[DWJ] What are you reading?

Emma Comerford comerford.emma at gmail.com
Wed Nov 4 13:52:53 EST 2009

I've been keeping a simple spreadsheet tracking what books I've read for the
last couple of years - it's very useful for "best of" lists, like Hallie
said, plus it's just interesting to see how much and what type of books I'm
reading. I read about the amount I thought, but more children's/YA than
expected - around a third (though I can't remember now why I was surprised
by this, perhaps because the adult books are typically longer and so take
longer to read?).

I've just finished Isabella L Bird's _The Hawaiian Archipelago_, a travel
memoir in the form of letters from the19th century. Kathleen from this list
inspired me to start reading Isabella's travel books. Isabella is a
fascinating mixture of a very recognisably Victorian woman, particularly in
her views towards race, imperialism and religion, but in other ways does
things as a single woman that would be astonishing today, such as riding off
alone in foreign countries (sometimes in countries where she is one of the
first Western people to visit) where she doesn't speak the language and
won't be in touch with anyone she knows again for ages. Plus she considers
near death experiences to be small adventures.

I've just started a mystery novel set in the 19th century by Kate Ross _Cut
to the quick_. I'm enjoying it so far, it feels like it will be light
hearted but still interesting.

For children's books, I just read and loved _The gone-away lake_ by
Elizabeth Enright. Enright is an author I've only discovered as an adult,
but I'm really loving her books. They're classic family stories.


On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 8:32 AM, Hallie O'Donovan <hallieod at gmail.com> wrote:

> Beck:
> On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:20 AM, Beck Laxton <becklaxton at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > What a perfect thread to get us all talking again! Has anyone else had
> the
> > thought that they ought to keep a book diary the way dieters are supposed
> to
> > keep a food diary? I have no idea how many books I read in a week, but I
> > suspect it's more than I think...
> >
> I've kept a book log since being inspired by Melissa to do a best (and
> occasionally worst too) books of the year list.  Not that I read more books
> in a week than I'd have thought, but can never remember which year some
> were
> read. Goodreads also helps when I forget to note a book I've just finished
> in my notebook.
> >
> > I am very pleased to have just bought (from Oxfam) a proper edition of
> > Little Women, with footnotes, and some bits normally edited out kept in -
> > which I think is just the names of the dances Meg does when she goes to
> the
> > Gardiners' dance with Jo in Chapter 3. Does anyone know what was risqué
> > about a redova?
> I don't think anything was risqué about a redowa at all.  It was a fast,
> polka-like dance, and I'd bet they just cut out the names because they
> thought kids would be bored and/or confused.  Do you have the Penguin
> Classics edition?  I thought it was fascinating (in an infuriating kind of
> way!) that Marmee was changed from the original version- a 'stout, motherly
> lady, and not 'a particularly handsome person' to a tall rather than stout
> one, 'not elegantly dressed, but a noble-looking woman'.
> I think it was someone on Girlsown who mentioned this edition; I know I
> > still get excited re-reading my edition of 'The Painted Garden' by Noel
> > Streatfeild, which has whole chapters left out of the Puffin paperback.
> >
> As others have said - argh!  Can't find my copy now, but that's horrific.
> Hallie
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