Saturday, August 23, 2008

Autumn leaves

Classes begin for me next week. I have bought my new pens and pads, a new laptop is on order (yikes!), and I have now registered for all my classes. I guess I have to face the fact that summer is drawing to a close and that my fiction reading is going to be curtailed in favor of textbooks on neural structure, action potentials, and multisensory integration. Well, that has its pleasures too and it means that fall is soon to begin - my favorite season. Leaves changing, coolness returns to the air, red wine takes precedence over white, and I can wear sweaters.

As I looked over my reading so far this year I realized that I have read 51 books - 46 novels and the rest non-fiction. I don't count my textbooks. 16 of those books were written by women, 32 of their authors are not American, 6 were translated from other languages. That also puts me 1 book away from my original goal for the year of reading one book per week. So I will aim to push myself over the edge before classes start on Wednesday, that way I can consider the rest of my reading for the year gravy and make my choices for sheer pleasure (as if I don't?). Which brings me to my fall TBR pile. I have promised Matt that we're going to read Middlemarch simultaneously. I have already begun, in fact. So if that leaves me time for anything else, I would like to read Darkmans and finish up the Man Booker Challenge. There is no way I will complete either the Chunkster or the Russian Reading Challenges, but I do hope to at least read Among the Russians by Thubron, I enjoy his writing and it is short. Natasha's Dance will, for the third year running, worm its way to the bottom of my reading pile and as for The Gulag Archipelago fuggetaboutit. I have Jude the Obscure on the way and also John Banville's Eclipse, a recommendation of the Incurable Logophile. Jeanette Winterson's fantasy Tanglewreck sits on the pile and seems a likely light read to distract me some time between my assignments and I have borrowed Angelica from the library but, having started it, it seems transparent and stilted and I don't think I'm going to make it through. So that leaves me a shortish revised list for the fall. I like that:

Jude the Obscure
(just started)
Among the Russians
Proust and the Squid
(in progress)
Red Cavalry (in progress)
The Solitudes (
started, don't know if I'll get through it)
Rhythms of the Brain
Neuroscience of Cognitive Development

Making a neat little list means I am sure to diverge from it, it's inevitable, but it's a place to start.


Anonymous said...

A beautiful post Ted on autumn's descending. It means a more formal wardrobe will take over (for at least two days a week when I have classes!), apple cider over coffee, lesson planning over reading.

I have to get a copy of Middlemarch so I'll be catching up with you shortly. I also started The Front Runner, supposedly the most celebrated gay love story ever, so it says on the cover.

Ted said...

Thanks, Matt. The Front Runner - I've never heard of it or of its author, Patricia Nell Warren (I just looked it up). I wonder how it is.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Middlemarch when I read it for the first time a few years ago. I am much deeper into the Banville now, after the weekend, and still as enamored with his writing and the mood of the book. I do hope you enjoy it.

Fall is my favorite time of year as well. The forests near my village are mixed deciduous and evergreen and the seasonal change is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen outside New England - I am looking forward to it!

You've also inspired me to take stock of my reading for the rest of the year - a very good idea.

Ted said...

Verb - I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the Banville. It's on its way to me right now.