Reading Everything in August

No, that is not the title of a challenge…but it may as well be.  I’m up to my ears in books and it’s wonderful.

Sweet peas and ocean breezes   ♥

I spent most of my July weekends working on a large volunteer project for a non-profit.  It was a beneficial experience, but more of a commitment than I realized.  Now that that’s pretty much wrapped up, I can turn back to books.

Here’s a quick list of what I’ll be reading this month, at different levels of undivided attention and in no particular order:

  • 1984 – George Orwell
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
  • Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian
  • Drawn from Memory – Ernest Shepard (illustrator of the original Winnie the Pooh)
  • Psalms (almost finished)
  • Tesla biography (yes, still)
  • Smart People Should Build Things and The War on Normal People – Andrew Yang
  • Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
  • Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
  • Other??  There’s sure to be more.

I probably mentioned before how many, many times I struggled to start Nostromo and stick with it.  Well, I’ve finally succeeded making it past the start, and it’s every bit as engrossing as I thought it would be.  Abandoned mines, haunted Englishmen, political unrest, and questionable investors…if you’re fascinated by 19th-century South American history, this book is all about it.  Some parts are pretty funny, close to dark humor but more often like Dickensian absurdism.

Some quotes from chapter 6:

‘We shall run the world’s business whether the world likes it or not. The world can’t help it – and neither we can, I guess.’ – random American character

* * *

The parrot, catching the sound of a word belonging to his vocabulary, was moved to interfere.  Parrots are very human.

Joseph Conrad 1916

I will never get over the fact that English was Conrad’s third language.  Regardless of one’s views on his politics or perspective, the man was brilliant with words.

Tonight I think I will go read the first chapter of Moby-Dick, because it’s the moment I’ve been waiting for – the beginning of Brona’s read-along

You can read a sample of my old thoughts on the novel here.  I first read Moby-Dick back in 2010… it feels like a lifetime ago.  Since then, these are some of the milestones which have happened in my life:

  • Entering/graduating college
  • Getting my first car and job
  • Learning real faith
  • Falling in love
  • Cutting my hair short
  • Writing drafts of two books
  • Buying two Apple products (whaaat?)

I so rarely re-read books that I’m really curious how I will react to this one.  Will I enjoy it as much as I did before?  Will I notice anything new?  I’ll be posting intermittently about it, so we’ll see how it goes.  🙂


  1. Lydia Avatar

    1984 is such a good story. I hope you enjoy it if this is your first time reading it (or even if it isn't! 🙂 )


  2. Brian Joseph Avatar
    Brian Joseph

    What an impressive list of books. I loved Nostromo for all the reasons that you mentioned. I thought that it was almost as good as Lord Jim, which is my favorite Conrad. Have fun with Moby Dick. I also read it twice. I think that it is s book that one gets more out of the second time around.


  3. mudpuddle Avatar

    bravo for rereading the whale book! once was too much for me… i read Nostromo a long time ago; should revisit, except there are so many books, so little.. anyway, good luck with the fascinating list! beautiful photo…


  4. Stephen Avatar

    I sea a trend!


  5. Ruth Avatar

    Same here…about MD. I read mine back in 2012. Curious how I will feel about it again.BTW, I have read 1984 three or four times, and each time I like it more and more. (Then again, I have always been odd.) But honestly, it is an important work.


  6. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    It is! I can't believe it's taken me so long. 🙂


  7. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    Your recent Nostromo review really motivated me to give it one (last) try and shoulder through the beginning. I'm getting a somewhat different vibe from it than Lord Jim or Under Western Eyes (my favorite so far), and it's great!


  8. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    Thank, Mudpuddle! The photo was taken at Sequim last month. I just love that area.To be honest, I can only read Moby-Dick before bed. It's perfect for winding down in glorious solitude, but somehow I think reading it on a plane or in a crowded place wouldn't be so fun.


  9. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    There shore is… 🙂


  10. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    I read the first chapters of MD last night and seriously didn't want to put it down. I'd forgotten much of the humor, and the writing is strangely modern, in a good way.I hope to finish 1984 in short order – it's a popular ebook at my library!


  11. mudpuddle Avatar

    we spent a very enjoyable week at Sequim a few years back… even the housing developments were nice, i thought…


  12. mudpuddle Avatar



  13. Brona Avatar

    Oh I love the Master and Commander series – I read the lot about 15 yrs ago – they will go rather nicely with Moby-Dick 🙂


  14. Marian H Avatar
    Marian H

    🙂 I never get tired of sea stories!


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