What I’m Reading Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, y’all! I hope everyone is making it through the week okay.

What I’m Reading:

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

I haven’t made any progress in this book since last Wednesday, because Catching Fire captured my heart and mind. Oops.

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

This is a new one. My good friend and recent English major, Haley, was visiting this past weekend, and she has been telling me to read this book for weeks. She lent me her copy, and I am absolutely devouring it. It’s about a bunch of people who get involved in a hostage situation. Meanwhile, Ms. Patchett goes off on these tangents and flashbacks about each character’s life story, motivations, personality, and priorities. It’s a fascinating portrait of humanity. And I’m only about a quarter of the way through.

This is my first book by Ann Patchett, and I already love her writing. It’s beautiful without being flowery, and provides a really vivid understanding of the scenes and people she portrays.

 

Over the past week, I finished reading Emma and listening to Catching Fire. Both were FANTASTIC, but for totally different reasons.

Emma is a delightful social drama. I loved how the conclusion, which was possible for the reader to guess from the start, didn’t tumble together until the very end. There are these constant clues that Emma loved Mr. Knightley, and vice versa, that were obvious to the reader, but Emma was like “Ho hum, I’ll never be in love.” Plus, the characters are just great. Jane Austen has a habit of creating a huge variety of characters, ranging from silly to serious and from flat to complex, that makes for a fascinating tapestry. Emma was no exception.

Catching Fire absolutely killed me. The characters are in a life-or-death struggle for every minute of this book, which is extremely stressful for the reader. I initially started reading Catching Fire to humor a friend. She wants to see the movie together, and I don’t like seeing movies until I’ve read the book, so I agreed to read it. But I got much more invested in the story than I intended. I would finish a disc (I was listening to the audiobook, not reading), wonder if my favorite characters would make it out alive, and have to decide if I could bear to listen to one more disc or if I should go be a Real Person for a little while, first. The end of the book left me with a HUGE shocking piece of news, and I won’t be able to go to the library to get the next one for a few days. Perhaps this will allow me to gain some emotional distance from the story, which might be helpful, because I’m so wrapped up in what’s happening to Katniss that I keep thinking about it instead of my work. Expect another freak-out soon, whenever I get my hands on book 3: Mockingjay.

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