Saturday, February 11, 2012

Some Progress

Pages Read: 138 (57.74)
Opinion thus far: This selection is even better than I remember it. I love it. I've laughed, I've cried (a lot), I've been astounded, disturbed and felt the spirit of the blanket men. I'm currently in the middle of Sands' 46-page epic poem titled "The Trilogy" - I love it. 

Friday, February 10, 2012


Pages Read: 99 (41.42%)
Opinion thus far: I finished "One Day in the Life" - it is even better than I remembered it. I really liked this memoir, even though it was very difficult to read at times because of the horrors the blanket men were put through. What made it readable was the undying spirit they had - even when they were within an inch of death, Bobby Sands and his comrades would not give up and kept their belief in their cause strong. I also started the second part of Writings from Prison, which is a selection-combination of poetry and short stories. There are so many great lines that I've had to stop, write down and underline so far - the tell tale sign of a good selection.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Pages Read: 58 (24.27%)
Opinion thus far: In the middle of "One Day in the Life", it is astounding and (just like the first time I read it), I did cry a bit. It is disturbing and at parts, very difficult to read. I can't believe this happened just across the ocean just a few short years before I was born...

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Little Reading, A Lot of Work

Pages Read: 31 (12.97%)
Opinion thus far: Today I finished the introductions and got started on the largest work in this selection - a short memoir called "One Day in the Life", which takes the reader through a "typical" day in the H Blocks. It's just as horrifying as I remember it, but still a very good (yet disturbing) read. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Writings from Orlando

My next read is Writings from Prison, a mix of memoir, short story and poetry by the Irish revolutionary Bobby Sands. Bobby Sands was imprisoned in the H Blocks in Belfast in the late seventies, was elected from prison into British parliament and died on May 5, 1981 while leading a hunger strike. I've read this selection many times before (first time was last May, just around the thirtieth anniversary of his death), but I've never taken to review what I consider to be one of my favorite books. After the first time I read this selection in whole, I've skipped around to the parts that mean the most to me... so this will be the first time that I've read the selection in whole in almost a year. I'm excited to see what I take from it this time around - so much has changed since I first read it. Writings from Prison was originally published 1997 and my copy was printed in 2001. 

Pages Read: 17 (7.11%)
Opinion thus far: First difference from last time I read this selection - I am really enjoying the introductions to his work. When I first read the selection, I rushed through it because I was anxious to get to the "main part", but now that I know more about Bobby Sands and the Blanket protests, I find the introduction adds a little more to the reading experience and gives much needed background to comprehending the works ahead. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Quick Review: Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes

This was the quickest read I've read so far - and I loved this collection of poetry! I love Sylvia Plath, and she's always fascinated me, so getting to read about her from someone else's point of view has been interesting. Especially because Ted Hughes, who was married to Plath, got to see and experience a more private view of her life. The poems I enjoyed in particular were: "Visit", "St Botoloph's", "Your Paris", "You Hated Spain", "Aprehensions", "Perfect Light", and "Totem". I definitely enjoyed this collection, and would recommend it to a friend. Especially if that friend has read Plath before, but that is not a requirement to enjoying "Birthday Letters". 

A little information about my copy of Birthday Letters:

Pages: 198
Original date of publication: 1998
My edition: 1998 (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
Why I decided to read: I love Sylvia Plath, was interested in learning more about her as a person and writer and was definitely in a poetry mood. 
How I acquired my copy: Half Price Books in my hometown; January 18, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rapid Progress

Pages Read: 108 (54.55%)
Opinion thus far: LOVE this collection of poetry! I think it is fascinating to see her spiral of insanity through someone else's eyes.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

No More Travels, What Will I Read Next?

Since I finished Travels with Charley early this morning, I was left in a quandary of what I should read next as my commute read. I brought a number of books with me to Orlando, but even with a limited selection, it doesn't make picking a new read any easier! After a little examination, I decided my next read would be Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes. This book is a collection of poetry dedicated and written to/about his wife, Sylvia Plath (love her!), written in the twenty five years after her death. It was originally published in 1998 and my copy comes from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and was printed in 1999. 

Pages Read: 50 (25.25%)
Opinion thus far: I'm really loving this poetry. It took me a little bit to get into the swing of reading poetry after reading a full length piece of prose, but now that I've gotten used to Hughes' rhythm, I really am enjoying it. Since I love Sylvia Plath and her writing, I find it interesting to get a new perspective on her and her life. 

Fully Traveled with Charley

Today, I finished Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, which (to be honest) I was a little sad to reach the end of. I loved this book. I loved it far more than I ever expected to, which I think made it even more exciting. This book was incredible, it was inspiring, it was enrapturing and fantastic and words cannot describe how much I enjoyed it. It is hard to explain the plot line, since there really is no major plot lines except that John Steinbeck is cataloging his travels across America in 1960 over the course of one fall/winter. I've never read Steinbeck before, and I loved this book - I think it was the perfect introduction to his writing style. I can't wait to read more from him!

A little information about my copy of Travels with Charley:

Pages: 275
Original date of publication: 1962
My edition: 1972 (Bantam Pathfinder)
Why I decided to read: I read great things about this book, and it sounded interesting. It also was long enough to hold my attention during my travels, but short enough that it wasn't intimidating. 
How I acquired my copy: Half Price Books in my hometown; January 15, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Almost there....but not quite

Pages Read: 264 (96.0%)
Opinion thus far: Sooo close to finishing, but I didn't want to rush through the final pages since I've loved this book so much.