Tuesday, 7 June 2016

What I am reading (including audiobooks)...

If I take the past few weeks as a time-slice - the main things I am reading have been mostly reflected on this blog:

1. Major theme: I am exploring the Romantic Metaphysics tradition (I just made-up that name) of Coleridge, Steiner, Barfield and Arkle - by various combinations of slow intensive reading, listening to bits read aloud (this applies mainly to the Steiner, which is available in this form - but my Kindle will read aloud any book, albeit in a robotic and badly-emphasised fashion) and almost random dippings-in by impulse. A bit of Traherne.

2. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - yes... I'm afraid I am listening again to this as an audiobook - from the beginning. And loving it.

3. Tolkien - dipping mainly, but I re-read The Notion Club Papers (nth time), and looking through bits of the History of Middle Earth, and favourite parts of Lord of the Rings; listening (in the car) to Smith of Wootton Major. I tried to listen to The Children of Hurin read by Christopher Lee, but did not like the work or the reading of it.

4. Again in the car, I listened to the funny stories and verse of a Northumbrian farmer - about farming life - called Henry Brewis - who issued three CDs in the 1990s.

5. I have watched a couple of Shakespeare plays on DVD and read in Sam Johnson's and Coleridge's Shakespearian crit.

6. Read various poems from Palgrave's Golden Treasury.

7. Tried to read A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay, but gave up 1/3 of the way through from lack of interest.

8. Bedtime reading aloud (to my wife) - Finished one Miss Read 'Fairacre' novel by Miss Read, and started another - in between got more than halfway through RL Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey (a re-read, maybe fourth time including talking books?) but it didn't work terribly well read aloud and unedited.

9. Family listening in the car - Terry Pratchett - finished Small Gods, am most way through Soul Music.

10. Ground to a halt in listening to an audiobook of the Emerson biography by Robert D Richardson - a book I used to love to the point of obsession, but I now find Emerson too annoying with his multiple proto-progressive views (supported strongly by the biographer).

11. Not much scripture - mainly the Gospel of John.

12. Continuing my rather slow progression through Terryl Givens's Wrestling the Angel account of Mormon theology.
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Probably more - the large number of works is mainly a reflection of my rather desultory current habits, as I drift from one thing to another...

The reason for so much 'audio' reading is that I listen to books - or cricket - while doing cooking and other kitchen chores.

(When I say 'cooking' I should really write 'food preparation' - of which I do a lot which is necessary and also something I am happy to do for the family; although I very seldom really cook anything. I don't hate it, and I like mealtimes and getting drinks and snacks etc for the family members - but cooking does not give me any intrinsic satisfaction. I have never made a meal I was 'proud of'.)