Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Holiday Reading

I've been borrowing books lately, which is better than the library because there are no deadlines. But I haven't read many of them yet, and the list just keeps getting longer. I went to the library last night with the best of intentions, and now have four books for the holiday weekend. Two are nun books, my favorite unofficial genre. The Nun's Story by Kathryn Hulme is one of my favorite books. I don't know about these two: The Two Nuns and Mariette in Ecstasy. The latter looks like a long prose poem, told in the present tense, and the reviews were wonderful.

I also got The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman, which is the sequel to The Golden Compass, which I'm just about to finish. It started out very slow, but not so boring I put it down. Then around page 100 it just kicked into gear and didn't let go. I'm excited about the next one, which is always fun. I always love finding a new author who's prolific, so when I finish one book, there's another one waiting.

And then there's The Planets, by James Finney Boylan. I read the memoir She's Not There by the same author, whose name is now Jennifer Finney Boylan, because she's had a sex change. The book was just great--both in its humor and storytelling, and in its honesty. To tell such a personal story, and to be able to both accuse yourself and forgive yourself with the wisdom that many writers don't even bring to fictional, third-person accounts, is really remarkable. I recommend She's Not There to anyone.

I'm also reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea online at, from some Jules Verne aficianado's website. It's got a nice navigation, though the background makes it hard to read. I end up highlighting the whole page to read it. I like reading it online, though--the chapters are short, so they make a nice little break from work (sorry, Ruth), and to tell you the truth, I probably wouldn't find time to just sit down and read it through. There are so many, many things to read!

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I didn't realize nun books were a genre. Are they mystery-solving nuns?

Jason's said really good stuff about Philip Pullman, too. I'll have to read The Subtle Knife soon. And I like that he's so rationally critical of organized religion (unlike my sometimes irrational criticisms)--see this interview with him: