Sunday Salon: Jan. 9, 2011

Ahhh, Sunday. What a relaxing end to a relaxing week. And yes, I’m not lying: this week was surprisingly relaxing, especially on the work front. While I scrambled a bit to find stories, there wasn’t much going on around Birmingham, which in its own way, is nice. Let’s not only let the journalists breathe, but let’s let the town catch up with itself after a busy holiday season. I also managed to squeeze in some social time, meeting a friend from college one afternoon, and then spent another morning with a co-worker indulging in french pastries from a fabulous local shop. To top it all off, I went to bed before midnight every night. So, I know I’m jinxing myself by writing this now, but if reveling in this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

The blogging and reading front went pretty well too. I’ve been slowly hacking away at Atlas Shrugged and am now about halfway through. I don’t think my slow pace is necessarily because of lack of reading time, but like I told Joel, Ayn Rand is so dense, there’s no other option but to read slowly. There’s so much going on—so much that’s “profound”—that one has to stop oneself occasionally and re-visit certain passages, or read the dialogue aloud. Reading aloud is, hands down, my favorite way to analyze and comprehend dense literature. I know it may feel like you’re back in 5th grade, where everyone reads a page of a Jerry Spinelli novel out loud. But it’s helped transform The Heart of Darkness as well as anything Matthew Arnold ever wrote (although I’m not recommending anyone read him for fun). And so, Atlas Shrugged may take me a month to read. As much as this puts the remainder of my reading list in danger, I’m not going to sacrifice quality in favor of quantity.

As for the rest of the week, I brought you two literary movie trailers: Jane Eyre and Moby Dick. I will definitely be seeing Jane Eyre, though I don’t know if I’ll let myself watch Moby Dick until I’ve read the original. I know, no fun Sally.

I also shared my own thoughts on the Huckleberry Finn debacle, specifically the censoring of the “N” word in a new edition by NewSouth Books. I like to think that I was one of the first to write and post an outraged diatribe on the subject, beating The New Yorker, the Guardian and Salon. However, did anyone notice? Did any of my fellow book bloggers link to me? Noooooo. Whatever (totally not bitter about this, can’t you tell?). To reiterate, censoring The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is outrageous and if you want to know more, read the post (although it’s good to know everyone agrees it’s a bad idea).

I also reviewed the delightful Jasper Fforde classic, The Eyre Affair, as well as discussed some very exciting wedding news (we booked a place!). For the upcoming week, I have plans to review The Intellectual Devotional, which I have been working on—day by day—throughout 2010. I’m also ready to bring you my literary roundup for the second half of the year, so be prepared for something relatively underwhelming, what with my “day job” taking up much of my former reading time.

Until then, enjoy your Sunday and happy reading!

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