Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's On My Nightstand: August 2012

The end of the month and in a way, the end of Summer. I didn't get as much reading in this month as I had hoped, but then I was setting the bar pretty high.

By the month's end I hope to say I finished TWO books! I quickly read Agatha Christie's A Caribbean Mystery before tackling my big read of the month --  Alexander Dumas' The Man in the Iron Mask. Which, by the way, I should note it was not until after I set the goal to read this book during the month of August that I became aware of the fact it is not a stand-alone novel, but instead the last part of the final novel in a trilogy. That's right. Alexander Dumas wrote three novels (serialized) collectively known as The d'Artagnan Romances: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. It is in the last part of The Vicomte de Bragelonne that The Man in the Iron Mask can be found. Talk about confusing! No wonder I felt so lost when I picked up the novel. I felt as though I was the only newcomer in a room full of people who not only knew each other, but had a past history with each and everyone else in the room, but me!

So what have I learned while reading The Man in the Iron Mask? Among those things relating to the story itself I have learned:

1. I need to read more Dumas (and in proper order).

2. I need to tell other readers that if they wish to read The Man in the Iron Mask they should hold off until they've read the earlier parts to the saga as intended by the author. Of course, if they decide to press on (as I did) then I highly encourage them to access a copy of Cliff Notes so they can reference the characters or plot summary whenever they get lost or bogged down in the plot. (I confess I had to do this a time or two.)

Whew.... Now on to the rest of my nightstand.

Once I finish The Man in the Iron Mask I hope to return to Vanity Fair, which is languishing on my nightstand. I also have the next Agatha Christie novel to read, At Bertram's Hotel. The fact that it too has languished on my nightstand testifies to: my lack of time to read this month and/or my dedication to Dumas. Either way, I hope to tackle it in the next week. I could use an easy read.

What else? I'm missing this next month's book club meeting, which is all fine and good since I have been unable to complete the assigned reading. So I guess I'll just wait and see what they choose for October and hope that I can get to it in a timely manner.

In the meantime... I am reading Charlotte's Web aloud to my 5 year old during our lunch hour. And I have a list of new releases that I'm waiting for at my local library. If I'm lucky enough they should arrive one at a time over the next four months. Among them I plan to check out: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty and The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. In addition I have a longer list of older books that I have only recently discovered and hope to read... but we'll see, one book at a time!

What about you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by your TBR list? Did you get much reading done in August? What books are you hoping to tackle before the end of the summer, or the end of the year? Let me know, or head over to 5 Minutes for Books and link up your own Nightstand Post!


Cassandra said...

My TBR list is extremely overwhelming but I remind myself that the library is always accessible. :) I've added 8 books to my list because of the Nightstand posts and I think that might be an all-time high in the months that I've participated.

There is an author with the last name of Moriarty? Cool! This is completely unrelated, but I can't wait until the third season of Sherlock hits the BBC. ;)

Good reminder on Dumas. I've watched The Man in the Iron Mask and read The Three Musketeers. Dumas is a really good author but it's a good idea to read his works in order.

Happy September reading!

bekahcubed said...

I hate it when something like discovering that you're starting in the middle happens after you've already worked so hard to psych yourself up to read something. I'm such a lazy reader, I feel like I'd give up at that point. Good for you for keeping going.

You've got quite a few classics on your list!

Annette Whipple said...

Isn't amazing how we sometimes learn something new about a classic? I didn't know that The Three Musk and Iron Mask were related...but I have not read either. :)

I did read a bit more MHL with my kids this month though. :)

Ann Summerville said...

I didn't realize it was part of a series either. Thanks for posting. I'm reading David Copperfield and this is the first full length version of Dickens that I've read. Although I've always appreciated his storytelling. I didn't appreciate what an amazing writer he is.

Danielle said...

I'm reading Charlotte's Web to my boys too. They're loving it!

Carrie said...

Um, yes, I am feeling overwhelmed. My only goal at the moment is to START TMiTIM before August is officially over. So, like, Friday. ;D

Marie Cloutier said...

I'm feeling totally overwhelmed with my TBR. Just trying to take it one page at a time!