05 July 2008

More and More

More finished, more half-finished.

I finished Tom Sawyer, which turned out to be much better in big chunks than in small doses, so two reading sessions later, it was over. I'm still not sure why I had trouble getting into it, but now I'm ready to tackle some more Twain. Well, once I've polished off some more of the half-read books on the list.

And speaking of half-read books, yes I found a couple more. One is The Great Airship by Lt. Col. Brereton, a truly abysmal boy's adventure novel from sometime between the wars (I suspect--there's no date on it). It cost me all of a dollar in a tiny "bookshop" located in a garden shed in New Brunswick. I actually have quite a fascination for boy's (and girl's) adventure novels from around the turn of the century and just after. I have a small collection of them that feature airships and am always looking for more--but I think I'll make this a post all on its own. The book has a certain appeal, despite the terrible writing.

The other book is one I picked up on sale at the book fair when the Congress of Learned Societies was in St John's in . . . 1997, I think. It's called Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence, edited by Jane H.M. Taylor and Lesley Smith. It's a proceedings from a 1993 conference, published with additional essays in 1996. Very scholarly, which explains why I didn't get very far before setting it aside--I was researching and writing my Master's thesis at the time. I picked it up again last night and decided to start over at the beginning since I didn't remember the two essays I had already read very well. Really interesting stuff, and so far quite readable.

It reminds me, for some reason, of an ex-boyfriend. I had seen a book on Celtic archaeology at the bookstore where he worked one day a week--it didn't have a price, so I asked him to check next time he worked. As I recall, my birthday was coming up, and I hinted that it might make a nice gift, if it wasn't too expensive (though I also suggested that it probably was too expensive). I have a small collection of Celtic archaeology books, and this one was a thick anthology of essays by different scholars. So he reports back a while later and it was pricey, as I had suspected. "You wouldn't want it anyway," he said. "It was really technical and full of charts and diagrams."

Erm. First clue this was not the man of my dreams? (Actually first clue was probably that he was a Christian Scientist, but I did try to be open-minded.) I guess he never noticed that I actually sometimes read scholarly books for fun. And maybe he forgot that my BA is in archaeology. One lesson I learned: it's a bad idea to go out with a man who feels threatened by your intelligence (assuming he finally figures out that you have it).

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