Is it Friday? I have to double-check because I’ve completely lost track of the days lately. My teaching schedule this semester is Monday-Wednesday (and then Thursday-Sunday are for grading and teaching my online class), but this week my classes on Tuesday and Wednesday got canceled because of bad weather. Last week my Wednesday classes were canceled. So I’m in the middle of the semester now, with a remarkable amount of time on my hands. Things will change next week — unless we get more snow days, of course — but for now I’m enjoying my peace and quiet.
I’m enjoying it except for the fact that I can’t ride my bike, or I choose not to ride in the only way that feels safe right now: indoors. I hate riding indoors. Sadly, all the snow and ice we’ve gotten lately has utterly destroyed the roads for riding; even now when we have some sun to dry the roads out, I don’t feel comfortable riding because the snow drifts have encroached on the roads so much they are extremely narrow, after already being quite narrow to begin with. So I’ve gone almost two weeks now without getting on my bike, which is not good at all, since bike races begin in March. But … whatever. I don’t take the races all that seriously, and I’ll train again when I can. I have the whole year ahead of me in which to ride some crazy miles, and I’ll get back to it when I can.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying the chance to be a little lazy and to do more reading (and shoveling — my arms ache from the effort of trying to get ice off the driveway yesterday). I have two books I hope to write about soon, Janet Malcolm’s book about Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, Two Lives, and Kevin Brockmeier’s new novel The Illumination. I’ve also continued with my reread of the Anne of Green Gables series, and I’m enjoying Anne’s House of Dreams very much. I also recently started a collection of nature essays by Edward Hoagland, Sex and the River Styx, and soon I’ll begin Carlos Fuentes’s new novel Destiny and Desire. I’m not fond of that overly dramatic title, but we’ll see about the book itself.
And now I’m thinking about Litlove’s question about which books I would most like to reread. I think I’d put the following on my list:
- All of Austen’s novels. These are ones I’ve reread already, except for Northanger Abbey, so perhaps that one should be next. I’ve had a hankering lately to read Persuasion, though.
- George Eliot’s novels, especially Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda. Actually, those are two I’ve already reread, so I should start with some others, perhaps The Mill on the Floss. I suppose when it comes to rereading, I’m most drawn to long Victorian novels. Also,
- Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, especially Anna Karenina (I used to do a lot more rereading than I do now — I’ve read this one twice) and Crime and Punishment.
- Obviously the Anne of Green Gables books and also as far as YA books go, Phillip Pullman and the Little House books. Also Betsy/Tacy books.
- For something more contemporary, Infinite Jest. I don’t know that I’ll do it soon, but I’ve been hankering to reread it. I’ve loaned my copy out to a friend, so I won’t be able to read it for a while, but perhaps this summer? I’d happily reread Wallace’s essays as well.
- Virginia Woolf. I’m slowly reading and rereading my way through her books.
- Other Victorian novels: The Moonstone, any of Thomas Hardy’s books, anything by the Brontes.
- I’ve been thinking about rereading Nicholson Baker’s book U&I. I read it quite a long time ago and remember being amazed by it, and I want that experience again.
- I’ve hardly read any Dorothy Sayers at all, but I’d happily reread what I’ve read, and I plan to read more.
- Nabokov. I’ve read Lolita and Pale Fire, and will happily reread both. In fact, I’ve read Pale Fire twice already.
- I could happily reread anything by E.M. Forster, and I’ve read quite a lot of his books by now.
I’m sure there are others, but that’s what comes to mind for now. I actually do more rereading than I thought, even these days when I’m doing less than I used to. With my new ereader and all those free classics, I might do even more.