What's a Common Reader -- and what is Uncommon Reading?

Virginia Woolf defined a common reader as someone who is not a scholar; not a critic. A common reader "reads for his own pleasure rather than to impart knowledge or correct the opinions of others. Above all, he is guided by an instinct to create for himself, out of whatever odds and ends he can come by, some kind of whole." By that definition, I'm definitely a common reader -- reading an uncommonly large and diverse collection of books.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just Added to My Shelves:

Well, the temperatures hit 105 or 106 degrees Fahrenheit here in New York on Friday, depending on which media outlet you believe (although both seem to agree that, factoring in humidity, it felt like 115 degrees). And it wasn't much better Thursday. So I hope you'll forgive me if my rate of posting has slowed somewhat! Between work and the heat, this has been a sluggish end to the week, to put it mildly.

However, I have been adding books to my shelves, both real, borrowed and cyber. My fellow Kindle afficionados may be pleased to learn that there is another big sale underway, with prices on an esoteric array of books slashed to as little as 99 cents or a maximum of $3.99. Needless to say, some of these now reside on my Kindle...

Here's the update:
  • Galore by Michael Crumney (Kindle sale)
  • Let's Kill Uncle by Rohan O'Grady (library)
  • House of the Hanged by Mark Mills (UK purchase)
  • The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas (UK purchase)
  • The Vault by Ruth Rendell (eGalley from Simon & Schuster)
  • The Three-Arched Bridge by Ismail Kadare (Kindle sale)
  • On the Road to Babadag by Andrzej Stasiuk (Kindle purchase)
  • In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh (Library)
  • Who Are We - And Should it Matter in the 21st Century? by Gary Younge (Kindle purchase)
  • Balthasar's Odyssey by Amin Maalouf (Kindle sale)
  • The Women of the Cousins' War by Philippa Gregory et. al. (eGalley)
  • Nairobi Heat by Mukoma wa Ngugi (NetGalley)
  • After Midnight by Irmgard Keun (NetGalley)
  • Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville (Kindle Sale)
  • A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz (Library)
  • Murder on Sisters' Row by Victoria Thompson (Library)
  • Two Lives by William Trevor (Library)
  • Limassol by Yishai Sarid (Library)
  • Eros by Helmut Krausser (Library)
  • Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson (Library)
You may well wonder whether any of these library books actually make it back to the library. When I borrowed many of these, I was astonished that it was possible to renew them as many as 99 times. Now I'm just grateful...

See you back here when the heat abates a bit!

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