Simon at Stuck In A Book has asked, “can you post a picture which sums up your reading taste, or a section of it? I’m looking for a picture which doesn’t include a book in it, or a character from an adaptation, or anything like that.”
I thought of this picture, which portrays various aspects of my reading taste: I like books about introverted characters and about the interiors of thought and emotion. I also like delicate, sensitive, poetic, sensual writing. I love detailed descriptions of flowers and gardens, beautiful clothes and rooms. I like books that make me feel calm and long for those I can sink into. To me, this picture very much represents In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust: it was written in bed and best read in bed too! And here’s another lilac quote from Proust, the ultimate flowery meditative author:
…hanging there in the foliage, light and supple in their fresh mauve dresses, clusters of young lilacs swaying in the breeze without a thought for the passer-by who was looking up at their leafy mezzanine.
~ The Guermantes Way, Marcel Proust
If you can think of any books that remind you of this picture, please recommend them to me!
Also, I’ve been giving my mom some of my Jane Austens to read, along with a few other 19th century classics I thought she might like (her favourite books include Anne of Green Gables, Lord of the Rings, the Bible and christian novels) and the other day on the phone she told me…. she’d read Middlemarch! She stayed up three nights in a row until 4 a.m. to finish it!! This is wonderful and we proceeded to talk about how great it is, the broad scope of George Eliot, a bit about her life and philosophy, I never expected to have a conversation like this with my mother (she’s the one who reads the least in our family, or at least used to). She said she thought Middlemarch was better than Jane Austen, ahh music, music to the ears. 😉 (I don’t know that I agree, they’re both good in different ways, but simply the fact that we can discuss more than one author I like!) I told her, scanning my bookshelves as we talked for more she might like, that clearly the next step was for her to read War & Peace and after I explained Tolstoy’s search to be a better person and so forth, she said, yes, I do like morals and conflict in a book, I’ll try it! Awwwwww.
I also got my husband to read my favourite Edgar Allan Poe story, ‘The Masque of the Red Death’, yesterday (when we first started dating, I wanted him to read it immediately but he wanted to start at the beginning of the book of Poe stories I gave him. Needless to say, ‘The Balloon-Hoax’ didn’t keep his attention long enough to get further into the book!)
And another reading delight — enjoying a bit of Agatha Christie in the bath yesterday. I’ve found reading classic mysteries in the tub (usually they’re short enough to finish in one long soak) to be very relaxing and exciting, at the same time. Murder at the Vicarage is the first Miss Marple novel and I enjoyed it so much I think I’ll start reading more of them again.
I’ve got a few books sitting around unreviewed and I’m having difficulty finding the motivation to write about them (one being The Waves by Virginia Woolf, her writing often provokes such personal responses in me that I find it difficult to share them. Another is a negative review that I’m dreading, justifying why I didn’t like it.)
I’ve also been debating what my ‘reading theme’ for the month of June will be. Usually my reading is fairly random, but partly because of all the reading challenges I’ve signed up for now, I thought it could be fun to have a theme for my reading each month. For June I’ve debated things like classic love stories or all French novels and generally feel all around unsure of what book I want to be sucked into next. Do I want to reread more Proust? Or join in with Jane in June? Any suggestions?