What's on your reading list right now? Do you even keep one? I may start a Pinterest board of books just to keep track of what I want to read. (Ugh, I know, one more thing to do.)
My reading lately had gotten to be all blog posts and nonfiction, especially things like "how to remodel your bathroom" or "Quilt Binding 101," good stuff but not exactly expanding my heart's horizons, you know?
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on the wonderful blog Life in Grace and Edie's book club. This is nor ordinary book club--October's book was Plato's Republic. January is The Aeneid by Vergil, so I decided to just jump in. I'm so glad I did! Today I am half-way done with it, and the entire book has captured my heart. Sarah Ruden, the translator for my edition, has kept the poetry in place as she translated it. I can't even imagine how hard that must have been.
The funny thing is, it isn't hard to read. It is wonderful, with beautiful language and a great big story. Already I have images swimming in my mind and heart--I don't think I will ever forget Dido's anguish over being left by Aeneas in particular. That part of the story, a beautiful strong queen wrecked by love--this is universal. I couldn't help but feel that this is why stories like this still exist. It speaks to the truth in all of us.
As a side note, I noticed something interesting. Even back then, in ancient days, people were sailing to new lands and colonizing. Dido and the Phoenicians left Tyre to found Carthage in Libya, and the Trojans in their defeat went to Italy, becoming the Romans. (Yes, I know that this is legend but there is always truth behind these stories that are handed down.) How funny! Sometimes we like to think that we Westerners, or Americans, were the first or only people to do something, for example, to settle a new country. But it's been going on for millenia, the way of people who want to move around the globe.
At the same time, I've also decided to read Hugo's Les Miserables. (After all, there is only so much metered epic poem that you can read at one time.) I swear I am the only person in the country who hasn't seen the musical or the movie, but I would like to read the book first. At more than 1100 pages, the movie might be in the dollar bin by the time I get to it. I am only about 80 pages in, but the writing and the ideas expressed are so beautiful, I just feel grateful to get to read it. Last night while I waited for the girls to ride their horses I sat in the car and read. I started crying over the beautiful way that M. Bienvenue, the priest, was so kind to Jean Valjean. A beautiful book.
I invite you to read either one along with me! Have you read any classics lately? Any favorites? Don't spoil Les Mis for me!