Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm back!

Dear book-loving friends,

I’m back!

This first semester of graduate school has been a exhilarating, at times intensely frustrating, wonderful ride.  I’ve seemed quite absent from the blogosphere, but I have actually kept up reading your posts and wanted to thank you for providing so many little bookish moments that kept me from getting too engrossed in MUSIC ALL THE TIME.  One of the many things that I’ve learned about myself this semester is that while I have a tendency to get hyper-focused, I don’t actually function well if all of my attention stays locked to a certain field.  Fiction provided the perfect outlet this semester in the midst of endlessly reading articles, preparing weekly presentations, and paper-writing.  As my lists found through the tabs above indicate, I’ve read quite a few books this semester (of course, far fewer than I read over the summer, when my time was entirely my own).  I regret not having the time to post any reviews, though.  It’s very therapeutic to look back over a book and evaluate my thoughts while reading it.  In about half a week, when all of my final projects have been accomplished, I’ll be on break, and while there are a lot of things to do (polish a conference paper, start my annotated bibliography for my English Reformation research, practice for my German exam…), I’ll be sure to take time to read fiction and write about it.

Which brings me to a request.  I have a bit of a dilemma, and could use your thoughts!  I’ll have about a month in which I can take more reading time for myself.  What should I read?  I’ve been pondering several options:

  1. Re-read the Lord of the Rings, especially in light of the Hobbit film about to come out.
  2. A Jane Austen marathon – I’ve read two in full, read some or most of another two, and have never begun the final two.  I wonder whether it would be useful to spread them out, or if it might be easier to contemplate themes across them if I read them all in a rush.
  3. I’ve recently come back into possession of my childhood favorites, the Redwall books, and am considering a Redwall read-a-thon.  Nostalgia plus warm fuzzy escapism – sounds like the perfect recipe for a rejuvenating Christmas break.
  4. My general TBR stack is ridiculously large and could use some serious attention.  There is a good pile of languishing Viragos I’ve been meaning to tackle, as well as Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and Mary Mapes Dodge’s “The Silver Skates,” both of which seem like appropriate winter reads.

What would you do?  And would you be interested in reading any of these along with me, so that we can all discuss our thoughts together afterwards?


  1. Samantha, I'm so glad the semester is finishing so well for you! I hope you have plenty of time to relax over the break. I was actually just thinking about your blog this morning, so it's quite the coincidence that you posted!

    I can't give any advice for what you should read over the break. That's such precious time, you should read whatever sounds the most fun and interesting. I had totally forgotten about The Silver Skates! I think I read it as a child, but this would be the perfect time of year to read it again, so thanks for the idea!

    1. Thank you, Amy! I'm happy to pass along a suggestion - but hopefully it's a good one, as I've never actually read the book! I found it among my mother's childhood books when I went through her basement last summer. Perhaps it'll fit in nicely with your current theme of reading seasonally!