I've not given up on my project of reading twelve challenging books this year, but I have found it to be....well....challenging. I've really been forced to admit the staggering depths of my intellectual laziness, but have also realised how much reading is a pleasurable pastime for me. It's my version of vegging out in front of the tv and this endeavour is the equivalent of limiting oneself to PBS and high-brow documentaries on cable.
In addition to Moby Dick, I've read two more books: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Faust. That puts me dreadfully, behind schedule, but the project will continue. If it takes more than a year, than it takes more than a year. I will read all of those books within two years. That's definitely a better time line and it puts me exactly on course.
I've also had to rethink my plan to limit myself to the twelve books. (I can hear Laurie saying 'I told you so.') I'm never going to be the sort of person who can have two books going at a time, so I'm going to take the summer off from reading dangerously. In the autumn, I will implement my new plan - to read one dangerous book a month. If I finish the book early, then I can read trash for the rest of the month. (I don't know what will happen if it takes more than a month to finish a book. I'll give myself a demerit or write 'I will not be so intellectually lazy' two hundred times.)
Back to the books. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was okay, but it's one of those things where knowing the ending sort of ruins the book. It's a slim volume, with not much 'there there', if you know what I mean. The writing is engaging enough, but there's no impact at the end. Unfortunately, I can't really say much more about it.
Even more unfortunately, I have even less to say about Faust except that I hated it. It took me longer to read than Moby Dick and I found it more difficult to understand and assimilate. I don't like verse and I had a nagging feeling that if something rhymed in English, after translation from German, the meaning had more than likely changed.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I can hear a Laura Lippman novel calling my name.