What Are You Reading: Mostly, Les Mis

itsmondayI think it’s time for another installment of What Are You Reading?  🙂  What I have been reading is lots and lots of science fiction, but I’m getting down to the end of my stack.  I’m midway through Federation, leaving just one Trek book left from my original plans…and quite a few new additions to the To Be Read list after reading everyone else’s reviews for the Sci Fi Experience!

But for the moment I’m stepping away a bit from the sci fi.  In my ongoing quest to finish series, I have the next installment of the Pink Carnation series, The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig.  It’s a series of historical fiction romances–with spies!–and while some are better than others, they’re always quite a lot of fun.

P1020361After I check that one off, I’m finally diving into Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.  I bought a big, thick, not-too-heavy copy and am ready to go on that one.  I was debating about which translation to get, and then in the end I wound up with a copy that doesn’t list the translation–even though I spent five minutes in the book store peering at the table of contents, the jacket flaps, etc.  I did discover in the (very long) table of contents that the book is divided into five parts, so I might intersperse other reading in between–or not, if I’m being carried along by the story.

If I do intersperse, I have a handful of quick reads that ought to be a nice break from the long and dense classical fiction…Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, a graphic novel; The Four Seasons of Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem, which is more or less a picture book collection; and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, which may not be short in itself, but is a collection of short stories I could dip in and out of.

Hmm…as I consider all this, I kind of feel like Les Mis is the heavy-gravity planet that all my other reads are currently orbiting around (it’s all that sci fi reading…)  I am slightly intimidated, but also excited.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

In the meantime…what are you reading?

And as an addendum note–this is my 500th blog post!  *tosses confetti*

27 thoughts on “What Are You Reading: Mostly, Les Mis

  1. 500 posts, that’s awesome! Here’s to the next 500. 🙂

    I just finished book one of Les Mis and am now reminded of how Hugo likes to leave you on cliffhangers while he goes off on historical tangents. Ah.

    I find that most editions I come across are Wilbour translations. I have a Wilbour right here if you want to compare:

    “In 1815, M. Charles François-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D—. He was a man of seventy-five, and had occupied hte bishopric of D— since 1806. Although it in no manner concerns, even in the remotest degree, what we have to relate, it may not be useless, were it only for the sake of exactness in all things, to notice here the reports and gossip which had arisen on his account from the time of his arrival in the diocese.”

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure how well this breaking-the-book-into-chunks idea is going to work…

      Doesn’t seem to be Wilbour’s translation. I’ve got “In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Biship of D—. He was an old man of about seventy-five years of age; he had occupied the see of D— since 1806. Although this detail has no connection whatever with the real substance of what we are about to relate, it will not be superfluous, if merely for the sake of exactness in all points, to mention here the various rumors and remarks which had been in circulation about him from the very moment when he arrived in the diocese.”

      I LOVE that he starts the book by telling us something not really relevant, and tells us directly that he’s doing that!

        1. I love that you sleuthed out which translation it is! And I agree, I don’t understand why they don’t put the translator on every edition. They’re partial authors, in a way, and I would imagine they have some copyright claim on their particular translations…

          That’s pretty much the copy I have–I just have an oval shape instead of the fancy fleur de lis, but otherwise it looks the same.

          1. Ah, well, the Hapgood translation is the one available online, so it wasn’t too hard to track down. 😉 The translators certainly are partial authors; they’re interpreting someone else’s work and intentions. Some translators even take liberties with what should be left in/modified, etc and create a little something new. There are certain lines I like better in certain translations just because such ‘n such a line will convey a feeling much better. But yeah, they definitely deserve to be credited some way, even if the copyright is out of date.

            Awesome, I shall see about getting it. 🙂

  2. Congrats on your 500th blog post! Les Miserable is one of those books I plan to read at some point but I know it will take me a while to get through it. I do have it on my Kindle so I’m one step closer to reading it than I was a few years ago.

    1. I put off the huge books as well…which is exactly what I’m trying to get over with my goal to read long books this year. I figure once I tackle Les Mis, nothing else can be as intimidating!

    1. The Pink Carnation books are a lot of fun–as are the Reeves-Stevens’ Star Trek novels, in completely different ways, of course! Prime Directive is a favorite for me as well, and I’m thoroughly enjoying Federation.

  3. Congrats on 500!! Excellent! I say I want to tackle Les Mis but haven’t as yet. I think about downloading it to my Nook so I won’t have to hold such a big book, since I do a lot of reading on my exercise bike, but if I’m going ot do it, I want to do it with the real book. Never thought about searching different translations, it makes sense though. More things to think about before i actually read it!!

  4. dianem57

    Congrats on your 500th blog post! Let us know how you do with Les Mis. That is quite a reading project to take on. I’m reading “My Life in France,” by Julia Child. It’s a fun read – very descriptive of France itself and its food – written in Julia’s distinctive voice.

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