The following questions were posted at the 24hourreadathon.com site at the half way point. I’m closing in on hour 14 and probably won’t make it much further. Will answer these questions now and then tomorrow post some reflections on what I learned about my own reading habits.
Made it through the first three chapters of Elaine Aron’s The Undervalued Self before I needed a nap. I received a free copy of this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. So far, the first chapter was full of lame pseudo-science and faux evolutionary theory. The second (on six self-protections) and third (on childhood & adult traumas) chapters were better, but I’m not seeing much difference between “The Undervalued Self” and traditional analyses of “low self esteem”.
After nap I cheated and watched a bit of baseball. C.C. Sabathia was on the verge of a no-hitter in the Yankees/Rays game. But the Rays finally got a hit off of him in the eighth inning.
Time for some popcorn and Scarpetta.
BTW, my headache from this morning is still with me, despite Tylenol this morning and ibuprophen later. Doesn’t seem to be a migraine (which would prevent me from reading anything), just an annoying headache. My guess is it’s a “joys of Spring” headache . . .
The Victorian Era
After breakfast, spent the rest of the morning savoring the language of Victorian England: Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White, and Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit. I’m embarrassed to admit (though the info is easily viewable in my LibraryThing catalog) that I started Little Dorrit a year ago (during the PBS airing of a Masterpiece Classics version). Slow going and nearly 800 pages long, but I’m over 2/3 through. And I just love his descriptions of the Barnacles and their “Circumlocution Office” with its mind-boggling bureaucracy and miles of paperwork and red tape. Then there’s Mrs. General varnishing and polishing people into “proper” behavior . . . it really is delightful, despite the length. And the financial ups and downs of the characters are eerily familiar today.
Then I took a very long nap. Interrupted by some helpful citizens ringing my doorbell to tell me about a new “Make your home energy efficient” program that I can’t afford to participate in. When I arrived at the door in my bathrobe to tell them to stop ringing the bell and go away they tried to talk to me anyway!
Time for shower and lunch break . . . then I probably need to start on that review of The Undervalued Self.
Woke at 6:45am with a nasty headache, but took some Tylenol and made my cup of Welsh Morning tea.
7 am arrived while the tea was brewing. In order to get started on time, I read the introduction to The soul of a new cuisine : a discovery of the foods and flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson. In talking about community and food rituals he describes the custom of leaving a little bit on your plate at the end of a meal, to indicate that you had enough to eat. So opposite to the Western “eat every morsel on your plate or the cook will be offended” notion.
7:10 am – 8:40 am Sat in my “Field of Dreams” reading lounge with my cat Marvel on my lap (see pics below). Read Morning Prayer from the Daily Office and then worked my way through a large part of Uncommon Prayer: A Book of Psalms by Daniel Berrigan. These poems are reflections on and interpretations of the Psalms, written in the 1970s and viewed through the eyes of a man in prison for protesting an unjust war. They require slow and prayerful reading (and an occasional break to go read the original Psalm). It took about an hour to read about 30 pages. I had been reading them one poem/psalm at a time, but this more concentrated reading really lets the message sink in. It’s amazing how relevant they still are today, over 30 years later.
This reading break is also time for a brief breakfast. Oatmeal is sitting on the stove waiting for me, so time to go. After oatmeal I’ll be reading Part 20 of The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins. Published by Charles Dickens 150 years ago, it is being re-released in the same weekly installments as the original. You can learn more about the project at: www.womaninwhite.co.uk