Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reading in the New Year

New Years Day, with nothing planned, I attempted my first ever private Read-A-Thon, hoping to read for hours without interruption.

Unfortunately, I woke up at 9:30 AM disappointed because I read so much better when I am the only one up, even before the sun.  Nonetheless, after breakfast, preparing three loads of laundry, and overseeing four of the kids' morning routines, I started my Read-A-Thon at 12 noon and gave myself six hours to read.  I even put a note on the door warning anyone not to enter and to "check with Dad first."  He would be having his own "Netflix-A-Thon," in the living room, he said.

These are the books I read from:

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, which counts towards: The Well-Educated Mind, The Classics Club, and Mount TBR;

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, which counts towards: The Classics Club and Mount TBR;

and The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto, which I think I will add to Mount TBR.

After numerous interruptions, including making dinner, sending my girls off to the movies with their aunt, and finishing the laundry, I was only able to read one chapter from One Hundred Years, one chapter from Underground History, and one and a half chapters from Gone With the Wind.

So much for marathon reading.

About my three reads: I am oddly enjoying One Hundred Years.  It was a strange start, and I was initially disappointed because it was not keeping my attention; but five chapters later, I am hooked.  At first it was like a really bad Spanish soap opera, and in a way, it is still like a soap opera, detailing the development of a community and all of the connections between people and their relationships to one another.  But it is growing intriguing, and I am captivated.

Gone With the Wind was instant connection.  I am loving this read and wondering why I ever thought I would never be able to touch this book.  I may have only read two chapters, but tonight, after everyone goes to bed, GWTW will be the book I end my day with.

Underground History is a very easy read, describing one teacher's experience within the education system. The author makes the case that schools are not places to put your children, and teachers are not treated any better.

I do have one question: regarding One Hundred Years of Solitude, published in 1967: does anyone know if it can be considered a classic?  As I am getting into the more modern works on The Well-Educated Mind list, I am not sure if I can include these on my Classics Club list?  I am curious if anyone has any opinion, or how I can find out.  Thanks!


Mabel said...

I think a classic is more about the artistic quality & angle of a book (its potential to outlive its era) than when a book was written, but that's just me! The Classics Club has said from the start that each reader determines his/her own criteria for the term "classic." I do think many would consider Gabriel García Márquez's work classic literature...

I love that you are loving Gone with the Wind!! Best. Book. Ever. :-)

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

I consider a book to be a classic if it's stood the test of time (older than me, basically), is well-known, and is influential. I might call Marquez' books "new classics," but they fit all my personal constraints.

I'm THIS close to committing to the Classics Club myself, BTW. The fact that you're allowed to change your list is what gives me hope.

Ruth said...

I suppose that is my problem: I am not so sure the one I am reading is a classic; I never even heard of Marquez until I started reading it. Maybe I need to do more research. I am not even finding any evidence to say it is or isn't a classic.

Thank you for encouraging me to read GWTW. Mitchell is amazing. Is someone just born with that ability to write? Wow!

Ruth said...

I think you are right: it would be considered a new classic - and that I have heard.

You should just do The Classics Club b/c you probably wouldn't have to add any new books since they may count for other challenges, too.

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

Honestly, you're right -- I have like 40 classics on my to-read list anyway, and if I add in the classic re-reads I know I want to do, I'd have at least 50.

So I think I'll do it. Tomorrow, if I'm better -- been laid low by two bugs back-to-back and am using rare moment of lucidity (and quiet) to distract myself with email.

Tonia said...

Good book choices... I think I'd have trouble with a reading marathon too- too many interruptions! I loved Gone with the Wind. I read it when I was about 18, I think. I should add that to my re-read list.

Looking forward to 100 Years but I need to get through Seize the Day first!