Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, August 05, 2016

The Immediate Book Meme

Nope, it's MrsDarwin, despite the attribution. All the computers in the house hate me, it seems. I won't bore you with my electronic woes, but suffice it to say that the nice fellow at the Apple store said that repairing the keyboard of my laptop would cost $750. Thanks, William!

photo by Evan Laurence Bench

There are plenty of memes that want to know all about your book history and your all-time greats and your grand ambitions, but let's focus on something more revealing: the books you're actually reading now, or just read, or are about to read. Let's call it The Immediate Book Meme.

1. What book are you reading now?

...and nothing else, because I'm not starting a new book until I've finished packing for vacation

2. What book did you just finish?

The Pauline Epistles in the new testament
Tristram Shandy! At last!
Winds of War, by Herman Wouk

3. What do you plan to read next?

I'm packing my bag, and I'm bringing:
War and Remembrance (both volumes), by Herman Wouk
The Marble Faun, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Leisure: The Basis of Culture, by Josef Pieper

After vacation (because our library branch does not have these books in hardcopy, what gives?):
The Dubliners, by James Joyce
The novels of Flann O'Brien
Exodus, picking up with the law chapters where I left off to finish the New Testament.

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling as our read-aloud.

4. What book do you keep meaning to finish?


5. What book do you keep meaning to start?

Nothing hangs over me just at the moment. I'm probably in denial.
6. What is your current reading trend?

Let's be honest: Facebook. God help me, it's really hot in this house, and my brain has turned to mush.


Enbrethiliel said...


Congratulations on finishing Tristam Shandy! LOL!

Captains Courageous as a read-aloud sounds so impressive to me--as is every classic I hear that parents are reading aloud in homeschools. I recall trying Kipling, specifically Captains Courageous, when I was about the same age as your oldest girl and finding his voice very difficult. I tried again just a few years ago with Kim, quit half a chapter in, and wondered why I was having so much trouble. I really love his poetry, though! And of course the Just-so Stories are easy.

If I do give Kipling as a novelist one more try, however, it will be with a German translation. (That seems unfair to one of the greats of English literature, BUT I can't afford to lose my German-learning momentum now!) I've already been passively listening to some audio book files of Nur so Maerchen (Cute, aye? LOL!) on YouTube. I wonder how far I'll get if I actually try to understand what is being said! *fingers crossed*

So what makes Captains Courageous the honoured readalong novel this month? Is it related to a unit you're doing in homeschool, or to another interest that you're free to pursue, or was it just a classic whose time had come in the Darwin household? =)

Kathleen said...

My Mac laptop connects to an external ergonomic keyboard and monitor and mouse to be a 2-screen desktop. You'd lose portability but save money: keyboards are available at thrift shops. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Enbrethiliel, I also read aloud Captains Courageous - it's one of our family's very favourites - but I balk at attempting Kipling's India stories and turn to audio books instead. Madhav Sharma's performance of Kim (from Naxos) is absolutely amazing...and I don't even really like the story! His Jungle Book is also very good.

- Finicky Cat

MrsDarwin said...

E, I've had mixed luck reading Kipling out loud. The kids were bored stiff by Kim, so I just sat and read it to myself. But Captains Courageous is an old favorite of mine. We actually just listened to it while driving on vacation. The reader in our version was a fabulous voice actor and nailed all the accents delightfully, so I didn't have to struggle through trying to render Kipling's Gloucester dialect.

I did stop the book at one point and explain that "nigger" was considered highly offensive now, so even though the characters used it, we never would. I don't think the kids have ever heard it in any other context, and Kipling's mild usage of it doesn't sound any more offensive than the names the fishermen sling at each other in fun.

Enbrethiliel said...


Finicky Cat -- I think Project Gutenberg has Das Dschungelbuch, so I should get to it sooner rather than later. ;-)

Mrs. Darwin -- Thanks! I think that homeschools "outsourcing" the reading aloud to audio books is an interesting idea.