Wednesday, December 08, 2004

delusions of grandeur

I always come up with impossible grandiose plans for my reading over breaks. I can't seem to help myself. Every Christmas I read Dickens' Christmas Stories, and The Dark is Rising (because it just wouldn't be Christmas without the forces of evil trying to take over the world. Besides, every time I hear "Good King Wenceslas" I think of Will and Merriman travelling back in time and reading the Book of Grammareye). This year I'd been planning on also reading Austen's Sanditon and Other Stories, because I've never read all of her juvenilia, and following it with The Jane Austen Book Club.
But then I bought Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell over Thanksgiving, because a) my family is completely ignorant about books, at least IMHO, and I wouldn't get it for Christmas anyway and b) it's the perfect kind of book to read late on a winter's night. I had visions of myself holed up for weeks with blankets, tea, cookies, and 800 pages of Regency magical realism, and believe me, right now there is nothing I want more than to retreat into the comforts of literary escapism. Plus, it's a gorgeous book and I haven't bought myself a nice hardback in forever.
So, I figured Jonathan Strange, Dickens, and Susan Cooper, plus I'd try to sneak in a little Jane Austen if I got a chance.
And then I thought, ooh wait! I've only got three more volumes of The Sandman left! And who knows when I'll get a chance to read it again.
And then there's the reading I didn't quite accomplish for my Early American Lit class, like Charles Brockden Brown's Ormond, which, judging from class discussion, is one freaky-ass piece of early American gothic, complete with incest, serial killers, and cross-dressing women, and I don't want to pass that up. And Irving's The Sketchbook, which in addition to old favorites like "Rip Van Winkle" and "Sleepy Hollow", has a few Christmas stories.

So that's Sandition and Other Stories, the Jane Austen Book Club, A Christmas Carol, The Dark is Rising, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, World's End, The Kindly Ones, and The Wake, Ormond, and The Sketchbook. Oh, and I'm in Book XV of Tom Jones, so I may or may not get that finished before break.

See? Delusions of grandeur.


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