this week

It’s not uncommon for me to have a book drag on for weeks or months.  What is uncommon is to have three books drag on for so long at once.

Drag may not be the best word — I’m sincerely enjoying all three, and each is charming in its own way.  I want to finish them.  I just don’t seem to be able to — or at least not quickly.

Currently, I’m (still) reading both Karen Fowler’s Wit’s End and Alan Bradley’s The Week that Strings the Hangman’s Bag (an incredibly awkward and hard-to-remember title, which is why I’m generally thinking of it as the second Flavia book), which I started 3 and 1 months ago respectively, and I’m (still) listening to The Children’s Book, which I’ve been listening to on and off for over 5 months now.

Not having had a lot of downtime lately to sit and read, The Children’s Book has been getting the bulk of my attention since I can listen as I drive or do housework.  But even with that, I still have a long ways to go in this mammoth novel.  Byatt writes beautifully, creating a world with words that is so visual and so intrinsically captivating, it’s easy to lose sight of the plot.  Which, at times, seems to be exactly what Byatt has done: I am generally a fan of character-driven writing over plot-focused novels, but the sheer expansiveness of the novel – with its  periodic politics and art, and seemingly endless cast of supporting characters – is distracting at times.  While I’m listening, it’s easy to be swept away by the storyline in front of me, but then, when stepping back, it’s hard to keep track of everything going on, and how it could possibly all fit together. Still, I’m attached to enough of the main characters that I want to see where their stories take them.  And Byatt’s use of language truly is remarkable.

As for the other two…well, I am doing some traveling in the next week.  Maybe that will give me a chance to give them the attention they deserve.

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~ by Molly on April 5, 2011.

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