In February, John Wiswell hosted National Novel Reading Month, an opportunity to read one of those classics that haunt TBR lists everywhere. (Click on over to see what other participants have been reading.)
Reading challenges. I’m so terrible at them. I blame majoring in English Lit in college. I had to spend a few years reading in a very structured manner. I will perhaps spend the rest of my life reading with as little organization as possible. Yet, I continue to participate in reading challenges because I do like the directions they point me in.
I started NaNoReMo with Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. I put it aside after 30 pages, but not because I didn’t like it or thought it was wanting in any respect. Capote’s telling of events is languid. The tone of the book is an interesting combination of a Southern writer and small-town 1950s Kansas. It’s the 1950s that were kind of a problem for me. I’m doing so much research into the 1890s-1920s that my brain can’t quite handle another historical time period. I had thought that the book would be a nice reprieve from 1910 Omaha, but that wasn’t the case.
My biggest mistake was not switching books earlier. I started on The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins on February 18th. It’s a goodly sized book. I’m a slow, magpie reader. I got about a third of the way through it. I’m liking it. The change of narrators is especially entertaining when the point of view overlaps. I can see where a novel like The Specimen is a bit of homage to Collins, but this 150 year old novel does it so much better. The writing doesn’t feel dated to me, but I have been steeped in Sherlock Holmes and the Omaha World-Herald ca. 1900. I may not be entirely objective.
The NaNoReMo verdict?
Actually finishing one of these classics in February: Failure.
Introducing myself to two great books: Win.