Bout of Books: Wednesday Progress Report

Yesterday I managed to finish Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game. It was the story our book club decided on and I was cutting it close since we were meeting that night to discuss it. I managed to wrap up the book but just barely, I read the last thirty pages two hours before we were supposed to meet.

So here’s my question: does anyone have a good in person book club they belong to? What are some of the things you do? I love being able to talk about a novel with other women and hear other people’s perspectives, but I was disappointed when I went last night to discover that half the women hadn’t finished the book whatsoever. One had only read 30 pages… What?

In total I read 207 pages yesterday, which I personally find pretty remarkable considering the fact I was in class for a solid part of the morning, taught an evening yoga class and had book club to work around. After finishing The Lying Game (review to come) I dipped my toe into Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead before going to bed last night. This is also a book club book for next week and I made it through the first ten pages before I gave up and went to sleep.

Today progress has been nonexistent since I’ve been inundated with training runs, class and labs, spending quality time with my family, and am going out to work with the rescue horses tonight, but I hope I can get past the four pages I only have now. I did read John Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” for my philosophy class, so there’s that.

And now, I leave you to decipher his words. Feel validated for not reading a bunch of stuff too:

Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal — yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!

Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands dressed?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attidude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”



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