May 31, 2007

Pardon My Disappearance

So I started work at the library one year ago today. That was the minimum amount of time I wanted to be here. It's good work, and I am content to continue, but I need to be on the lookout for new opportunities nonetheless. Being a librarian won't pay for a LeTourneau education (well, not before 2027, anyway). I'll be taking the THEA later this month, I think, and then I'll see about taking the scaryleap into the ESC Region VII teacher certification program.

Well, is it that it's scary . . . or just distasteful? Perhaps I'd best not think too much about that. It's a means to an end that will provide some valuable experience along the way, if all goes well. That's the most I can expect. Meanwhile, my personal endeavours remain a meaningful focus, as you've no doubt noticed in the RSS feed to the right (I was so proud that I figured that out all by myself . . . pathetic).

Right now one of my greatest sources of gratification is a return to recreational reading. Having moved just a bit farther away from work than before, and with Rachel working most days, I have started staying at work during my lunch hour. That's at least another book and change a week than I had before. Truth to tell, my recreational reading had dropped off scandalously since . . . well, probably at least Christmas of my senior year (about 18 months ago). I read a lot, certainly, but it consisted of skimming chapters or online essays . . . nothing concrete and measurable that I could put on my booklist. Since the move I've gone through the following:

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

This is all part of the zombie kick I've mentioned in passing once or twice. This was a fantastic book on so many levels, a real page-turner. I guess it's hard to explain the appeal if it is not immediately apparent from the title, but this was a very well-written, thorough vision of the ultimate apocalyptic global event.

The Moviegoer

Yeah, I picked it up and read it. Figured I'd better since I kind of named a blog after it. Great piece of Southern literature here, but also a deep exploration of what life is all about. Walker Percy was a Christian existentialist, so yeah . . . this was pretty interesting. It was also entertaining, full of great little quotes, occasionally humorous, and pleasantly thin.

The Ladies of Grace Adieu

This delightful anthology is a sort of companion volume to the magnificent Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The stories are set in a wide range of time periods, from the time of John Uskglass to the setting of the original book, and each mimics the literary style of the period in which it was "written." This alone is a fascinating exercise, but the stories themselves are also full of the wit and imagination that readers of the original book will expect from this author. I just hope she is far from done with her alternate history of England and Faerie.

The Children of Hurin

I'm actually just over halfway through with this one, but I'm loving it. The first several pages are very tough going (cf. the first chapter of The Silmarillion), but then things clear up quite well. If you've ever liked Tolkien, this is certainly a must-read. I love me a good epic tragedy.

Madame Bovary

This is another one I'm in the midst of working on . . . I'm about 2/3 of the way through it. It was rather dull at first, but I'm beginning to understand the acclaim a bit. Once I finish it, I really need to return to Reading Lolita in Tehran. I first read that book in 2005, before I'd read most of the works it discussed. Now that I've read all of them, it's time for another visit.

And speaking of things that need to be read, next up in my queue is Children of Men, and then maybe Wicked. After that . . . well, we'll see. No shortage of books to be read, and that long hiatus did nothing to shorten my reading list.

Meanwhile, I've read a few books to Rachel, using that as an excuse to work my way back through some old favorites that I haven't read in years. We finished The Phantom Tollbooth a few weeks ago and now we're working on Watership Down (a great book which is no way about submarines).

Well, this didn't start out as a reading update, but I suppose that's as good a thing for it to be as anything else. This is shaping up to be a good summer, and I'm sure there will be some actual eventfulness to write about before too long.

Posted by Jared at May 31, 2007 04:36 PM | TrackBack