W…W…W…Wednesdays

I’m doing this week’s W..W..W..Wednesdays meme because I’m too lazy to write a full “review” of the last book I read.

So yeah, in a way, I guess I’m cheating…

I blame it on the heat.  These days, it’s just too hot to do anything, let alone come up with a brilliant, original blog entry…

So anyway….

1.  What are you currently reading? – I’m currently reading 2 books at the same time – sort of.  Last week I started reading James Joyce‘s Ulysses with a reading buddy.  We got up to Chapter 6, but stopped temporarily due to reading backlog.

Good grief, Ulysses is a DIFFICULT read.  I read the words, and understand the individual words, but when it comes to understanding the meaning of the sentences, paragraphs, and chapters as a whole, I am totally and utterly lost.

I don’t think I’m stupid, but this novel is incomprehensible to me!

While on hiatus with Ulysses, and to make sure that my brain has not turned completely into mush, I’ve been entertaining myself with Hilary Mantel‘s Wolf Hall – her Booker prize-winning novel about the Tudors, and Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power.

Ulysses to be continued next week, April 23 (yay…NOT!).

2.  What did you recently finish reading? I recently finished reading Jane Austen‘s unfinished novel, Sanditon.  The Sanditon edition I read was completed by Juliette Shapiro.

The short novel is a light tale about the colorful lives of the residents and visitors of the small beach town of Sanditon.  While staying with Sanditon’s most enthusiastic promoter, Charlotte Heywood finds herself surrounded with interesting, odd, and sometimes not very nice, or wholesome ladies and gentlemen.

Charlotte soon discovers that not all who come to Sanditon come to relax and bask in its sunny beaches, swim in its cool waters, or breathe in its restorative sea breezes.

Though funny and witty, I felt the novel lacking in dialogue and character development.  This may largely be due to the fact that the novel was left unfinished by Jane Austen, and Juliette Shapiro could only work with the text available to her.  Not adding or altering many of the details already laid down by Austen could have been Shapiro’s way of being faithful to Austen’s original plot.

There are several published editions of Sanditon by different authors who add on to the existing text in the style of Austen’s writing to complete the story.

I think it would be interesting to read and compare several of the different versions of Sanditon, but so far, all I’ve seen is the edition by Juliette Shapiro.

3.  What do you think you’ll read next? I haven’t decided what to read after Ulysses.  I’m really just more concerned with trying to finish it.  If my brain is still working after Ulysses, I might go for something light. Then again, after Ulysses, any novel can be considered “light.”

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22 thoughts on “W…W…W…Wednesdays

  1. Some interesting reads there 🙂 I read Ulysses at uni and can say that it is one of the least enjoyable books I’ve ever read. I read it on a Modernist course where we did lots of ‘stream of consciousness’ Joyce’s was the most difficult to read and understand I thought – so I completely sympathise – well done for trying it!

    My less impressive WWW is here 🙂

    https://melcj.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/www-wednesday-4/

    • I think it would be interesting to study Ulysses in a class though…at least it wouldn’t be a waste of time, because then you can analyze what you’re reading and learn what all the symbolisms mean. I think reading it on your own for “fun” is useless.

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your list 🙂

      • There was a lot of discussion – I think because most people didn’t like it though, it wasn’t as interesting as it could be.

        Funnily enough – I just read a short story last night (Michael Cargill, Shades of Grey) and it was a similar stream of consciousness telling, but I loved it. It was much faster and had punch to it that I didn’t get from Ulysses. I also liked things like To the Lighthouse and As I Lay Dying which are all a similar style if you’re looking for something to compare to.

        I think I’m just not keen on Joyce tbh as I’ve read a couple of others of his and not really enjoyed them.

      • Yep – that was my experience completely and so I ended up deciding that I didn’t really care what they were saying or thinking 🙂

        Needless to say it wasn’t my most successful exam performance with a whole section on this!

  2. I’ve heard that Ulysses is one of the most difficult novels…I admire you in trying to get through it! Good luck and may understanding come as you get deeper into it.

    I think it could be interesting to read the various editions of Sandition and see how they all interpret Austen’s words differently. Maybe one day I’ll do that. Sandition is the only one of her books that I’ve never read.

    My WWW Wednesday is here.

    • Thanks, I hope I get through it too! I’d like to read different versions of Sanditon to see how they differ. It’s very short, so you can probably read it in a few hours. Emma is the only Austen book I haven’t read…I just can’t get into it no matter how many times I try 😦

  3. I tried reading Ulysses about ten years ago. I read a good chunk of it but just couldn’t finish it. Good luck to you!

    • I honestly don’t know anyone who LOVED Ulysses! I still don’t know why it’s named as the Best Book of the 19th century. Does anyone except James Joyce truly understand Ulysses??

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your list!

  4. Great list of books. I’m interested in reading some old school reads and so in the last few weeks, I picked up the Sherlock Holmes story series and The Odyssey. I’m saving them for summer 😀

    Here’s my WWW Wednesday post. Please swing by when you can!

    Happy Reading
    Mo

  5. If you you are looking for something completely different to read, you could try The Book of Lost Things (also on your 2012 reading list). As for Austen, I loved Persuasion – that is now one of my Austen favorites. I also enjoyed The Meaning of Night (on your 2012 list) and the follow up book The Glass of Time.

    My “plan to read” list continues to grow as well. I have a current list with a few books I hope to tackle in 2012, along with what I’ve read so far this year.

      • I meant to ask you – what do you think of Wolf Hall? I was on a Tudor kick a few years back (read The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George, the Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir, etc)

      • I’m enjoying it! I was hesitant to read it at first – because it seemed a little intimidating, being about the Tudors and being historical fiction, but its surprisingly entertaining. It’s very witty and funny, and some of the things that Hilary Mantel adds to the narration is unexpected. You should definitely try it, especially if you’re into the Tudors. Wolf Hall is told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell and a bit from the side of Cardinal Wolsey.

      • Yes, it’s definitely worth your time. I’ve still a bit of reading to do before I finish it…I’ll probably be done this weekend, and next week I will post an article on here about it.

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