August 31, 2009

Required Reading

So I'm way behind on the "Books Read in 2009" list and don't know if I could remember everything I read since I last updated. So I'm going to try something new and tell you about what I'm currently reading for some of my classes.

SONS AND LOVERS by D. H. Lawrence
"The British Novel in the 20th Century"
Why it's relevant: Lawrence was a British writer in the twentieth century, duh. But SONS AND LOVERS displays the transition from the Victorian novel to the modern novel quite well, as it begins as one and ends as the other.
My reaction: I'm not very far into the book; I've just finished Part I. My mother likes SONS AND LOVERS, which prejudiced me towards this class when I saw it on the reading list. Victorian novels aren't really my thing (ugh, Thomas Hardy), aside from the fact abstract sex makes me giggle. Pretty much I'm just trying to figure out where this thing is going to go off the rails and goggling at how autobiographical it is.

"Major Writers of the Restoration and the 18th Century"
Why it's relevant: THE BEGGAR'S OPERA was a surprise theatrical success, playing off of Italian opera tropes in a play about the London underworld. The class is focusing on satire, and THE BEGGAR'S OPERA loves to stick it to Sir Robert Walpole.
My reaction: I'm halfway through the play; just finished Act I. I need to read Act II by Tuesday, which is no problem since it's even shorter and it's a very easy read. Gay is somewhat twisted, which I like. I love Peachem and his wife berating their daughter for marrying the man she's sleeping with instead of being sensible. Gay is not worried about subtlety.

INNUMERACY: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences by John Allen Paulos
"Problems in Modern Physics"
Why it's relevant: Apparently the first two chapters will teach me about solving Fermi problems, which is good since I have an entire problem set full of them due Thursday and there will be at least on per test.
My reaction: Haven't read it yet. I want to finish tonight so that I have two full nights to do the problem set.


  1. I really enjoyed The Beggar's Opera. In the class I took, the professor showed a movie of it which while dated really helped me visualize it. I wonder if it would have stuck with me so many years later if I hadn't seen the movie?

  2. I remember being so overwhelmed with reading and homework in college that I really didn't read for fun until after graduation. I'm impressed that you can keep up with the blog and your required reading!

  3. I have started FOUR Hardy novels and given up on them all. He's just not for me. I got the furthest into Tess but had to give up when she starting hating on herself for being raped. It just made me too sad. Madding Crowd was lighter going, but Shehererzade or whatever was just too up herself! Jane Eyre is my personal fave of the Great English Novels. I love the gothic stuff.

  4. I know that you read Fingersmith and Catching Fire!!


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