Tags: herman melville

Literature

End of the year: more about books.

At long last, finals are over. I have no idea how I did on my College Algebra final, and luckily I don't have to care, because unless I utterly failed it, I should still get a B in the class. And if I did utterly fail it -- I'll still get a C.

So. It's time once again for my embarrassingly short list-of-books-I-read-this year. I'm still a hell of a long way from "read your height in books," but I did better than last year, anyway. (And as usual, I'm not including stories and plays from collections -- just whole novels.)

Here, then, are the books, complete with commentary of great prolixity and spoileriness.

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Aaaand there you have it. I may not read much, but I sure do make long posts about it...
Listen

Moby Dick

Okay, and now for some separate, spoilery comments on Moby Dick, now that I've finished it. It is the strangest and most fantastic thing I've read in years. In fact, although my favorite book remains very certainly The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, I don't think Moby Dick can be too far behind; and Melville may possibly have drawn even with Hugo in my ranking of favorite authors, just a short step below Dostoevsky and Nietzsche. Which, by the way, came as a complete surprise.

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Now I understand why 2addersfanged wanted me to write Melville/Hawthorne slash. But you know... I'm not sure Hawthorne deserves the honor. In any case, Melville: my hat is off to you, sir. My hat is plucked straight from my head and deposited somewhere in the vast Pacific. You are a strange and wonderful man.
Devil: the dark side has books

This year's reading list...

(I wrote this a few days ago, thinking I'd be able to get online sooner. It's therefore a bit outdated; I've actually finished reading Moby Dick now, and a post about that is forthcoming. In the meantime, I'm leaving this post as it is.)

Contrary to what most people think, I'm not actually a very prolific reader. At all. In fact, I've read exactly ten books this year -- or eleven, if I finish Moby Dick before January -- and that includes three short children's novels. I mean, I read pieces of other things… I read about half of a collection of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short stories, several chapters of The House of the Seven Gables, the first quarter of The 1,001 Arabian Nights (which I'm still reading; at the moment I'm about halfway through the story of Aladdin), and a few chapters of The Iliad, The Red and the Black, and Nietzsche's Antichrist. I intend to finish reading all of these at some point... hopefully within the coming year...

In any case. Some of you have been trying to "read your height" in books, or read a book for every week of the year, or something of that sort, and then commenting on those books in your journal in little blocks. I've entered on no such ambitious enterprise, but now that the year is out, I figure I'll take a moment to comment briefly on the books I did manage to read this year. No spoilers, or at least only very minor, oblique spoilers. In the order in which I read them, then:

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