- Fizzy Thoughts: Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Today's Sunday Salon is brought to you by the word hortatory.

hor·ta·to·ry
adj.
Marked by exhortation or strong urging: a hortatory speech.

Why hortatory? Because I'm reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. Why Virginia Woolf? Because I'm not afraid.

Okay, lame joke. Interesting word though...at least now that I know its meaning. But don't worry, I'm not going to use this post to illustrate the word.

Yesterday I spent 8 hours in a car (down to Orange County to drop off a van for my cousin and visit my granny and the rest of the family, then back in the car for the trip home). I will confess to being in a bit of a pissy mood about the trip because I was bemoaning all of the reading I could've accomplished with 8 hours in a car! Unfortunately, on the trip down I was my brother's co-pilot, and I felt rude abandoning him for a book, especially since we were in a 1987 VW Vanagon that neither one of us had ever driven, and with a radio that didn't work (my bro loves music like I love books...if he had music to listen to I would've been reading). On the trip home, I was my mom's co-pilot, while my brother listened to his iPod in the back seat. Normally my mom doesn't like it if I read while she drives...she doesn't want me to drive, but she does want me to provide entertainment. Imagine my surprise when at 4pm she asked if I brought a book along. Since that sounded like tacit approval for reading, I quickly jumped into The Ha-Ha and proceeded to read until it got dark, which came all too soon, especially since the book was unexpectedly engrossing.

My reading this week has been all over the place. I started the week by trying a few different things. Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver only lasted a few pages before I decided I was too confused by fact versus fiction and abandoned ship. Making War to Keep Peace was a little too heavy on the war, which tends to piss me off, so that one went in the reject pile as well. Books should not raise one's blood pressure. An Abundance of Katherines was more successful (and easier on the BP), as was Persepolis (no review yet, but let me just say this book is so worth reading). I'm a chapter into Islam and two chapters into Queen Isabella (despite the fact that after the Eleanor experience I vowed no more Alison Weir). This morning I finished The Ha-Ha, which was so excellent that Islam and Queen Isabella no longer sounded appealing. Then I decided to give A Room of One's Own a try. The only reason I even have this book is because I bought a bunch of books for a history class that I never took, and this one stuck around. I also have Practical Magic sitting on the arm of my chair, although it hasn't been opened yet. I'm surrounded by an interesting mix of books at the moment...a mix that reflects my scattered reading habits of late.

A note on A Room of One's Own: I read about 1/3 of the book before I even got to the words of Virgina Woolf. Because first there was a Preface, then a Chronology, and then an Introduction. It's things like this that make me avoid classics...just give me the author! But that is a whole 'nother conversation, for later this week when I actually write my Weekly Geeks post.

7 comment(s):

bkclubcare said...

What a fun post! You are all over the place - LOVE it. I'm reading Looking For Alaska right now... SO far, so good! I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Woolf's Room. I've only read Mrs. Dalloway.

Jo-Jo said...

A road trip with no radio...yikes! I just won The Ha-Ha so now I'm really looking forward to it!

Eva said...

When I read classics, I skip anything before the actual text! *Sometimes* I'll go back afterwards and read the intro, but not usually.

Ti said...

I cannot read in a moving car. All it takes is a minute or two of my nose in a book and I am instantly car sick.

Hey.. you could have visited me. I'm somewhere in the middle there.

chartroose said...

Ah, yes, Virginia Woolf and her trademark hoity-toity speech. How I miss it!

And, yay, you like "The Ha-Ha!" I can't wait to read your thoughts on it.

Bookfool said...

I used to read all that preliminary nonsense because I thought I had to. And, then I read something . . . hmm, can't remember what, but a classic. And, it had spoilers -- big, bad spoilers. Then, someone mentioned that you really don't have to read all that garbage and the little cogs turned. Now, I only read basic intros (if they're light and nicely written), not the professor-written treatise intros you often see at the beginning of a classic. And, if I'm not in the mood, I skip right on to the good stuff. Much better.

Joanne said...

For the Reading Dangerously challenge I chose a volume of DeSade - the book itself weighs about 20pounds. But 80% of that is introductory essays! Gah - most of them belong at the back of the book (IMHO)

I've never read anything by Woolf (I did like the movie The Hours, where Nicole Kidman plays Woolf though :P)

Practical Magic is such a good book - much better than the movie.

*Come to think of it is there anything they haven't made a movie about nowadays :/

Great post, loved the mish-mash of topics :)

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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