Reading Everything in August

No, that is not the title of a challenge...but it may as well be.  I'm up to my ears in books and it's wonderful.

Sweet peas and ocean breezes   ♥

I spent most of my July weekends working on a large volunteer project for a non-profit.  It was a beneficial experience, but more of a commitment than I realized.  Now that that's pretty much wrapped up, I can turn back to books.

Here's a quick list of what I'll be reading this month, at different levels of undivided attention and in no particular order:
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
  • Master and Commander - Patrick O'Brian
  • Drawn from Memory - Ernest Shepard (illustrator of the original Winnie the Pooh)
  • Psalms (almost finished)
  • Tesla biography (yes, still)
  • Smart People Should Build Things and The War on Normal People - Andrew Yang
  • Nostromo - Joseph Conrad
  • Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
  • Other??  There's sure to be more.
I probably mentioned before how many, many times I struggled to start Nostromo and stick with it.  Well, I've finally succeeded making it past the start, and it's every bit as engrossing as I thought it would be.  Abandoned mines, haunted Englishmen, political unrest, and questionable investors...if you're fascinated by 19th-century South American history, this book is all about it.  Some parts are pretty funny, close to dark humor but more often like Dickensian absurdism.

Some quotes from chapter 6:
'We shall run the world's business whether the world likes it or not. The world can't help it - and neither we can, I guess.' - random American character

* * *

The parrot, catching the sound of a word belonging to his vocabulary, was moved to interfere.  Parrots are very human.
Joseph Conrad 1916

I will never get over the fact that English was Conrad's third language.  Regardless of one's views on his politics or perspective, the man was brilliant with words.

Tonight I think I will go read the first chapter of Moby-Dick, because it's the moment I've been waiting for - the beginning of Brona's read-along

You can read a sample of my old thoughts on the novel here.  I first read Moby-Dick back in 2010... it feels like a lifetime ago.  Since then, these are some of the milestones which have happened in my life:
  • Entering/graduating college
  • Getting my first car and job
  • Learning real faith
  • Falling in love
  • Cutting my hair short
  • Writing drafts of two books
  • Buying two Apple products (whaaat?)
I so rarely re-read books that I'm really curious how I will react to this one.  Will I enjoy it as much as I did before?  Will I notice anything new?  I'll be posting intermittently about it, so we'll see how it goes.  :)


  1. 1984 is such a good story. I hope you enjoy it if this is your first time reading it (or even if it isn't! :) )

    1. It is! I can't believe it's taken me so long. :)

  2. What an impressive list of books. I loved Nostromo for all the reasons that you mentioned. I thought that it was almost as good as Lord Jim, which is my favorite Conrad.

    Have fun with Moby Dick. I also read it twice. I think that it is s book that one gets more out of the second time around.

    1. Your recent Nostromo review really motivated me to give it one (last) try and shoulder through the beginning. I'm getting a somewhat different vibe from it than Lord Jim or Under Western Eyes (my favorite so far), and it's great!

  3. bravo for rereading the whale book! once was too much for me... i read Nostromo a long time ago; should revisit, except there are so many books, so little.. anyway, good luck with the fascinating list! beautiful photo...

    1. Thank, Mudpuddle! The photo was taken at Sequim last month. I just love that area.

      To be honest, I can only read Moby-Dick before bed. It's perfect for winding down in glorious solitude, but somehow I think reading it on a plane or in a crowded place wouldn't be so fun.

    2. we spent a very enjoyable week at Sequim a few years back... even the housing developments were nice, i thought...

  4. Same here...about MD. I read mine back in 2012. Curious how I will feel about it again.

    BTW, I have read 1984 three or four times, and each time I like it more and more. (Then again, I have always been odd.) But honestly, it is an important work.

    1. I read the first chapters of MD last night and seriously didn't want to put it down. I'd forgotten much of the humor, and the writing is strangely modern, in a good way.

      I hope to finish 1984 in short order - it's a popular ebook at my library!

  5. Oh I love the Master and Commander series - I read the lot about 15 yrs ago - they will go rather nicely with Moby-Dick :-)


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