"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Reading "assignments"

Remember that feeling of dread when a teacher says you HAVE to read a certain book at a prescribed pace? The whole process takes all the joy out of reading, right? Well, here is the weird thing, I have just done it to myself. I have started not just one or two "assignment" books but five. Five books that are "work" and all at the same time. What was I thinking?

First, I decided to read one of the books assigned as summer reading to our incoming senior class, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. I had no idea it was so deep and philosophical when I started. I am just creeping along and will be lucky if I get it finished by the time school starts after Labor Day. I realize it was my decision to read this book and can abandon it at any time but I really am engaged with the premise and want to stay with it. Assignment #1.

Next, my book group selected an additional title to add to coincide with the pilgrimage our pastor and several members are making to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The book was written in a journal style by another pilgrim, Kevin Codd, and it is called To the Field of Stars. I really think I will enjoy this but I have not gained any traction on Assignment #2 yet.

For the past two years I have participated in the Austen in August Challenge. This year I decided to read a book about Austen's writing, What Matters in Austen? I am enjoying it very much but admit that it is not light reading. My goal is to finish this by the end of the month. I predict I will finish Assignment #3 first.

My husband works in higher education policy. At the last conference he attended a lot of time and attention was given to discussing the terrible problem colleges are having today with sexual assaults. It was recommended that everyone at the conference read Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer. We started listening to it in audiobooks last week-end. It is very well-written but extremely distressing. I am joining Don for his assignment and making it my #4.

Lastly, I joined the Classics Club spin this week and I will be reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. In order to stay on track I need to read 57 pages a week. I haven't started the book yet since I am working on the other four assignments first. I have found taking an assignment approach to reading the classics really helps me. Assignment #5 isn't due until October 23rd.

Just because they feel like assignment books doesn't mean I am not enjoying them. I am. Stay tuned and watch my progress.

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