The Sunday Salon: Marching into Middlemarch, and Other Reading Plans

Welcome to March, and a fresh new month of reading!  I have a neat stack of planned reads all ready to go.  I have to admit I didn’t get through everything on my February book stack, reading four books instead of the six I’d planned.  But they were longer books, so I logged almost as many pages as in January.  The remaining two books are now on my March stack — can you spot them?

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Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.  Let’s take a closer look, starting at the top:

  • Middlemarch, by George Eliot:  Thank goodness for my Kindle!  This 900-page chunkster looks far less intimidating in that slim leather case doesn’t it?  I’ve decided to join dovegreyreader’s Team Middlemarch, and read this novel over the course of 2012.  I’m a little bit behind the group, having missed the discussion of Book I.   I’m enjoying it so far, so I don’t see a problem with finishing Books I and II (243 page-equivalents) by late March.
  • The Other Elizabeth Taylor, by Nicola Beauman:  This is a perfect companion read for the Elizabeth Taylor Centenary.  I started it back in December, and have dipped into it from time to time.  It’s wonderful to read about what was happening in her life as she wrote each novel, the critical response to her novels, and so on.  With just over 100 pages remaining, I decided to push this one over the finish line in March.  It’s on my reading list for the Nonfiction Challenge.
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan: This is a carryover from February, but I am confident I’ll get to it this month.  As I mentioned last month, this isn’t the oldest book on my stacks, but it’s close.  I picked it up in a used book sale three years ago, not long after I became vegetarian.  It’s also on my reading list for the Nonfiction Challenge.
  • The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan:  Another Nonfiction Challenge book!  I’ve read so many fine reviews of this book about the dust bowl.  I’m really looking forward to reading it.
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See: Another February carryover, and another 2009 used book sale acquisition, inspired by a lot of buzz.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, but I’m not as drawn to it as I once was.  I’ll probably read it in March, but it will be the first one to go if I’m short on time.
  • A Wreath of Roses, by Elizabeth Taylor: This is the Elizabeth Taylor Centenary April readalong, and I’m tempted to start reading early.

Oh: and I’m still working on my first knitting project, the scarf shown next to my February book stack.  It’s about 2/3 complete now, and I’m pleased with it so far.  Pumpkin offered to show it off for you.  Handsome, isn’t he it?

What are you reading (or knitting!) in March?


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11 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Marching into Middlemarch, and Other Reading Plans

    • Thanks Deb, I appreciate another nudge to motivate me. Sometimes when books sit on my shelves for ages, I wonder if they will live up to my original expectations.

  1. I’ll be reading some review books from Amazon, along with books I purchased. On tap: Gossip, by Beth Gutcheon (she wrote Still Missing, Domestic Pleasures, Leeway Cottage, etc.); a memoir by Anna Quindlen (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake); and Outside the Lines, by Amy Hatvany (author of Best Kept Secret). There are others on the list, too.

    But that’s what’s coming up next.

    I was scrolling through the Kindle classics and was tempted by Middlemarch. 900 pages didn’t used to intimidate me, but nowadays, I think of all the other books I must read, too. But on the Kindle, and over a period of time…that might work for me.

    Good luck!


  2. I look forward to seeing what you make of The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,I was drawn to her books a lot more a few years ago and bought several. Since then my enthusiasm has reduced too. Hopefully you’ll be able to get me excited about her again.

  3. Ohhhhh Laura, Middlemarch And The Worst Hard Time??? It doesn’t get much better than that. Lucky you:)

    • Bonnie, I think you did the LT group read of Middlemarch last year, right? It was all the side discussions about the book that landed it on my TBR. And do I have your copy of The Worst Hard Time? I may have mooched it off you on PBS or something … I have this vague memory …

  4. It took me quite awhile to get through that Pollan book too; I can probably still flip to the sections that slowed me. But it was definitely worth persevering.

    I decided to start into Nicole Beauman’s biography too; I had been going to wait until I’d read her fiction (in case there are spoilers) but ultimately decided that I have such a terrible memory that I probably won’t remember which spoilers are connected to which novels anyhow, given how much she’s written. I’m still deciding whether to re-read Harbour or to jump ahead to Wreath…

    Please tell Pumpkin that the scarf is privileged to appear with him. I mean, it’s nice, but Pumpkin’s the real deal.

    • I had similar reservations about blitzing through the bio, but now that I’ve done it (review forthcoming), I can address the spoiler question. Yes, there are spoilers, but they are all muddled together in my mind so I’m hopeful that when I read the books I won’t anticipate things like deaths & marriages.

      And Pumpkin purrs in your direction 🙂

  5. Took me a bit to get back here Laura but anyway, yes, I did participate in the GR of Middlemarch but as usually happens with me and GRs I couldn’t tolerate the slow pace and ended up forging ahead on my own, although I did enjoy the comments.

    I’m afraid you’ll have to search further for the source of The Worst Hard Time. My copy was a library book.

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