Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reading challenge

Remember this?



I finally found one of the books:  This Side of Innocence by Taylor Caldwell.  It's been in the library so long it still has a paper pocket inside the front cover.  These haven't been used in our libraries for many years. 

I've started it and I think I'm enjoying the story so far.  But it's such hard reading compared to more current books.  I have to dig back in my brain for a much wider vocabulary than most books use today.  I mean, really.  Who describes weather as being "execrable"?  This is apparently how bad New York weather could be in 1868.  It is good to remind my brain that I actually know more words than I ever use on a daily basis  but it's darn hard slogging. 

It's fascinating to take a trip back in time to a different - very different - culture.  A society with a rigid class structure that almost everyone accepts as The Way Things Are.  How the rich folks live.  And how they think the great unwashed live.  I am, even after only a few chapters, quite happy that I'm living now.  It may not be perfect but at least we all have potential.  It must have been very discouraging to be labelled and have to Know Your Place and stay in it. 

I'm still searching for the other books on my list.

7 comments:

hip chick said...

umm....1868? Just exactly how old are you anyway?

Ginny said...

I certainly have the same feelings! When I was a young woman, I used to read the romantic period pieces, and wished I had lived in that time. Long gowns with petticoats, taking a case of the vapours on the fainting couch, visiting at tea and leaving calling cards, it all seemed so romantic to me. But that was for the rich class, and the more I learn about those times, the more I'm so glad I am here TODAY!!

April said...

I'll have to check this out, although I already have a stack of books to read. I'm into War And Peace which is probably going to take me all summer to read. Hee, Hee.

Mimi said...

Glad you're enjoying it, or at least finding it interesting.
Unfortunately, that class system still exists in some countries, and it's a pity, because it limits everyone, not just poor people. I was just talking this morning with a friend about this! Coincidence!

Stephanie V said...

hip - Ha, ha! You got me!

April - War & Peace was a pretty good story. Sometimes, we don't want them to end.

Mimi - You're right and we just don't always see how rigid society can be. We might not draw the lines as boldly but it is still there.

Fortunately, as I keep reading, I find that this is, partly, a story about those lines being challenged. Should be a good story.

Glennis said...

I liked Taylor Caldwell books too, but I also found they took a lot of reading, you had to concentrate more to get understanding of just what was meant. I must check our tiny library for this book. You have reviewed it nicely and whetted my reading appetite.

J.G. said...

This is the reason I always read with a dictionary close at hand--no need to guess or get up for a new word. A few vocab builders are fun. Too many, not so much.

Thanks for the review and for being in the challenge! I've added your candle: http://hotchpotcafe.blogspot.com/2010/05/birth-year-reading-challenge-progress.html. (Sorry I took so darn long!)

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