When people find out that I'm an English major I've noticed that they right away assume that I have certain tastes in reading. They expect me to know and love all of the classics and if I deign to read anything more modern than Tolstoy, certainly not anything mainstream. But I'm not that kind of reader.
I like reading lots of the "classics" (although when I was growing up I hated anything that I had to read for class *rebel at heart*), in fact Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte are two of my favorite authors, but I also love reading pop fiction. YA fantasy and science fiction are my favorite.
Since the last time I wrote about my current reads Nick and I finished reading The Night Circus and it was wonderful all the way through. If you haven't read it you should; it was captivating. Lately, I've been reading a smattering of science fiction/fantasy (can you tell that I'm an Orson Scott Card fan?) with some English novel classics thrown in and a little poetry to top it all off. For some reason I think that this time of year is meant for poetry, for curling up with some pumpkin hot chocolate, wrapped in a blanket absorbed by elegantly formed verse.
Robin McKinley is brilliant as always and even though I'm not very far into Dragonhaven yet, I already completely believe that Smokehill National Park not only exists, but should be on every family's vacation spots that they plan to visit.
I am apparently in the minority in having never read Heart of Darkness up til now. I knew of it, and thought I knew about it, but this short read was more complex than I expected (possibly aided by the fact that I read it for a class and we discussed it in depth) This novel wasn't nearly as black and white as I was led to believe.
Orson Scott Card sucks me into his worlds every time. Lost Gate and Ruins are pretty different, Norse mythology and time traveling pre-Earth-Human, but Card's characters are so dynamic and real, even the completely detestable ones, that I'd read anything he wrote. If only he would finish some of the series he has me addicted to.
The Thirty-Nine Steps was another book for my English Novel class, but I didn't have to fight to get into it. I felt like I was sitting in Humphrey Boggart's detective's office, like in The Maltese Falcon as I read this book. It's one of the first spy/mystery type novels and has such a quick, informal writing style that it's easy to forget the narrator's name (Richard Hannay) because you feel like you're right there with him throughout the story, not reading about it as a second-hand witness.
Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets. He was the Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003, which I imagine would be the most validating feeling in the world. (How many people even study poetry; not literature or creative writing in a general way, but specifically poetry?!) He has a fun, quirky tone and while reading his poetry is wonderful, listening to him read them is so much better. There are a lot of recordings available online, here is one of my favorites. So clever!