Monday, April 08, 2019

Books I like

Since I dislike so many books, people want to know what books I like.  I must like some of them since I waste so much time reading. 

  First I want to mention why I hate writing review of books I like.  I am not sure why I like them, or what about them I like.  When I re-read a book, I find so much in it that I didn't appreciate more.  There are depths in a good book, layers of meaning.  Every time I re-read anna Karenina, I find something new--re-reading  opens up unending new insights and I appreciate it not better, but differently.

My favorite classic fiction: Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, Great Expectations, anything by Dickens, practically anything by Trollope.  I have no objections to long books, if they are good.

Books I hate is a much longer list: Anything with a political message, particularly progreesive.  Anything "transgressive," anything by "women" writers, published because the author is a woman.  Anything where the characters have winsome names, like Turtle or Tempest.

I like American history, because I am an American and learned something about American history, albeit reluctantly, because I had to,  in school.  Other countries, not so much, because I know so little about them that I can't fathom the background. I would need to know much more, to know where I am. English hisotry, about the Tudors, particularly Elizabeth I.   British and Irish modern history, because I typed so many papers about them when my husband was getting his PhD in British history, and because the Irish are such greeat writers.  I particularly like Conor Cruise O'Brian. 

  I also like reading about musicians, and musical instruments.  I recently read a biography of Maria Callas,  and an auto-biography of Placido Domingo, and one by Julie Andrews.  I recommend them unreservedly. These people knew who they were at an early age and believed in themselves, a revelation to me, who still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, even in the face of mortalitty.

  Music reveals new depths every time. That's why you can listen to the same pieces over and over and find new things to love and admire.

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