I posted my March reading catch-up rather late, didn’t I? Let’s hope I get this one done in a slightly more timely fashion.
I started the month off with Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This has been sitting on my bookshelf for ages so I was excited to finally get around to reading it. I had my reservations from the first chapter. A lot of the writing in this book is extremely allegorical and I can only really deal with that in limited amounts. When Ellison was narrating the plot or when our main character was making an impassioned speech, I could get into the book and enjoy it. However, when that wasn’t happening I found my attention wandering and myself getting bored. It’s a shame that this was such a mixed bag for me. I can see why it’s so highly regarded though. And it has made me interested in reading some of his essays.
After Invisible Man I needed a comforting read. I was just in a place where I needed a book that was going to give me a warm hug. So I re-read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I loved it the first time, I loved it even more this time. It has everything I adore: found family, working hard, strong friendships, space gays. A perfectly wonderful book.
When browsing in Waterstones a few weeks ago I stumbled across I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck. I’ve not managed to see the documentary yet, but I knew I needed to buy and read this book. It combines extracts from Baldwin’s books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews to create a masterpiece on the history of race in America. I highly recommend it.
In February I picked up Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars, but put it down quickly because I wasn’t in the mood for it. In April, I tried again. This time with the Penguin Classics edition translated by Robert Graves, revised by James B. Rives. This translation is easier to read than Catharine Edwards’ and much better for my current mindset. Roman literature isn’t my strong point, but I’m taking it slow. I’ve read the biographies of Julius Caesar and Augustus so far and been enjoying myself a lot.
All in all I’d say it was a pretty positive month of reading! No books were so dull they needed to be abandoned, no books were wholly unenjoyable, and I had a nice little mixture of genres.
What books have you been enjoying so far this Spring?
Love Lydia x