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beyond the Kuiper Belt, over the sea

Current reading

May 14th, 2009 by Kit

So, I’ve had the notion of reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot in my head for a bit, but, failing to find it at the bookstore, picked up Silas Marner, also by George Eliot.  I’m proceeding apace through Silas Marner, and was intending to move on to Daniel Deronda, which my mother sent me in the mail, but another book may be inserting itself between them: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

Given that these books place my current reading within a 60-year period from 1861 to 1920, are there any other things on the must-read list in there?  I’m readjusting to reading fiction, and finding it just the thing.

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  • Geroge

    The first thing that comes to mind is:

    But perhaps I can think of some others.

  • kit

    Oh, of course! When Miranda and I were reading What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew there were a very many allusions to Trollope, and he half-made it onto my list, but you’re absolutely right; now is the time for more Trollope.

  • Lauren

    Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle.
    I personally enjoy The Picture of Dorian Gray, but opinions differ.

    I have now read about 25% of everything PG Wodehouse published. This is the wrong time period for you, but I love him. I had to quit cold turkey because it was interfering with my work. Maybe that’s not a good recommendation.

  • kit

    It’s not totally the wrong period; it’d just stretch the end of it a bit. I’ve wanted to read the Psmith stories for a bit, and may do so before too long.

  • Mair

    Well – speak of Wharton, of course I must weigh in here with The Master: Henry James**. Never mind that I can no longer read him and when I last tried, I had to wonder what in the hell place my head must have been in when he was my constant companion. I look upon that current inability with sadness. For many years he was the benchmark and touchstone of fiction for me. “The Americans” is deemed the “easiest”. But I also remember really enjoying “The Golden Bowl”. But since it is quite biggish, perhaps you should build up to that gradually. Be prepared for a shocking lack of periods (counterbalanced by a total surplus of commas)!

    But for straight-out laugh-out-loud social commentary, nothing beats “Vanity Fair”……I KNEW so many of the people Thackery characterized.

    Stay clear of Hardy. Brrrrr…slit your wrists stuff.

    ** As the story goes, Mrs. Wharton picked Mr. James up at the station in her new car when he came to visit her in Lenox. The car, she remarked, was purchased with proceeds from her latest book. He could only lament that profits from HIS latest book would not be sufficient to purchase the lacquer needed to paint her car.

  • kit

    Eliot has her fair share of absurdly long sentences; and as to length, remember, I’m the one who made you read me all of Moby Dick as a bedtime story!

    Vanity Fair is definitely going on the list.

  • Sean

    I might recommend “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin (1899) – short and sweet, a little trite by modern standards, but very well written. And if you’re extending your time period slightly, try one of my absolute favorites, “The Great Gatsby” (1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course).

  • kit

    I’ve actually heard of The Awakening. I’ll add it to the list.