“This is the saddest story I have ever heard.”
It has been a long, long time since a book has made me angry, yet A Good Soldier has managed to disturb my normally cheerful and placid demeanour. It was part of a buddy read yet most of the participants dropped out after reading the beginning of the book. Sadly, I persevered and I don’t think I’m the better for it.
And thus we begin our read-along of The Art of Loving, beginning with the first chapter: Is Love An Art? In his Preface, Fromm cautions us not to expect easy instruction in the art of loving and, in fact, acquiring this art is a rare accomplishment because of our lack of qualities necessary to love. However that does not mean we mustn’t try.
As I mentioned in my Books of Autumn post, after my C.S. The Four Loves read-along I’ve been interested in reading more books on the same subject with two in mind: The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm and On Friendship by Marcus Tullius Cicero. So with a little prodding (you know who you are, lol!) I’ve decided to host a read-along for both of them during the month of October. It’s a little bit of short notice, I know, but The Art of Loving is a mere 120-ish pages and On Friendship is an essay, so please join in any time you can; if you can’t start on the 1st, it will be easy to catch up.
Autumn is a lovely time of year when the often hectic life of summer at least settles into some routine. For some reason, while I generally dislike book lists, I do like making a list for autumn and this year is no different. And thankfully the Top Ten Tuesday topic fits right in so here I go!
A Shilling For Candles: “It was a little after seven on a summer morning, and William Potticary was taking his accustomed way over the short down grass of the clifftop.”
A woman is found drowned in the Channel near Westover, and questions abound as to the circumstances. At first, her death is a suspected accident or suicide but when the police discover her torn fingernails and a black button torn from a man’s coat entangled in her hair, murder is apparent. The woman is discovered to be Christine Clay, a famous actress, and Inspector Grant is soon called to investigate the case.
The Return of the Native: “A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment.”
Oh my, I was laughing after finishing this novel, which perhaps wasn’t the reaction that Hardy had envisioned. But the drama! The high drama! I was beginning to wonder what other circumstance of fate (which actually didn’t seem like fate but a deliberate thwarting of anyone’s happiness) was going to occur to cause yet another catastrophe. It was a medley of characters making the same mistakes over and over again and never learning one thing from them.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: “Mrs. Ferrars died on the night of the 16th-17th September — a Thursday.”
Detective: Hercule Poirot
Published: June 1926
Length: 224 pages
Setting: the village of King’s Abbot (fictional)
After The Secret of Chimneys, Christie returned with another Hercule Poirot mystery (#3) and, ah yes, she certainly outdid herself with this novel, even improving over her masterful mystery plotting in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Our intrepid sleuth Hercule Poirot returns, but as a retired detective living in the village of King’s Abbot, unobtrusively growing vegetable marrows of which he is having a minimal success. Dr. Sheppard and his sister Caroline live in the neighbouring house to Poirot: Caroline the village busybody, yet with a surprisingly sharp yet empathetic intellect, and the good doctor, a steadying personality and the voice of reason.
As we reach the end of our The Four Loves Read-along, we have so far investigated Affection, Friendship and Romantic Love (the natural loves) but none of these loves are sufficient in and of themselves without another Love to support the feelings and keep them sweet. Lewis now investigates Charity, or Agape (ἀγάπη).
I was hoping to get my last C.S. Lewis post up from the June (ahem!) Read-Along first but August is swiftly drawing to a close so I’m going to post this now. I know you all wait with baited breath for my monthly posts (LOL!), so here it is. And bear in mind, I’m writing like it’s July 31st; August news will wait until my next post!