and the story was sheer pleasure: the plot had a bit more direction than hers sometimes do, but still kept a wonderful sense of the community and people of Barsetshire. I truly didn't know who would end up with whom, or what people's secrets were, until everything was calmly, charmingly, deliberately revealed. A genuine delight.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

Well. Set this for myself to read since the Cornflower Book Club read it in. . .  March? and I had never read it. The first 100 pages were a true slog: I hated the characters, I hated the way Wilde threw in these oxymorons all the time: "Men only ever blah blah, while women do nothing else." (Cue light laughter). I hated the looooooooooooooooooong passages of emotional or spiritual description. . . I think I was reading a later version that Wilde had added stuff to, because in one of the notes I saw "If you want the sense of the original, read only chapters 1 - 9 and . . ." but I am tough, I had this edition, and I slogged onward, like a character in a Wilfred Owen poem. THEN we got to the really bad stuff, when Dorian is drinking and drugging and he meets a woman who doesn't fall for him right off and oh he murders someone and the last few chapters passed in QUITE a flash! So my "hated it" got upgraded to a tawdry "It was okay" because of the penny-dreadful last quarter of the book. And I am aware that I enjoy Wilde immensely when he's writing comedy. Hmmmm. Portrait is just too damn preachy, I think.

Feb. 24, 2012: Well, I assigned this to my AP Seniors, since my seniors last year had read it in 10th grade and loved it, and my response to it was almost exactly the same as above! This time, I listened to a great deal of it on a librivox recording done by Bob Neufeld, who was stupendously good, and who alleviated the pain of some of the more florid writing by his level, tempered voice. Still, I was yelling at my ipod during the long "things Dorian collected" chapter (11, I think) and during many of Sir Harry's expositions. Still NOT a fan, but still proud of myself!

So now I have to pick a new audiobook for the car, and I have to settle into some prep AND yet more correcting. Ah well. 

The vacation has been a pleasure. High points: seeing Julie and hanging out in Portland; finishing Moth's sweater

hanging out with the family, talking so much to Lyle as he did so well at States, getting the new mattress (love, love, LOVE!), working out, baking, seeing Saki, etc. etc. etc. 

Back to it now, but it's been a nice rejuvenating time. The snow has just picked up, but I am NOT expecting a snow day. However, seeing as I have both The Twelve Tribes of Hattie AND The Casual Vacancy out from the library, I would not be averse to one!

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