'm coming off my classics kick and spicing things up with some less cerebral selections from my TBR pile. As it stands, I'm suffering from a bad case of "start-itus," a state in which I start a book (or a knitting project) only to start another, and another, and another. Thus, I am only showing the books that I'm fully committed to reading.
On My NightstandDeath of an Expert Witness by P.D. James
"Dr. Lorrimer appeared to be the picture of a bloodless, coldly efficient scientist. Only when his brutally slain body is discovered and his secret past dissected does the image begin to change. Once again, Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh learns that there is more to human beings than meets the eye -- and more to solving a murder than the obvious clues."
I was in the mood for a good mystery and decided that this was suitable. I'm now about a third of the way into it, and I can understand some of the complaints in the Goodreads reviews about the huge number of characters introduced rather quickly within the first several chapters. I'm glad that I was able to anticipate this slight difficulty and stratagize accordingly.
I've managed to sort this out by taking the character introductions slowly. Instead of speeding through the book, I've allowed a proper time between chapters to pass in order to absorb the content and think about the characters I've just encountered. However, now that all the introductions have been made, the book reads rather quickly and certainly holds my interest.
On My KindleLady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
"One of the most extraordinary literary works of the twentieth century, Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned in England and the United States after its initial publication in 1928. The unexpurgated edition did not appear in America until 1959, after one of the most spectacular legal battles in publishing history."
"Of the many exquisite books written by D.H.Lawrence, the book which has gained the most popularity has been Lady Chatterley's Lover. Most famous because of its obscenity trial during the 1960's, Lady Chatterley's Lover is far from a "dirty book." Rather, through his usage of local vernacular and an in depth look at the true relationship between two humans, Lawrence has successfully portrayed sex as sacred in a world where sex is viewed as nothing more than physical pleasure. This novel is a masterful example of a writer going back to everyone's common roots and emerging with a thought provoking masterpiece designed to affect a change within its readers."
My book group picked this book as our February romance read. I'm only a few chapters in (start-itus, remember?), but so far I'm enjoying the way Lawrence describes the inner thoughts and motivations of his characters. The book takes place shortly after World War I, and I can't help but imagine everything in a Downton Abbey sort of way.
In My EarsThe Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
One of the great literary tragedies of all time, The Hunchback of Notre Dame features some of the most well-known characters in all of fiction - Quasimodo, the hideously deformed bellringer of Notre-Dame de Paris, his master the evil priest Claude Frollo, and Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy condemned for a crime she did not commit.
I read Les Miserables last year, an epic undertaking with moments of literary beauty and narrative bliss interspersed between tedious descriptions of Paris and the French Revolution. It's been no surprise to find that The Hunchback of Notre Dame also contains long descriptive chapters on history and architecture, but by listening instead of reading, I've found the long descriptions of Gothic architecture more endearing than monotonous. Surprisingly I've found myself laughing out loud (literally) in certain places. The long descriptions of ugly Medieval Parisians and the contest for the Pope of Fools were simply hilarious.