I am reading something completely new and different to me. As in a whole new medium. Sound novels.
I got Rich a new iPhone for his combined Father's Day/birthday present. So I now get to use his old iPhone. (Though not as a phone--can't justify the cost of paying for that.) Anyway, Annie was kind enough to help me load up instagram and twitter and my playlists, etc. She's been wanting me to read these Higurashi sound novels for ages, so of course after how helpful she was, I told her to go ahead and download the first arc for me. And I went ahead and started it. I haven't read that far yet, but it's definitely a fun reading experience. And even though I actually read this first arc in the manga version, it's still fresh and new (both because the experience is so different and because the sound novel seems to go into far greater detail).
That was me smacking myself upside the head. Don't worry, I deserved it. See, once again I was caught making assumptions about a book I'd never read. Will I never eff-ing learn?!!
This time it was with Thirteen Days by Robert Kennedy. I've long wanted to read this, but...
I assumed it would be dense. I assumed wrong.
I assumed it would be dry. I assumed wrong.
I assumed it would take ages to get through. I assumed wrong. (It took me two days, and believe me, for me, that's saying something!)
Seriously, this book was so far off my expectations it's downright laughable. The first and largest section is the part written by Bobby Kennedy, taken from his notes, diaries, etc. from the thirteen days of the Cuban missile crisis. It's straightforward and fascinating. Certainly not dry. Next there's a section of photos. And finally, it ends with a section of documents, ranging from JFK's speech televised speech in the midst of the crisis to formal resolutions to letters between various involved parties. This section moved a bit slower, but was still extremely accessible.
Kerthunk. Just for added measure.
Oh my. I just started reading Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. I was thinking I was going to use this as one of novels for Gray's lit course this year. However, I'm only on page 6, and I'm already rethinking the choice...
The scene involves Ned wishing to propose marriage to Gladys. Gladys, however, guesses what he's about to do and stops him. She admits to him that she couldn't love him because he's not the kind of man she dreams of spending her life with. Now, women and men alike should have the right to spend or not spend their lives, or any part of their lives, with whomever they please (provided the other party feels the same, of course). Oh but Gladys, Gladys, Gladys, this just makes me ill:
...There are heroisms all round us waiting to be done. It's for men to do them, and for women to reserve their love as a reward for such men....
Barf. Just barf. I know, I know, it was written in the early 1900s, and blah, blah, blah. But still, just barf.
Hmmmm...I may be feeling a tad cranky today. Perhaps I should pick it up again tomorrow to see if I have better luck.
Hooray for not giving up! And no, I haven't gone back to The Lost World. Instead, I gave two things a try that have not gone well for me in the past. Two things combined into one thing.
1.) I gave audiobooks yet another go. I've tried to listen to books on CD in the past. Never got through a single one--I just couldn't get the hang of listening and was constantly finding my mind wandering. I decided last week to give this listening thing another go. I spent three hours trying to download books from the library. Three hours of utter frustration that nearly led to tears on more than one occasion. I finally got everything in place, only to find that the library's audio download selection was so ridiculous sparse that I couldn't find a single book I was remotely interested in. But this morning I decided to check out iTunes and discovered just how freakin' easy it was to listen to the Librivox recordings. Who knew? (Yeah, everyone but me, I suspect. :P ) And here I had the exact opposite problem from what I had at the library--there are almost too many choices.
But, and this is 2.) I decided to give Jane Austen another go. She is so very loved by so many that I've always felt a bit uncultured for not getting on with her. It was with more than a little trepidation that I started Northanger Abbey. HA! There was literal jaw-dropping! Two minutes in and I was completely smitten. Smitten, I tell you! I listened to the first four chapters in rapid succession. The further I go, the more charmed I become. How did I miss this when I've tried to read her before--is it just a matter of mood? is it that this book is different in some way that just appeals to me? is it that audio somehow suits me better when it comes to classics? I have no freakin' idea what the answer is, but I'm happy to just go with it.