Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thoughts Floating Around In My Head

This is going to be a completely random post.  I have been on a reading hiatus which has caused me to think a lot about reading, blogging, book club, etc.

I removed all 'challenges' from my blog the other day, mainly because I don't find that I really care about completing them.  I would rather read what I feel like, and for some reason a theme doesn't work very well with me unless I create it myself.  Due to the book club I'm in, I get enough structure from that to keep me along a path and the rest of the things I read are indicative of my feelings in the moment.  Although, I do feel that I need a little more discipline.

I really should focus on all the well-known classics that I should have read by now, and I think I start to need to focus on my TBR of Shame which includes a bunch of works I have been daunted to undertake including works by Homer and Tolstoy.

Following Bloggers
The bloggers I follow tend to evolve over time.  As new people comment on my blog, I generally check them out for a while.  I start off initially by reading sites which review classics or have some interesting ideas that catch my interest and I end up sticking with ones that I have a really good feel about.  I can usually get a good sense about a person by the way that they right, and that intuition is what guides me to read about them.  I've been really into reading everything from bibliophilopolis and Jillian from A Room of One's Own - both really resonate with me.

Book Club Outing
Yesterday our book club finally had a chance to meet WITHOUT reviewing a book.  We had a great Christmas Party (not 'Holiday Party' for all you politically correct'ors) and I had such a wonderful time.  It's rare to meet so many great people with diverse interests and talk about things that are not A) The Weather B) What we all did last weekend, etc.  Topics ranged from aboriginal rights to religion to a big rock in the middle of Australia somewhere.  And of course, we talked a lot about authors and books.  Just a great time, and something I think we should do more often.

War & Peace
I have heard a lot about people reading Tolstoy's 'War And Peace' over a full year, and I must say that I'm intrigued.  Book club seems interested so we'll see if we get this started.  I need advice on the best translations.  I have two copies already, so I probably won't buy a third, but I'm interested in knowing who the best translators are.

Authors Attending Book Clubs
We've been getting a few requests for this lately, and I wanted to know what experiences those in the book blogging community have had.  Would be interested in knowing what experiences those in the community have had.

Okay, that's a bunch of stuff out of my head and now in the 'Interwebs' and I feel less cluttered.  I love how writing can be cathartic and freeing.


Kathy said...

OH, I'm going to have to come back and see what other people say about good translators for War and Peace. My very dusty and unread copy was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude, but I have no idea whether this is a good thing.

Toni Wi said...

I'm not really one for challenges, I prefer to have a flexible reading schedule, to match my flexible (*cough*eratic*cough) moods lol.

It's so cool you're part of a book club. In Real Life. That must be so much fun!

Anyway, it feels good to get these things off your chest every now and then. Happy reading :)

Danielle Zappavigna said...

I won't be doing any challenges next year either. I did two this year (which I didn't complete) and it ended up feeling like homework instead of just ambling through my books like I prefer to do. I've never been to a bookclub meeting where the author was there but I would really like to do so, it would be so great to be able to ask the author questions and find out about their inspiration etc.

Ellen said...

I haven't read "War & Peace" but i read the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of "Anna Karenina." It was amazing, and from reviews I've read they're the best pair doing translations of russian lit today. whatever you do, stay away from constance garner though, whose claim to fame as a translator was her ability to make every author sound like...constance garner.

Kathy said...

I heard here that Pevear/Volokhonsky are excellent, just as Ellen said.

Jillian said...

Aw, thank you for the mention! That's so nice. :-)

I have the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace, recommended at The Blue Bookcase:


Shannon (Giraffe Days) said...

Good for you, ditching the challenges! I just did my round-up and my participation has been dreadful. I hang my head in shame. And yet, I want to do them! Ah dear.

It's "Uluru", remember?! And you do so know it!! It's instantly recognisable. I don't believe for a second you've never seen a picture or heard of "Ayre's Rock" before!

I'm up for War and Peace. I have the "original" translation and the "new" translation, which I believe got a bit panned but is probably more readable. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, who work together on translations, is the one most people recommend, but I don't have theirs and I'm not going to buy a third edition!! Crazy talk!