Sunday Salon: Escapism

This week, I finished Hungry Planet and The Best American Comics 2006. My review for Count of Monte Cristo was posted this week as well.

Today, I am reading Gilead. I have found it hard to read this because I think the prose and the style, and something about the narrator and protagonist are so reflective of my own self. It’s hitting a bit too close to home, and it’s a bit solemn and serious as a result. These days, I am more in need of books that help me escape or ones not so self-confrontational.

Though, this has often been the case with books and me. I am escapist. I love to immersed completely in well crafted stories and characters. Books have always been there for me to pass the time, to enrich, to teach, but most of all, for me to get away.

Maybe that is why I love epic and long novels. A friend and I were discussing this because neither of us really read short stories (aside from the ones by authors we truly love). With epic books, I find myself so attached to the characters and the story that it is sometimes a bit sad when it is over. I guess I admire writers with the ability to write well on a linguistic and stylistic level as well on a story and character level. When I use to write creatively, I never managed to finish any of the novels I started. My penchant for classics runs along this vein as they tend to be long, winding and with somewhat archaic prose. I’m generally someone with a low attention span, but for some reason, I always try to stick with the books I start and keep going to the end no matter how boring.

Now for other books I will be reading this week and in the near future, I am trying to finish Gilead. I want to start The Tempest by Shakespeare. Also, a nonfiction book probably Best American Travel Writing 2007. I still have so many books to read for challenges (Crime and Punishment, Beloved, The God of Small Things) and my friend’s The Name of the Rose to start. Still too many books, and I even did some library weeding this week. Ah, better more choices than no choices.

Literary Links:

100-Must Read Books: The Essential Man’s Library – Has some typical book list fair (Hemingway, Fitzgerald), with a few questionable items (How To Win Friends And Influence People), and a couple interesting ones (Kierkargaard, Thoreau).

Books to film 2008: 10 Books You Should Read Before Seeing the Movie – Hey, I love a good adaptation. I will be reading a couple of things for this year’s films.

10 Books That Screwed Up the World

Book Rabbit – Another book cataloging and interaction site. This one allows connection through actual photos of the books you own.

4 thoughts to “Sunday Salon: Escapism”

  1. Isn’t it always the case to have a bunch of books that are waiting in the wings to be read? I love that feeling! But I can never decide what to read first.

  2. Happy Sunday to you! I also read to escape (and like you I love the epics). My mother is always trying to get me to read deep, philosophical nonfiction books about religion or self-help and I keep pleading with her to stop! For me, fiction is what carries me away – I have enough deep philosophical things to deal with in my work and real life without spending my reading time absorbed in them *laughs* Good luck with Gilead – despite the rave reviews, I was one reader who didn’t like Robinson’s novel … too slow and introspective, but it was a great sleeping aid!

  3. Wow, that list of 10 books that screwed up the world was something. And there were a lot of commenters who agreed and disagreed. I guess that’s the whole point of reading.

  4. I read to escape, too. Best of all: big epic novels that were either written in or take place in a different country and/or time period than my own. 🙂 I did like Gilead, though.

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