The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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December 28, 2015

#6barsets, with thanks

I was starting to think about a favorite-books-of-the-year list, but then I remembered that my favorite-reading-experience-of-the-year deserved its own mention. I haven't done a great job of writing about these wonderful books, but I did enjoy them, so very much.  And I hope it goes without saying that reading them with friends was a large part of what made reading them so wonderful.  My very, very heartfelt thanks to JoAnn, who read all six of them with me!  I can' t think of a better reading companion, and it makes me happy to know that we have a new favorite author in common :) And thanks also to Lisa and Bellezza, who Trolloped with us, too and  made our reading of the last couple of books even better. {Finally, I hope she doesn't mind, but I'm adopting Claire, who just wrote a wonderful post about The Last Chronicle.}

I wish I could think of some more profound things to say about these books, but here, at least, are some of the reasons I enjoyed them so much ...

  • the recurring characters and interweaving story lines, because once I met some of these people it would have been unbearable to let them go (and, because I read some many series mysteries, I find myself longing for this kind of recurrence in other kinds of books :)}
  • the enormous cast of characters, and the fact that some of my favorites (Miss Dunstable, Miss Oriel) were 'minor' ones (esp. because the intended 'heroes' and esp. 'heroines' were not always the characters I wanted to spend time with)
  • Mrs. Proudie and Mr. Slope
  • The differences in the kind of storytelling, and the kind of humor, in the six books {I think I noticed this most on going from Barchester Towers to Doctor Thorne...}
  • starting to read Victoria Glendinning's excellent biography alongside {abandoned, but not on purpose, and not forever} and seeing how Trollope wove current events into his writing
  • Trollope's willingness to see some good in all his characters, even the horrible ones.
And, even though three of these books were re-reads for me, they're still my first Trollopes, so knowing that there are so many more left. :)


Karen K. said...

Some day I want to read this entire series back to back to back -- probably after I've finished all 47 novels AND the short stories! I have three more Pallisers to go so I think 2016 will be a good year for Trollope!

Congratulations on finishing the Barsets!

Frances said...

Congratulations! It was good fun following your group experience, and more than once, it made me a little jealous over the fun that was being had. I have the same bio you are reading, waiting for me when I get around to it. Hopefully next year. But I keep saying that baout so many books... :)

Lisa said...

Thank you again for inviting us along! It was great fun. Even though I didn't manage all #6Pallisers, you inspires me to read the Snow biography, and to tackle some of the other Trollopes on the TBR shelves.

And I do recommend Orley Farm, when you're next in a Trolloping mood - at least from the first half.

JoAnn said...

My thanks to you,, Audrey!! #6Barsets was the most enjoyable reading experience ever... a new favorite author, 3 novels added to my all-time favorites list, and of course, " Trolloping with friends". How about a #PalliserParty in 2017?

Audrey said...

Oh, yes please!!!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I'm not disciplined enough for readalongs but thank you so much for including me on the periphery of your discussions and inspiring me with you own enthusiasm for the books.

Thank you for visiting!

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