Jun 5, 2014

BookPage and Middlemarch.

So once a month at the library where I work a box arrives that has in it a freshly printed stack of a monthly book review publication called BookPage. I live for the arrival of this publication. Once it arrives I am obsessed with getting all my work done so I can greedily start perusing through it. I swear this little publication has introduced me to way too many books. I think the publication must be thirty or so pages long. And it is very full of book reviews....non fiction, romance, mysteries, kids...everything. You probably already got that part :) I try to read every single review even though I do not usually do mysteries, thrillers, romances or popular authors. Yeah, I know you are wondering so what does she read? I still try to give them a chance....just in case. And actually a few months ago I read about a James Patterson book called First Love that was based on James's first love in real life and of course I had to read it even though I have never read anything by James Patterson before. It drives me a teeny bit crazy when people come to the counter at the library to look for a book and they declare that they need something to read but they only read one genre so I figure I better be open minded so I can freely judge them for not being open minded :)

Anyway, I always grab some scratch paper for writing book titles down before I grab my copy of BookPage and sometimes I even have time to just go straight to the computer and put holds on any books that catch my eye. Warning this method can backfire!!! I have had three books arrive at the same time since I am so greedy. I have discovered so many books this way. I know you are wondering how you can get your hands on a copy of BookPage and I am honestly not sure if your library offers them too. But do not fret you can actually just look it up online. Just google BookPage and voila there it will be. Some of the books I end up reading I do not really love but some have immediately shot to my favorites list and not to be dramatic or anything but some have changed my life :)

Just last month I came across a review about a book called My Life In Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. I read the review and felt that familiar feeling surge through me that declares "you have to read this book" but before I ordered it I quickly realized that there is actually a book out there called Middlemarch. I started researching and was stunned to discover that Middlemarch is a classic written by George Eliot. A classic I had never heard about? As I kept researching the accolades for Middlemarch were piling up and I realized before I could read My Life in Middlemarch I had to read Middlemarch. All things in order! So I went to the computer and logged into my library account and requested it. 

When it finally came it was a very big and very yellow book....very in your face...no hiding you are reading this book. Some publishing company somewhere is publishing a series of the classics with bright yellow covers even the edges of the paper that the book is printed on is very yellow. You never know what the book will look like when it comes when you place a book on hold from another library. I love to see peoples faces and hear their comments when I get their hold off the shelf at the library and they say, "wow that is a little book" or "wow that is big book" or "hey that is a weird cover". Funny how we have expectations of our books :)

The book arrived right before I went on my trip to Utah way back in April. I was immediately pulled into the story but it was so many words. And for me the biggest word lover on the planet that is saying something. Every single one of these words meant something.,,,they all had to be there. I am not sure if I have ever read a book like that before. I really had to focus when I read this book thus, Jennifer, the girl who can rip through a 350 page book in one day took 7 weeks to read 898 page Middlemarch. It kept my attention it was just a careful, thoughtful process. I loved every minute of this book. The way "George" writes about people and their reasons for what they do and their lives in the town of Middlemarch was incredible. I confess this book made me do something I have never done before....I copied quotes out of it.... ALL the time. I have a little hardcover book that I carry with me everywhere to write all sorts of things down in and I was furiously copying quotes from Middlemarch into my book. I have never felt like I was the main character in a book before. But I bonded with Dorthea immediately. I had felt everything she had felt. No one had ever expressed it so well. This book has affected me so much that I have been known in the last few weeks to randomly pull my notebook out of my bag and corner friends and read quotes to them from Middlemarch.

Quotes like:

"Will again feared he had gone too far but the meaning we attach to words depends on our feeling and his tone of angry regret had so much kindness in it for Dorthea's heart which had always been giving out ardour and had never been fed with much from the living beings around her, that she felt a new sense of gratitude and answered with a gentle smile."
Middlemarch page 238

"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?"

"but you do forgive me? said Dorthea with a quick sob. In her need for some manifestation of feeling she was ready to exaggerate her own fault."

Yeah, I could go on for days...but I will spare you. But if you happen to decide to read Middlemarch I would love to hear what you thought about it.

The best part is that as soon as I finished Middlemarch and begrudgingly gave it back to the library what did I find in the book drop as I was checking books back in to the library? My Life In Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. It was meant to be. I furtively checked it in holding my breath so that it would not get sent to someone else in another library. Thankfully someone loves me and it was not grabbed for someone else and I checked it out...now I just need to find time to read it. 

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