Today ends February, and so goes 2013's National Novel Reading Month. I've seen several people knocking off their classics in the last few days, and I've got particular pride in Tony Noland for finally conquering Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. I really ought to get to that, especially after how much I enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49.
Middlemarch's 1,000 pages too me twenty days, including the two I spent stuck in trains and depots. Having an enormous classic is a great way to pass long waits and, it turns out, to keep strangers from talking to you. It's easily one of the most ambitious novels I've read and has made me question many of the conventions of satire and social criticism. There's an essential empathy, a mandatory understanding behind any unkind action, that makes most conflict-writing feel... well, "lazy" is a nice way of putting it. You can read my full review right here.
I'll pitch that we run it in January next year, 2014, for a few reasons. January would let everyone start the year off with conquering a classic, and there's a little New Years power to such things. January also has three more days than most Februaries, and there would be no unintentional slight against Black History Month, one of the few "official months" I hold in serious reverence.
If you have a National Novel Reading Month wrap-up post, please link to it in the comments. I'll create a junction post here for fellow readers to blog hop across.
1. Cindy Vaskova's tremendous closing on Frankenstein.
2. Eric Krause finishes Princess of Mars.
3. Tony Noland finishes Gravity's Rainbow.
So, who's finished? And what are you reading next? I'm deciding between Brandon Sanderson's The Final Empire and Joe Abercrombie's Red Country.