Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My reward...

I have to say - I slogged through last month's Book Club selection. Granted, I did learn something of Bach + Frederick the Great + The Age of Enlightenment + Prussia + the Germanic dukedoms + galant + canon + fugue et cetera. But boyohboy it took me long and laboured hours to get through that book. This title, as one club member stated 'was not a lite summer read'.

That understood, my intention was to read enough to engage in a semi-informed discussion with my fellow book club readers. By the evening of our meeting, I had managed all but the last two chapters. Took notes in the margins, even! I successfully (?) offered a few enlightened comments to our booktalk. Not bad, considering I was interested in Bach's music and the Enlightenment; though not as much into the particulars of early German history. The book utilizes the history to frame in context the two aforementioned topics, which makes a whole lot of sense - but ohmygod the dates, places and names (all those Johanns!) did boggle my feebled brain...

At any rate, with the monthly meeting come and gone, the selection could have easily been retired to the shelf without me ever re-visiting it. Yet (doh!) I challenged myself to complete the read.

Why bother when 'the Bach book' proved so tough-going in the first place? This January 1st, I (foolishly - as new year promises often prove to be) resolved to get all-the-way-through Book Club Selections (if I begin them at all, that is...) however daunting the subject matter, writing, or small print (!). Some titles, particularly non-fiction - provide a special challenge in that they can come across rather 'dry'. Bottom line: it's too easy for me to give up on a book, move on and feel, once again - the failed bookworm.

As an incentive for reading the 'Bach book' through to the end, I dangled the proverbial carrot at the finish line: another book. One I've been looking forward to reading. For months. 'Color: A Natural History of the Palette' was highly recommended to me months ago. I bought the book, set it aside, and proceeded to go through the stack of titles already heaped on my bedside table before allowing myself to reach for this much-anticipated book. Today, having perused 'the stack' as well as 'the Bach book', I happily sat myself down, cracked open the smooth, untouched pages of 'Color' and read the preface...

Hallelujah!
I can already tell this is going to be a goodie. No slog this time round.

4 comments:

me again said...

Hello b'sblog! It's me, again!
I love all the color you are blogging!! (have blogged? Is blog a verb?) How would we have survived high school without art class and art history, too?!
For some wonderful and colorful paintings go see....
http://worldimages.sjsu.edu

baffle said...

Because I paid little attention to what was being taught to me in high school, I gave book-learnin' another chance more recently, in my 'middle-age'.
A 'returning student', a 'mature student' - whatever the moniker. This time round, I was de-sponge-a-soaking-up-information.
Took a bunch of courses, many in art: history, color theory, design...as well as quite a few studio art classes. The studio classes messed me up for awhile - then 'several someones' told me 'You learn the rules, then you break 'em'. Things began to make sense after that point...

[Thanks for the link!]

outadahbox said...

This is a belated response by the friend you badgered into reading "Color". Reading this book was a love/hate effort, mostly the latter. Slogging through the first 100 pages was a work of insanity. After that foundation, the rest was a true learning process. So much so that I accepted your challenge to tackle "Salt" next. Only my psychologist knows my present state.

But I offer my revenge, You must read, "A Perfect Red". It actually is so much better and far more interesting in the approach the author takes to cover information contained in the above two books and does it in a style that forces you to not want to put it down. This is a great book.

baffle said...

Outtadah - thank you for commenting and thank you for recommending the book - and hey - while I'm thanking you for those two things, I should also thank you for the loan of the recommended book. Eager to read it, and will commence to do so - tonight!