Landscapes: Books and Love
by Charlotte Reads Classics
I have been thinking about this sentiment from Parade’s End:
“The land had not changed. Only, the times… they had changed.”
I feel the same way about Charlotte Reads Classics. I haven’t been writing mostly because I haven’t read a truly good classic novel in quite some time. Perhaps the consequence of reading nothing but the English literary canon for two years is that you need some time to rediscover books again.
Not just the books that show up time and time again on must read lists (oh, I do love a good must read list). I’m talking about real, scanning the shelves, never heard of the title or the author, judging by covers, reading the opening line in the book shop and then racing home to read it in one afternoon kind of reading. The reading I did as a child. The sort of reading that made me fall in love with the very act of whirlwind book affairs.
I miss writing about this sort of reading, I miss knowing what you are reading, and I miss talking about books with all of you. I thought about starting a new blog but lets face it, so much of my tastes (reading and otherwise) are pure nostalgia, so why leave all of this behind? Instead, a little face lift and a new direction.
I went to Haworth yesterday – Brontë country – to walk across open moorland and revel in the colours of the landscape. Something about the fresh air and the quiet got me in the mood for writing again, writing about reading no matter what book I have in my hand. I hope you have no objections, maybe a little bit more of my life too.
I need some suggestions of what to read next. I do want to try something a little more heavyweight than the huge stack of YA novels I’ve devoured, but I am not sure of anything seriously challenging right now. For example I have been thinking about a War and Peace re-read to brush up my commentary – but this is a project for when I am back up to speed. For now, possible contenders are Mrs Dalloway, Sons and Lovers, or maybe a bit of Robert Graves’ Greek Myths.
What do you think? Suggestions welcome…
I’d suggest Mrs. Dalloway (mainly because I haven’t read the others): it is a short and easy read, but it lends itself to thought and self-reflection as the whole novel is one long stream of consciousness. I think you’d like it, it is a very relaxed sort of narrative — a good transition from YA 🙂
Hey! Got your comment as I was writing one for you, good timing. Thanks for the suggestion, I’m leaning towards that one for those very reasons.
I wonder what Virginia would say about being a YA transition?! I agree with you, its the stream of consciousness, definitely. Great point!
Haha! Great, I’ll be waiting for you review. 🙂
She would probably say something very witty and a tad sarcastic.
Yep, perhaps also intimidating? Haha.
Mrs. Dalloway is a wonderful book – I read it in my 20s, my first Woolf, and it was a revelation. It set me off on a major Woolf/Bloomsbury obsession which has never really gone away. Definitely good to read! Sometimes you need something lighter (classic crime novels are my vice) but Woolf will intoxicate you with her words!
Thats good to hear. I have only read To the Lighthouse, which I thought was wonderful, so I am looking forward to reading another of her books. She definitely had a way with words.
I love Haworth years since I went.
What about some more modern classics? still get that nostalgia and literary quality. I would recommend Winifred Holtby, Vita Sackville West, maybe Rosamond Lehmann and Elizabeth Taylor who is my favourite woman writer.
Ooh great recommends, even more so as I haven’t read any by those authors. I must read an Elizabeth Taylor – had never even heard of her before blogging but everyone raves about her.
I love your new look.
Mrs. Dalloway would be a good choice if you are looking to ease your way into great classics b/c it is not heavy reading that makes your brain hurt. I wouldn’t suggest MD for deep-thinking kind-of reading.
Or, maybe something by Willa Cather.
P.S. I am also preparing to read War and Peace (this summer). Notice I said, “preparing”?
Haha preparing is necessary. Mrs Dalloway is sounding quite good, although I must confess I don’t know Willa Cather at all, always good to find a new author. Thanks for your suggestion!
Mrs. Dalloway. I reread it this month for the Classics Spin and I absolutely loved it. It is a fantastic character study.
Great! Seems like a resounding favourite. I really admire authors that can write characters with depth.
Fancy a Sons and Lovers read-along? I’m thinking I might read it in April. Let me know if you go for it 🙂
Yes! And hopefully it will be more successful than Martin Chuzzlewit, which I still haven’t finished… I’ll tweet at you when I am likely to start 🙂