Monday, August 1, 2011

The Great Unread—Summer Reading

“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York
The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

Although I fell off a bit in this year’s challenge, I used much of my reading time in July to get back on track. I completed my June challenge book, Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours, as well as my July selection, The Tragedy of King Richard the Third, which I’d been meaning to read since the Royals and Rulers salon in April. Richard III was also the basis for one of the plays I saw this month at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, so I had extra incentive to finish it before the month was out. It is one of the longest Shakespeare plays, but it’s so good that it wasn’t difficult to get through. I also had the help of Arkangel’s audio version* for the car—It was great to combine reading with the audio, so I may be making my way through more of my Oxford Complete Shakespeare set before the year is through.

While more Shakespeare is well and good, my real accomplishment of the summer so far is finally finishing Possession, which I began back in February. Although the start was very slow, mostly because the poetry bogs it down, as the mystery picks up it became really thrilling and I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to be resolved. And, for once, I really liked the ending.

For those that have fallen away from The Great Unread (you know who you are), I have a mini summer reading challenge for you: Finish one book you feel you should read before Labor Day. That gives you a little over a month. If you are game, post your selection in the comments below.

*Arkangel has recorded fully-dramatized versions of the complete Shakespeare, unabridged, which I highly recommend (check your local library) if you don’t often get a chance to see the Bard performed.

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