Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Monday--What Are You Reading?

Sheila at Book Journey hosts this weekly meme: "This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!"

Here's what I'm reading:

Hugo's opus about the "miserable ones" of this world.  It's not just about misery, though.  It's about sin and redemption, and doing right, even when that means great personal sacrifice.  It's also an intermittently page-turning adventure story.  The opening chapters about the good Bishop of Digne  are unforgettable, and set the tone for the rest of the book.  I'm a little more than halfway through.

Playwright, dissident writer, and independent Czechoslovakia's first president, Vaclav Havel wrote essays that influenced not only the Czech independence movement, but those of other Soviet-bloc countries, including Poland's Solidarity movement.  To be honest, I'm finding the style a bit dry, but the impact these essays and letters had, and the courage it must have taken to write them, was enormous.  These documents dissect the peculiar nature of the totalitarian system Havel lived under, and reveal the train of logic that inspired the dissident movements.  

I've never read any of the Harry Potter books in English.  But in German, this one is enough of a challenge that it's taking me quite a long time to get through.  This is the first book (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone).  I'm almost halfway through now, and have gotten into enough of a "groove" that I can get through a chapter or so a day.  As always, I don't know every word, but I've improved enough that I can understand the story without resorting to the dictionary too often.