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A New Reading Strategy – Part 2

May 5, 2011

I think I may have a handle on this new reading strategy. Hopefully it will slow down my consumption of literature and allow things to settle a bit more in my psyche. Affect me more deeply – just as Annabel did in its 6-day long lifespan.

I have not allowed myself to pick out my next book since completing Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy. It has been four days now, and I have focused my reading on Tolstoy’s War and Peace. And the barbs have sunk in. I am enamoured by the writing and the characterization. Truly, this is a piece of impressive creativity.

I have already laughed in this book. I was out in public at the time, and I laughed at a book – and I am sure that I got the awkward and confused glances that I often send in the direction of people who do the same around me. But I couldn’t help it. Tolstoy captures that frivolity of Russian socialites that seems to fit so well into my understanding of their aristocracy from this period. And yet each and every single one of them (and there are lots of them) has a purpose that they intend of following through – be it the acquisition of money from a dying man, or the movement of a son from the fighting line as they start training for a war with Napoleon. It is really impressive to see all of these stories weaved together.


I can’t decide what the read next. As I mentioned last week, I have purchased more books (but no more book shelf space) to read recently, as though I hadn’t already collected an amount above and beyond what I can hope to accomplish this year. I’m thinking though that Hisham Matar’s In the Country of Men may win out. Or Atwood’s Surfacing. I’ll be making a decision today so that I can start slowly delving into a universe parallel to that of Tolstoy’s.

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