I actually finished an honest-to-goodness book this week, if you can believe such a thing. Yep. Read Carlyle’s House and Other Sketches by Virginia Woolf. It’s a tiny little slip of a book (so tiny that the library seems to think that I didn’t return it – which I most certainly did – and it likely slipped through the book drop cracks.) I mean, the entire book comprises all of 58 pages.
(58 pages read in a week. Such a reading rockstar am I, huh?)
I’m probably not going to do a bona-fide review of this one (it wasn’t all that memorable, in my opinion) but I’m glad I read it nonetheless. I actually liked the introduction by editor David Bradshaw and the foreward by Doris Lessing moreso than the book itself. Besides, I don’t think I could say it any better than this New Yorker review of Carlyle’s House:
“It’s easy to mock the Bloomsbury industry, and its latest product — a handful of sketches that Woolf never intended for publication — might seem a particularly vulnerable target: the pieces are not especially memorable, and the foreword (by Doris Lessing) and other critical apparatus are three times the length of the pieces themselves. Yet the friction of Woolf’s intelligence as it sparks against the world is always arresting, and the biographical background provided by Bradshaw lends extra fascination. Twenty-seven when she kept this notebook, Woolf had yet to publish a novel or find a husband; her struggle to establish a sense of herself is manifest in these knowing yet tentative observations about family, marriage, and art. By the time you close this modest volume, its proportions seem exactly right.”
Speaking of The New Yorker, I recently treated myself to an e-subscription of such for my Kindle and this week I’ve been working my way through the May 9 issue. I gotta say, although there’s no substitute for the holding of a magazine in one’s hands, I’m really liking this option. I don’t feel guilty when my magazines pile up, and I can read them at my leisure. (Ha … leisure. What the hell is that?!)
Also on my Kindle, I’m reading The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff … and am LOVING this one, even more than I enjoyed her short story collection, Delicate Edible Birds. (See my review here.) I’m reading this in snippets and snatches of time, and I really wish I had a longer period of time to spend with this. The characters are so memorable (even when I go several days without reading this one, they still immediately come back into my mind so vividly) and the sense of place that Groff gives her reader is magnificant. (Templeton, NY is a stand-in for Cooperstown. While I’ve never been to Cooperstown, Groff makes me feel like I am very much right there.)
Finally, one of the books I picked up at the library on Saturday (as if I have any business checking out any additional books; I was doing really, really well there with NOTHING checked out over the last two visits!) was Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. This is one that I’ve heard much about, and I was so excited to see it on the New Books shelf. I’m really interested in women and girls’ issues (and hoping my next job might be able to revolve around such, in some way) and am looking forward to reading it …
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