Over the last couple of days, I finished two big ole books. I have mixed feelings.
After two weeks of diligent and regular reading, I at LAST finished Middlemarch by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans).
This is the story of a group of families who live in Middlemarch, England in the 1800’s. A few things happen in the beginning, followed by a long stretch of not a lot happening, and then the final 300-400 pages (of 900) contain a decent amount of action and intrigue. It definitely took me at least half the book to get used to the overly wordy and overly confusing style so that I could enjoy the actual plotlines. Obviously, Victorian Literature isn’t now going to be my genre of choice, but I admit I was interested in how the book would wrap up – and “George” provides a satisfying ending over and above the satisfaction of being able to close the book for the last time.
I will also admit that I exclaimed how much I hated the book several times. This fleeting hatred had to do 70% with style, 20% with lack of action and 10% with dumb characters.
I can see why others love it so much, though. I can. I’m glad I read it. Still, I’m so glad to now be able to move on to books that are much more concise and the all sorts of things happen in the space of 300 pages rather than next to nothing.
So that was the classic my mom and I agreed to read together. She’s finishing it up now. Any ideas for my next classic to read…..when I’m ready?
I also just finished Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris.
When I finished This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff about a year ago, I realized that I really love workplace settings for books. I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamics at play – always lots of crazy relationships, competition, gossip, and fun coworker idiosyncrasies. For me, Then We Came to the End was absolute laugh-out-loud hilarious until that all came to a complete halt, turned deadly serious, and then all of the sudden it was hilarious again. Ferris kept me on my toes, I admit it. I especially enjoyed the sense of being a fly on the wall for everything taking place, and then began to realize that the narrator seemed to be nothing more than a fly on the wall as well. Well done.
You might very well find this book really stupid and disturbing, but I found it hilarious and meaningful and weirdly relatable.
I read the Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour a year or so ago, and thought it to be rather meh. Glancing at his other books on Goodreads, nobody seems to wild about any of the rest of them, either. Maybe he’ll keep getting better!
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.