Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Spring Reading Update

Tuscan Spring 2011

Praise to the gods who urged man, with all his faults, to instate the practice of spring break! I am halfway through my own now, and I'm revelling in the glorious relaxation and enjoyment of spring it has allowed. Hallelujah!

With an entire week at my disposal I've been luxuriating in balmy spring weather during meandering walks with the dogs, sleeping in every morning, visiting with friends, watching old classics (think Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant)...and reading! So far this year I've had little time to read for pleasure, and I've felt the absence keenly. Only now have I had the chance to sit and enjoy a book, and it. is. heaven.

The only literary dilemma I've faced this week is the overwhelming confusion about what book to pick up. So many books are calling to me, and narrowing it down to one at a time has been the most arduous task. Though I'm reading at an idle pace to suit my relaxed disposition, I'm making more progress on my reading goals than I have all year.

I finished Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Rave reviews from Simon and Claire urged me to pick her up, and I'm pleased I followed their advice. While I certainly didn't agree with all of Moran's views, I more often found myself nodding while reading with a 'Just So!' sort of spirit. In any case, her snarky delivery makes reading a treat, and I'm sorely tempted to pick up Moranthology (apparently a collection of her journalistic pieces) immediately. However, I'm not sure yet another book on my tbr pile is what I need at the moment, so it'll have to wait. More thoughts on this one later.

I deliberated long and hard before selecting Moran's successor. Should I go with a classic? Something that related to my research in order to kill two birds with one stone? In the end, I chose the text that I thought would make me happiest right now: The Grand Sophy. A good Georgette Heyer novel never fails to perk me up, and she matches the spring liveliness I'm experiencing at the moment. Nearly a third of the way through it, I find myself experiencing the little pleasures of Regency London life along with the characters. I'm riding spirited bays through Hyde Park in the afternoon and dressing in that new gown before attending an assembly at Almack's in the evening. It's just the sort of escape I need at the moment.

I'm not sure what's up next on the reading agenda, but I hope to get going with my Classics Spin! selection before the week is out: Maria Edgeworth's Patronage. Regency novels seem to be the order of the day, but I'd also like to read a text that truly reflects the season, like The Secret Garden or The Wind in the Willows. (Both are languishing on the shelves.) Ah, decisions!

What are you reading right now? Anything you'd recommend?


Anonymous said...

Your spring break sounds rapturous! I'm reveling in the spring landscape of Avonlea right now by reading Anne of Green Gables. I haven't read The Secret Garden or The Wind in the Willows but I plan to -- either one of those sounds perfect for spring. :)

Vintage Reading said...

I've stil not dipped my toe in with Heyer but you've made me want to try her. Very nice blog!

Ashley said...

You simply must read The Secret Garden. I read it sometime in the past couple years and it was wonderful. It's a great one to pick up when your brain needs a break from the more complex texts on your to-read list. :)

Diana said...

Joon Ann: Ah, I adore Avonlea. It's one of my happy places. I'm due a visit -- it's been a while!

Diana said...

Thanks, Nicola. And do give Georgette Heyer a go! She's delightful for any fan of the Regency era. :)

Diana said...

Ash: You're right, as always. I must make The Secret Garden a priority. Maybe it will even feed my enthusiasm for planting flowers.