Still working my way through the complete works of Shakespeare and the almost complete works for Poe, and I’m getting to the light at the end of the tunnel. This project has been a year in the making, and it’s hard to believe I’m almost done. In February I also did some joy reading this month with Stiff. Because yes, reading about corpses is my idea of joy reading.
Here are the books I read in February:
Novel and Poems from Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Works, Deluxe Edition by Edgar Allan Poe
Here’s what I read from Poe in February:
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838): Even though the entire plot is given away in a synopsis at the beginning of the novel (why, Poe, why?) and the last chapter was omitted in what I feel was a cop out, the novel was a pretty fun and gruesome adventure. It can get a little silly, and there were some continuity errors, but for the most part is was enjoyable.
Selected Poems: Save the best for last! I’m so in love with Poe’s poems. They are dark and gorgeous and I’m going to read them over and over again (unlike the majority of the short stories, if we’re being honest).
And that’s it for Poe! I can’t really say that I’ve read his complete works, as it contains 30/57 of his published peoms and doesn’t include Poe’s unfinished novel The Light-House. But still, the complete set of short stories, his completed novel, and more than half of his poems? That’s an accomplishment to FINISH.
Plays from The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare
I’m still working my way through the complete works of Shakespeare! I’m happy to announce that I’m on par.
Here are the plays I read in February:
King Lear (1603-1606) Dude’s jerk, 2/3 of his daughters are evil, and all does not end well.
Romeo and Juliet (1591-1595) I pretty much have this play memorized. I’ve obsessively loved it since it I was 12 (though, I’m in the camp that argues that Romeo and Juliet are infatuated and not really in love). Also, I can’t read it without the soundtrack from the 1996 Romeo + Juliet movie literally playing on queue in my head. …And even though Romeo and Juliet’s relationship bugs me (You were just moaning about Rosaline five minutes ago, dude! Even though your poetry was stronger for Juliet, that doesn’t negate that fact PLAYA!), I’ll have to admit that Jake got made out with a lot more as a direct result of me reading this play. Who needs crappy romance paperbacks when you have Shakespeare? TMI? It’s getting late as I write this and my filter seems to have disappeared.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (2004) by Mary Roach
Truth: Stiff is pretty much my perfect book.
It was graphic and a little stomach churning (which, in my opinion, was a good thing), thoughtful, and HILARIOUS. Not a combination you would expect from a book about the curious lives of cadavers.
I read the first couple of chapters out loud to Jake in the car during our January road trip, then read the rest on my own (but I still summarized pretty much the rest of the book to him). It also didn’t hurt that I was reading this while simultaneously having a Bones marathon last month.
The book contained a lot of great factoids that make for awesome conversation. My grandpa and I had a really long conversation about the placebo effect of transplant recipients who believe that traits were passed down from donors and the philosophy of being behind brain transplants (which are closer to a real thing than you would think). There are things to think about in here, and I love that.
And, this is probably not the reaction that most people would get from this book, but I am so donating my body to science. Let’s just go ahead and get that notarized, shall we? Jake’s on board with that too (though both of us prioritize organ donation.)
I can’t wait to start collecting everything else Mary Roach has written.
You can see all of my other reads posts here.
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Have you read any of these? What did you think? What are you reading lately?
P.S. I’ll be posting my 30 Days of Lists Week 2 Lists this afternoon!