I didn’t read as many books in February, but I feel I have succeeded in my quest to read more diversely, so I am happy with that.
Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper, Alexandra Harris
A well-written account of the English Modernists who tended toward the Romantic aesthetic. I enjoyed reading about the authors featured; including Virginia Woolf and T S Elliot, and am keen to read their non-fiction works as well. It was an interesting period sandwiched between wars and influenced by the Romantic period some one hundred years prior.
Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
After being impressed by North & South and falling in love with Cranford, I purchased the complete works of Elizabeth Gaskell for my e-reader. This story highlighted the confines of women in the 1800s, which I struggle to accept, but find fascinating nonetheless. It is about the relationships between wives, daughters, husbands and suitors. The central character, Molly, may be the cutest, simplest of all heroines and I enjoyed following her journey and experiencing her love for Roger.
Q’s Legacy, Helene Hanff
I enjoy her writing style, witty and to the point. This is a memoir of her writing life and how Q (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch) an English lecturer “taught” her to read and therefore to write. As she was referred away from his lectures to read books he mentioned, so I was referred away to read Donne.
The Complete Poems and Selected Prose of John Donne
Helene Hanff writes very highly of Donne in her books, so I thought I ought to get on to it, feeling bad for not having done so earlier. I love the religious poems, including the sonnets. I also enjoyed his sermons, though the long sentences left me breathless!
Everything Changes But You, Maggie Alderson
Alderson is another one of those authors in whose books you feel comfort, the curling up with a nice cup of tea feel. The story revolves around three couples, their secrets and their concepts of home. Hannah (the lead of the ensemble) finds, by the end, that her home is where her husband and children are. This is a gorgeous denouement for a charming story. I enjoy Alderson’s storytelling and her characters. I also like how she creates scenes and that each chapter is like a little story in itself.
I am almost bursting with impatience, The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult) is “in transit” at my library, so I shall be reading that just as soon as I finish the three books in the pile ahead of it! There are, as always, too many to read.