Monday, May 16, 2016

FSRC: annual report

Our household’s two-person adventure in reading, the Four Seasons Reading Club (formerly the Summer Reading Club, formerly the Vacation Reading Club) has now run for about a year. Nearly every day, Elaine and I sit down and read, twenty or twenty-five pages of a book — the same book, which means two copies of everything. (The library comes in handy.) Here’s what we’ve read in the past twelve months:

Herman Meville, Moby-Dick

Willa Cather, A Lost Lady , Death Comes for the Archbishop , The Old Beauty and Others

Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory ; Ada

William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow

Robert Walser, The Tanners , trans. Susan Bernofsky

David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis , trans. Susan Bernofsky

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Robert Walser, Fairy Tales , trans. Daniele Pantano and James Reidel

Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh, ed. Ronald de Leeuw, trans. Arnold Pomerans

Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark , Lucy Gayheart , Alexander’s Bridge , Shadows on the Rock

Books abandoned:

Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome (after a few pages)

Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (midway)

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (almost immediately)

Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I (somewhere in the second chapter)

The Cather-ness of the list was unpremeditated. We love Willa Cather and will probably end up reading everything. If, though, I had to choose one of our books as the book, it would be the mind-bendingly brilliant Ada . That’s one we each had to own.

Elaine too has written an annual report. But neither of us has figured out how to do hanging indents that will display properly on a variety of devices. Here’s an easy way.

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