Et bien, mes readers-along, si vous n’avez rien de mieux à faire, go to the master post for the read-along schedule and more.
Was I the only one surprised that this wasn’t a “Peace” section, given that Part I was all “Peace”, and part II was all “War”? The rest of the book seems to be mixed in this way. Maybe parts I and II were just Tolstoy easing us in.
Part III was a real mixed bag and I didn’t find a coherent pop culture parallel as I did in Parts I and II. However, I did notice two related themes that came up again and again:
- the futile pursuit of things you can never really have, or at least, you can’t keep (youth, glory, status, beauty) and,
- self-sabotage (marrying someone you know you don’t love, rushing into a battle you know you can’t win, everything Nikolai does).
I tend to find these types of posts self-indulgent and preachy, but I also tend to enjoy them, so here goes.
Sometimes I feel a little inadequate when I realize that many of the bloggers I interact with have English degrees, are teachers, are published authors, or work in publishing. Who am I to blog about books, with my English 101 and bureaucratic job? But on further reflection, I’ve accomplished quite a bit this year, and might have something worthwhile to share. Maybe you are a new blogger, like I was three years ago, and don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve been at this for a while and will nod your head (or disagree!) or maybe I’m just talking to hear the sound of my own voice. I’m okay with that.
Life Lessons for Book Bloggers
It is possible to find an online community that isn’t all drama. Over the years I have been part of (or lurked in) a few online communities and most are full of cliques and old grudges and drama. Entertaining for a while (sometimes for years in the case of a particular parenting forum) but eventually it becomes tiresome. Book blogging is not immune to drama, but I’ve found a wonderful group of bloggers who are truly here for the books. It’s great to have people to talk to, to drag to an author event or comment on your posts. It did take some fine tuning, but my advice is to seek out a local community, comment lots, and respond to comments. And use that unfollow button when necessary.
If you don’t like a certain type of blog event, keep looking. I used to give a strong side-eye to blogging events and memes and what not. Some of them see silly and just a convoluted way to get page views. But like most things, if you look hard enough, you’ll find something to suit! I went hard on readalongs this year. Readalongs appeal to me because they encourage discussion and getting to know other bloggers, and the updates are fun to write – gets you out of the rut of writing straight reviews. Here are the readalongs I participated in this year:
Go to events. If there are any author events in your area, do get out and experience them! The biggest change I made this year was going to readings and events. It’s another way of finding community and bringing it all to life. I went to everything from the basic Audrey’s basement event with coffee and cookies to a fancy wine & cheese to a panel discussion. Here are the events I went to this year: Continue reading
Sharpen your spears…. in just two weeks, Reading in Bed will host its first ever read-a-long!
Why Moby Dick?
I was challenged by my brother in law to read Moby Dick before the end of the year. But, I don’t know, MD feels like a summer book to me (keep in mind I read Roxana on my honeymoon in Mexico, so I don’t really do “beach reading.”)
I also want to have fun with this and get to know some of my fellow book bloggers a little better. If we can inspire and encourage people to read a book they might have been intimidated by otherwise (I am super intimidated, by the way,) that would be pretty cool, too.
Well, yes. It’s 750 pages long, and is purported to not just be about a whale, but to have whole chapters that are literally ABOUT a whale, like, details of anatomy and whaling and what not.
But, it’s also regarded as the Great American Novel, and possibly the first postmodern novel. That’s pretty amazing, considering it was written a hundred years before anyone else wrote a postmodern novel.
I’m going in with almost no expectations. I’m not doing a ton of research or reading other bloggers, like I usually do. The edition I bought has no introduction. So let’s just jump in!
What do I have to do?
Ready to sign up? Great! Leave a comment on this post and you’re all set. Here are some things you could do after that, if you’re so inclined:
- I’ll post every Monday with my thoughts on the chapters I’ve read and other random Moby Dick stuff. You could do that too!
- Comment on other people’s blogs. You can refer back to this post, or my most recent post, to see who else is blogging. I don’t know about you, but getting comments is pretty much the best feeling ever, so spread the love around!
- You can put a badge up on your blog -> see sidebar.
- You can tweet about what you’re reading with the hashtag #MobyDick2013.
- If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay! You can still comment and tweet. Or start a blog. Go crazy!
What’s in it for me?
At the end of it all, I’ll randomly select one of you to win a Moby Dick t-shirt (well, an gift certificate from Out of Print Clothing so that you may choose your own t-shirt.) E-Readers making it hard to show off how well-read you are? No problem. Let everyone know you’ve tackled that white whale. Just make sure you comment on this post, and participate a bit, and you’re entered to win.
You’ve got two weeks notice to finish up whatever you’re reading and find yourself a great paper or electronic edition. Feel free to fall behind or read ahead, but I’ll try to post according to this:
Start date and Introductory Post: Monday, May 20th, 2013. Etymology + Chapters 1-15: May 27th Chapters 16-30: June 3 Chapters 31-45: June 10 Chapters 46-60: June 17 Chapters 61-75: June 24 Chapters 76-90: July 1 Chapters 91-105: July 8 Chapters 106-120: July 15
- Chapters 121-136 + Epilogue : July 22
I’m still not sure….
Here are some links about how to read Moby Dick that you may find encouraging:
- The Blue Bookcase did a Moby Dick Readalong last year. I’m getting lots of inspiration from them. Here are their tips for reading Moby Dick.
- I generally do not approve of Oprah, but this is a quick read that makes me kind of excited to begin.
- If all else fails, would it help if Tilda Swinton read the first chapter to you? Of course it would.