Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Hobbiting

The Sunday

Time spent reading:  30 minutes around lunch and about 1 and 1/2 hours in the late afternoon
What I read:  The Hobbit  pages 1-67
                      The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories pages 253-269
Total pages read:  83

Overview: My goal last week was to work on reading Barbara Pym's The Sweet Dove Died  and start on Byatt's The Children's Book.  Thanks to a snow day resulting in work being canceled for Friday and Saturday, I was able to finish Pym's book quickly.  I haven't cracked into Byatt yet, but I will next week after the wedding is over.

I've had the hugest hankering for Tolkien.  Partly because I knew there was a readalong of LOTR commencing, partly because I'm nervous and excited about the wedding and didn't want any meaty reads, and partly because it was time for a reread.  I should have known ahead of time, a few days ago I told Sam that it was time for a LOTR film marathon.  About once a year I hunker down and watch all 3 extended-release films.  Also, I've been threatening to have "my precious" or "in the darkness bind them" engraved on the inside of Sam's wedding band.  I think he is about sick of me trying to work The One Ring into our vows.

I'm really enjoying The Hobbit, I find that I have to be in a hobbit mood to read The Hobbit.  At times, Tolkien's tone grates on my nerves -- the whimsical, childish tone is so different from the tone of LOTR.  However, this reread (I think this is my fourth) everything seems pitch perfect.  I think part of reason The Hobbit appeals to me right now is that I'm thinking like a hobbit; it is freezing outside and I simply want to be in a comfortable chair in my snug hobbit-hole and listen to "the kettle singing."

So far I'm four chapters in, Bilbo has joined -- begrudingly -- the band of dwarves, visited elves, fled from goblins, and made a narrow escape from trolls.  He is about to match wits with Gollum.  Alas, I had to put down the tale to make dinner and engage in mundane domestic tasks, but after youngster is in bed I plan on making some tea and reading some more.

For short stories today I've read "The Confesson of Charles Linkworth" by E.F. Benson (1912) and "On the Brighton Road" by Richard Middleton (1912).  The first story is about the execution and weeping ghost of Charles Linkworth - a man who strangled his mother for a paltry amount of money.  Charles refused to confess before his hanging, but now he is ready to confess.  Alas, the reader is privy to his ghostly apparition and the terror he incites in a minister, warden, and doctor, but the reader DOESN'T get to hear the confession!  It was an intense tale!  The second story is only a few pages long and concerns a tramp walking along Brighton Road.  He meets a fellow tramp -- a young man of 18 -- who is seriously ill.  The young man dies, but the tramp still walks with him and has his own death predicted.  I didn't like this story too much, I thought it too brief to engage me. 

Challenges / group reads:  The Hobbit is for the readalongThe Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories, when finished, will be my first completion for The Short Story Challenge and it qualifies for the Support your Local Library Challenge.

Reading Goals for next week: I'm going to be practical and say that my goal is to finish The Hobbit and read something else short -- perhaps A Study in Scarlet -- and continue the short stories.  I won't be participating in the Sunday Salon next week because I'll be on my honeymoon, but I will be back in full force the following Sunday. 

1 comment:

Eva said...

>>I'm really enjoying The Hobbit, I find that I have to be in a hobbit mood to read The Hobbit.

SO true. Good thing I'm in a hobbit mood too!