March Update: Weather, Kindles and Reading Plans

After some promising signs of sun, and the premature appearance of T-shirts and vest tops, the weather is dreary again. It was only to be expected, really. However, dreary weather is good reading weather, and I’ve been making the most of it. Over the last week I’ve been reading Toby’s Room by Pat Baker, which I’m liking so far. To summarise very simply: it’s ultimately about life before and during WWI, art, and family. There are some parts of the novel I haven’t been too keen on, but I’ll elaborate my thoughts on the book in a full post next week.

As evident by the ever-growing proportion of library books on my bookshelves, most of my reading has been directed at university essays. I’m writing an English essay on the theme of uncertainty that prevails in the poetry of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost, and a Spanish essay on the theme of civilisation versus barbarism in Gabriel García Márquez’s Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold). Fortunately I’m enjoying the process of writing each essay, and I’m learning a lot too. That always makes the work a lot less arduous.

But anyway, in this post I’d like to outline my reading plans for the next week or so.

I’d like to finish…
  • Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
  • As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – Laurie Lee
I’ve been reading Leaves of Grass on and off for ages. I think I started it at the end of last year. I’ve annotated many poems and passages that I love, but the collection is just so long. It probably doesn’t help that I’m reading it on my Kindle; if I had a paperback copy it would be easier to flick through the book when I feel like it. My Kindle often becomes neglected when my university workload is overwhelming and I don’t have long train journeys to take. I’ll have to bear this in mind next time I start a poetry collection (I’m sure Kindle-haters are reading this with glee!)

For my Classics Challenge, I’d like to get started on…

  • The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Metamorphoses – Ovid
  • The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata
I’d like to spend more time on my Classics Challenge: perhaps the Easter holidays will be an ideal opportunity for this, when I don’t have pressing reading lists to consider. I’ve been meaning to read the three books mentioned above for a while now, and in particular Metamorphoses. It always seems to be mentioned in lectures. 

I’d also like to read…
  • A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy – William B. Irvine
  • Master and Men and Other Stories – Leo Tolstoy
  • Take Me to the Castle – F.C. Malby 
  • On Beauty – Zadie Smith

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned?
Is there anything else that you’d recommend?

It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at

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