I was planning on blogging last night but I got distracted. I know, it’s mind boggling, right? After all these years of dedicated and regular blogging what could possibly distract me from the task at hand?
Why books of course!
I haven’t had anything to review from Library Journal for months and I was beginning to wonder if they were trying to quietly forget about me and that would be totally cool because I was also really enjoying not having any books to read and review on their short 2-week deadline. But then in my mailbox arrived a book from them to review. This one is called Melville in Love: The Secret Life of Herman Melville and the Muse of Moby Dick by Michael Sheldon. The title makes it sound kind of cheezy but Sheldon is a Pulitzer Prize finalist in biography and the book is based on some fresh archival research. The muse in question is Sarah Morewood, a married woman with whom Melville had an affair around the time of his writing of Moby Dick. Racy! This might be interesting.
I also received an unsolicited book in the mail, The Miner by Natsume Soseki. Written in 1908, the book is a modernist classic in Japan where Soseki has the literary fame equivalent to Charles Dickens. Haruki Murakami also claims it is one of his favorite books. I have no idea when I might be able to read this book, but I put it on my reading table, the one with the pile of books that doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller.
And then I had to download some books to my Kobo because, do I need a reason? I got them all from Project Gutenberg for some classics yumminess. I had been thinking of rereading Jane Eyre and since I am reading A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman , a biography of Charlotte and her messed up family, it seemed like a good time to make sure the book was at hand. Very likely I will start reading it in the next day or two. Then I also got several “forgotten classics” by women that I culled from a list I can no longer remember from where. Today being International Women’s Day, you can possibly add them to your ereader or TBR list too:

  • The Morgesons by Elizabeth Stoddard. Published in 1862, the novel follows the education and development of Cassandra Morgeson, a middle-class American girl. Supposedly it challenges the religious and social norms of the time.
  • Moods by Louisa May Alcott. This was Alcott’s first novel. Published in 1864 and revised in 1882, tomboy Sylvia Yule goes on a river camping trip with her brother and his two friends both of whom fall in love with her. She marries one of them but discovers too late she chose the wrong one. What’s a girl to do?
  • American Indian Stories by Zitkala-Sa. This is a collection of childhood stories, fiction and essays. Zitkala-Sa was Dakota Sioux and born on the Yankton Reservation in South Dakota. She was taken away by missionaries when she was eight and sent to a Quaker boarding school in Indiana.
  • Hidden Hand by Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth. First serialized in the New York Ledger in 1859, then twice more after that before appearing as a book in 1888, it is the story of Capitola Black and her various adventures.
  • Anne by Constance Fenimore Woolson. Woolson is the grandniece of James Fenimore Cooper. This was her first novel, published in 1880. The story deals with the emotional and spiritual conflicts that arise when the young heroine leaves her home in Mackinac Island for a future in the Northeastern U.S. It was a bestseller in its day.

How are those for distractions?

With all this, before I knew it, my blogging window had closed and I spent a few minutes puttering around and psyching myself up for a hard bike workout – forty minutes of “sweet spot” training. That translates to pedaling just below my FTP (fitness threshold power) for the whole time. It also translates to forty minutes of playing mind games with myself – you can do it, no I can’t, yes you can, I’m going to quit, no you’re not, and on and on. I made it to the end and felt better for it, but ugh, sometimes working out is more of a mental game than it is a physical one.
Anyway, books, very distracting. Tomorrow I should actually have a review of a book that I did not want to end. Isn’t that a good tease?