Tea Time Ruminations: Reading Habits

Tea: Rose Petal Tea

Song: Leahkit by FRIKAR

I hope that everyone is well. I have been applying for jobs — mainly editorial jobs, and there is one I really am anxious from which to hear —, and setting up a reading schedule. I found my passion planner, which I adore, so I have been filling that. I have quite a schedule planned. For those who may have seen my last post, but who do not speak/read Nynorsk — especially probably a badly written one —, this one is on the same topic, although it will be more in-depth as my mother tongue is English.


I was given The Western Canon by Harold Bloom by my boyfriend’s mother as a birthday present. Though released in 1994, it was unknown to me. I have immediately taken it as a challenge. As such a challenge demands, I have gone through my books — which is not nearly as large as library as I need despite my boyfriend’s objections to  my buying more books —. Here is a list of the books on the entirety of the Western canon.

I am using the list, and tailoring the format for my own use. I, however, have more than a few of the classics already due to birthday presents from S.S. Trantham, and a graduation gift of spectacular proportions from Mme. Racine-Tenace, one of my French professors (puis-je utiliser « professeuse», « professeure», ou « professoresse» ? Moi, je préfère « professeuse» même si elle, L’Académie,  déteste cela. Cette instance est une des  instances rarissmes que j’utilise un mot qui est « non-standard » en français. ). She gave me two large — as in early 2000s computer size — boxes of her master’s, and PhD books. Between the two gifts, Mr. Trantham’s and Mme. Racine-Tenace, I have a few:

The bottom layer

I, naturally, concocted a reading challenge. Four classics per month from the Western Canon will allow me to finish it before 60 years of age. The exact age is up in the air as I actually screwed up already. He recommends some collections whereas I have read the complete works. I guess that I am an over-achiever in that way, but it will make the list even longer.

The top layer

Sappho’s complete poem collection is one of those that I got before I realised that it was part of a collection, and I am very glad that I did. Her poems seep with emotion, and she reminds me of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald in that everything is real, and tangible in her work. I cried multiple times in the few poems that we still have of hers, Sappho’s.

I also have already finished Gilgamesh. I understand the reasons for which it has survived. Even in fragments, it took me for an emotional ride. I cared about the hero very early. My friend, Ms. Lange, proposed an analysis comparing it to contemporary hero stories. That would be beautiful, and I must research more. It, the epic, was worth every stressful second, and every adrenaline-induced breath.


I am now working on The Iliad. The Odyssey is next, obviously. I am not content to just read four books a month though. I must be more active. I, therefore, added two French-language books, and put the stipulation that if it is a French (language) classic, I must read it in French.


Meet the two that I have picked for August. Alabama Song, I purchased when I was in France an age ago. I have yet to finish it. It discusses Zelda Sayre, and I love anything concerning her. Les Liaisons Dangereuses — yes, I used American rules on capitalisation as I am writing this in English — is one of the double-dips which counts as a French language book, and a classic. I cannot wait to finish both.

I cannot just favour my French books, however. I also want to read ‘contemporary’ books, or a better name would be ‘books for the hell of it’. These do not have to be actually contemporary, but for the most part will be. This month is:


I have been planning to read His Dark Materials for quite a while — I am one of those abrahamic-raised children who were not allowed to read it as they “kill” god. As I have not finished the series, I do not know if they actually do — ; Mr. Trantham has been demanding that I read The Way of Kings — probably to get his copy returned —; Somewhere in Time (originally published as Bid Time Return, in my opinion a much better title) is one of my favourite films — thank you, Dad, for introducing me to the film, and to Jane Seymour —; and, lastly, my boyfriend, and I are addicted to Miss Phyrne Fisher the show, so I naturally want to read the novels on which it is based.

Bottom Layer of contemporary books

If the producers of the show happen to read this, we would like another season.

Top Layer of contemporary books

Those are my reading plans for August. I could use supportive thoughts to get through them all. I am, after all, embarking on a reading list that will probably take me longer than I have been alive as of now.

I wish everyone well. Be safe. Be loved.

Lastly, here is the list from my passsion planner. Feel free to comment on my rushed handwriting.


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