Monday, October 08, 2007
In Which I Finish a Book and Go to a Reading Group I finished reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf and I may have to put Woolf into the category of “writers I know I ought to like but only appreciate.” There is a difference. There are some authors whose work I technically appreciate because the writing is wonderful even if I don’t especially like what I am reading. There are also those writers whose work I can appreciate contextually, appreciating what they wrote as being important when it was written but which now isn’t as excited or interesting to me. There are good writers, even great writers, who fall into this category. Joyce Carol Oates immediately comes to mind. And Henry James. So why did I bother reading it? Because I belong to a book group and it is one of the books on the list of books from which we can choose. I thought it would be interesting. I was mistaken. Blah. I’ve no desire to read anything else by Woolf and I am debating now whether or not I should give away her journals, the ones I have not yet read. But the book group was fun. I enjoyed the discussion although we didn’t spend a great deal of time discussing Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (about which I have already raved in a previous post). I think that other members were disappointed that we didn’t talk more about the book. I didn’t mind the frequent digressions into other thoughts, ideas, experiences. I like that we all rambled all over the place. I also liked that the next book we are reading is Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. Oh boy! The leader said that this book made her blush. I’d be surprised, even delighted, if I were able to say the same when I’m through reading the book. We shall see soon enough.