Lots of Nighttime Reading

Last summer, I read a series of books by Frank Yerby. Since I read at night before I go to sleep, I read about a book a month, unless they are shorter, then I may get through two. My reading list for the last several months in order since September is:

The Passions of the Mind, a biographical novel of Sigmund Freud, by Irving Stone (840+pgs)

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Possession by A. S. Byatt

Rule Britannia by Daphne du Maurier

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (362 pgs)

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Fifty Russian Winters, an American woman’s life in the Soviet Union, by Margaret Wettlin

Chaucer and the Legend of Good Women, a medieval murder mystery by Philippa Morgan

I will only talk briefly about three of these books beginning with what I'm currently reading The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (504 pgs).


Geoffrey Chaucer
This is my second attempt at reading The Canterbury Tales. When I first started reading it a year ago, I could not get into his style of writing and didn’t get past a few pages. The entire book is in rhyme. Now I love reading and writing poetry at times, but reading an entire book of it….I couldn’t get into it. However, during the last few weeks I am now half way through it. The Canterbury Tales is a group of stories told to a host of an inn by a motley crowd of pilgrims as they journey for five days from Southwark to Canterbury. This group of pilgrims come from all walks of life, from knight to nun, miller to monk. The setting is during medieval times, which is a favorite timeframe of mine. I think I would love to have met Chaucer too. He was a knight, very smart and well liked. I might add, the movie A Knight’s Tale comes from this book.

Following is just a small part from The Summoner's Tale from the book. On the left is the original medieval English and next to is the translation to modern English just to show the difference. I wish I could have copied and pasted the whole thing but I tried it and it all ran together rather than in two columns.

This frere bosteth that he knoweth helle —–This friar boasts that he knows hell,
And God it woot, that it is litel wonder; —–And God knows that it is little wonder;
Freres and feendes been but lyte asonder. —–Friars and fiends are seldom far asunder.


Irving Stone
Reading about Sigmund Freud was fascinating. He was a very smart, curious and dedicated man. I would love to have met him and would also love to go to Austria and walk the places he walked. Visiting Austria is on my Bucket List. He was a very kind husband to his wife and a nurturing father to his six children. I like the author, Irving Stone’s style of writing. I have read another book by him, The Agony and the Ecstasy about the life of Michelangelo. I would also like to read his book about Vincent Van Gogh. These are all fictionalized novels and by that I mean, the research for facts are extensive and true but the dialogue, the conversations between the characters in the novel, is made up.


Frank McCourt
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt was a very compelling book based on the life of the Author. It tells about the extreme poverty in the slums of Limerick, Ireland, the deaths of his younger siblings due to hunger and disease, the alcoholism of his father and the extreme depression of his mother because of the loss of her children and an alcoholic husband. The author was born in Brooklyn, NY to Irish immigrants during the depression. The family soon moved back to Ireland because there was no work in NY but there was little work in Limerick either. What work his father found in Limerick, he drank away instead of bringing food home to the family forcing the mother and children to beg. Mr. McCourt received much criticism about his depiction of the people, the churches and schools in Limerick and the rampant alcoholism with the critics saying he was exaggerating. This was a very sad book but I could not put it down.

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
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66 Responses to Lots of Nighttime Reading

  1. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by PainterWoman:

    And this is a hard cover. I made sure to prop it up on a pillow while reading so if I fell asleep, it wouldn't fall on my face.

    Yep, that would be an odd explanation to a doctor.Doctor: So, tell me. How did you break your nose?Pam: 😮 This is so embarrassing. I was in bed reading The Passions of the Mind and …Doctor: Ohhh! Say no more. I know what happened now. Upon second glance, it is a familiar-looking fracture. I've had several previous patients with Huge Book in the Face While Sleeping — nose fractures.

  2. cakkleberrylane says:

    Chaucer is definately difficult to get into but well worth the read! Get list!

  3. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    It happens to me often

    Me too, Darko. Many mornings I wake up with the book on my face and my reading light still on.Originally posted by cakkleberrylane:

    Chaucer is definately difficult to get into but well worth the read!

    You're right, Lois, and I'm enjoying it immensely. I plan on taking the book with me and reading parts of it out loud to my new granddaughter.

  4. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by debplatt:

    I actually don't like Freud.

    Originally posted by daxonmacs:

    Jung is still standing.

    Deb and Dax: I took several psychology classes at the university and there were many discussions about both Freud and Jung….especially in the Abnormal Psychology/Deviant Behavior class. It was very interesting. I kinda miss that part of the class but don't miss writing papers at all.

  5. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by debplatt:

    And carrying them around builds upper body strength

    I started using one of those rolling backpacks a long time ago. It sure saved the shoulders and back.

  6. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    Pam: This is so embarrassing. I was in bed reading The Passions of the Mind and …

    😆 Then fell out of bed trying to get on the white horse that Sir Chaucer rode into my house. I'm tellin ya, my dreams go all over the place when I read.

  7. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by PainterWoman:

    😆 Then fell out of bed trying to get on the white horse that Sir Chaucer rode into my house.

    How can you be sure it wasn't an albino Zebra?Or Gee, you could have gone all out and made it a White Unicorn since it was a dream.

  8. L2D2 says:

    Originally posted by debplatt:

    BTW I loved "Shogun".

    So did I love Shogun. In fact, I read it several times. I also used to read and older writer about Chinese culture—author Pearl S. Buck. Good books IMO.

  9. thetomster says:

    🙂 Pearl S. Buck :up: I loved reading her novels "Voices in the House" and "Pavilion of Women" … I think I must have read some more of her … but I can't remember … just remember the long afternoons lying on the floor with the books of my parents 🙂

  10. L2D2 says:

    I read many of her books, Dirk, and there was one famous one that I am forgetting. I couldn't bring up any titles when I made that comment. But Pavilion of Women was one of the ones I read. So many authors I used to enjoy so much but have completely forgotten about till occasions like this. Thank you Pam.

  11. PainterWoman says:

    Carlos: If I ever saw an albino zebra or a unicorn in my dreams, there would also be a knight in shining armor riding it…..at least right now while I'm reading Chaucer. Linda and Dirk: I remember reading Pearl Buck's The Good Earth probably 45 or more years ago. That's probably the one you are thinking of Linda. Will have to read it again because I've forgotten it. I thought my mom had a few of Buck's books but never saw them in the ones I kept or gave away.

  12. debplatt says:

    I think it is the "Good Earth" that I read, too. I do remember bits of it, but it's also been a long time since I read it.Well I enjoyed mining the original post for reading ideas, but it has also been interesting seeing some of the recommended books in the comments.:up:

  13. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by PainterWoman:

    Carlos: If I ever saw an albino zebra or a unicorn in my dreams, there would also be a knight in shining armor riding it…..at least right now while I'm reading Chaucer.

    Christopher Knight in shining armor riding a Unicorn … I see you're a Brady Bunch Fan.

  14. Henar says:

    I haven´t read The Canterbury Tales, but I liked Angela’s Ashes, even though it´s a hard story… I think you´ll like Madame Bovary. I´ve always loved reading what other people think about books they´ve read. I love reading too. It makes my mind travel to other places… 🙂

  15. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by debplatt:

    it has also been interesting seeing some of the recommended books in the comments.

    Same here Deb. Gives me ideas for future books….that is when I finish all the ones I have. Originally posted by Suntana:

    I see you're a Brady Bunch Fan

    I was when it was on. I forget which one Knight played. Actually, give me Sir Johnny Depp or Sir Thomas Gibson in armor.Originally posted by maryamt08:

    Thanx for share Pam.

    You're welcome Maryam. Freud's theory was interesting AND controversial then and now too. Originally posted by Henar:

    I love reading too. It makes my mind travel to other places..

    Oh does it ever make the mind travel. I've had the most interesting dreams after reading. I did enjoy Bovary but I didn't like who she was.

  16. darkesthour says:

    I have read the prologue to the Canterbury tales.. It was hard work, worse than Spokeshave… Try Samual Pepys Diary, its an easier read and I found far more compelling..

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