Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Update: Reading Through the Centuries Project

I am still working on Black Beauty and will post at least once more on that one before I’m through with it. I use it as a springboard for my Victorian Era horsemanship studies, so it’s not just a pick up and read through kind of book since I make notes as I go.

I read a couple of modern books over the Christmas holiday, I read Broken by Lisa Jones, which is a really interesting book about the author’s friendship with a Arapaho healer and horse trainer in Wyoming. I recommend it. I am also still working through Women Who Run with the Wolves, which I read when I am in the mood for self reflection and working on my psyche.

I started another book for the Read Through the Centuries Project, which is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I read this one before, but it was in the tenth grade and I must say that I’m probably getting way more out of it now than I did when I was 15. I don’t remember much about what I thought of it back then- it isn’t one of the ones that I remember hating vehemently (Dangling Man is one of those) so I probably thought it was ok; but the fact that I don’t remember too much about it means that I didn’t get as much out of it as I should have.

The reason I picked it is because I found it in my boxes of books in the basement and it meant that I couldn’t have to a) leave the house and b) spend any money. Although, it doesn’t seem like I spent much on it when I did buy it- the version I have is the Dover Thrift Edition, which according to the back cost $1.00. We’re big spenders over here at casa Hope.

I’m currently on chapter ten of The Scarlet Letter and I’m really enjoying it. It is a really good book. I mean, I realize that it’s a ‘Classic’ and there must be a reason that high school students across the country are forced to read it; but I tell ya, that Nathaniel Hawthorne really knew how to weave a tale.

The symbolism and the commentary on the human soul…Deep, man. Deep.

What I will probably do with the books in the RTCP, is a brief background post (key word being brief) and then a post or two of my favorite quotes or passages. I’m not a book critic, and summaries are boring (and I’d rather people, you know, read the book), so I feel like giving some background and then some good quotes struck me as a fair enough plan. Then I won’t get overwhelmed and feel like I’m doing book reports. It’s not that serious- I’m really just trying to get myself to read interesting stuff I might not pick up otherwise.

So, there you have it. I will continue reading, and if you don’t have a book currently in progress, might I recommend The Scarlet Letter?


  1. I will take you up on that suggestion. I'm looking for a good book to read at the moment. :)

  2. I love the Scarlet Letter! Need to reread it. That and Black Beauty.

  3. Laura- Let me know how you like it. I'm really enjoying the language and imagery, and getting way more out of it than I did in the tenth grade. :)

    Anaka- Both are such good books. Its so interesting to read books that you read when you were younger to see how 'more life' changes your perspective on them. :)