It’s been forever since I’ve done a meme like this, but I’ve seen this book meme circulating and I’m brain-fried enough to need some structure for my content this evening. So!
The book I am reading: I’m about 3/4 of the way through The Ambassadors, which I’d tried once before and hadn’t gotten into. I love James, though I think I’m more comfortable with the middle period than his late style (I haven’t read The Golden Bowl or The Princess Casamassima yet, though). The Ambassadors is — well, it’s an entire book about whether one young man will choose to leave one place and go back to another, from the POV of a fifty-year-old friend of the family who overthinks everything. It makes me want to flee to Paris myself, or rather to the Paris in the book. It’s a ridiculous book, in some ways — it has essentially no plot and the majority of the action involves characters turning each other’s words around and emphasizing things when they talk — but it’s very beautiful, too. I’m really enjoying it.
The book I am writing: Killingly — my 1890s New England Gothic about a disappearing college girl and her unusual best friend. And I recently finished writing a book-length dissertation, which should count for something, I think.
The book I love most: I’ve seen a lot of people refusing to choose, and I sympathize. Today I would say Middlemarch. Tomorrow it might be Persuasion, or Portrait of a Lady, or Possession.
The last book I received as a gift: There is a wrapped book sitting downstairs waiting for me to open it on my birthday tomorrow. I’m trying to remember what book I was given most recently before this. Possibly a gluten-free cookbook from family at Christmas?
The last book I gave as a gift: Hermione Lee’s A Very Short Introduction to Biography, which is really charming and well-put-together.
The nearest book on my desk: The fantastic Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington, A. C. Elias, Jr.’s 1997 edition from the University of Georgia Press. It’s two volumes totaling 845 pp., the second being only notes. LP is one of my dissertation subjects, and she’s probably the one I’d most want to invite over for tea. The gossip would be exquisite.
PS. Don’t forget about the Con or Bust auction entry for Alcestis — bidding ends on Sunday.