Morning, Noon, and Night: Finding the Meaning of Life's Stages Through Books
I should have taken notes, but I didn’t want to be back in English literature class; I wanted to read this just for enjoyment. Sometimes I did feel as though I was back in a high school or college class, but I’d probably enjoy the classes given by this author.So, childhood, falling in love, old age, and their experiences; that’s what’s concentrated on in this book.I’ve read most of the books mentioned, which is atypical for me with these types of books about books, so that made reading this more interesting. The books with which I was not familiar, enough was said about them so that I could understand why they were being included. In fact, I got a couple spoilers, but I don’t really mind in this case.Reading this was a bit of a slog at times, but overall very engrossing.But, I think this is the kind of book, given the personal nature of how books touch us, that everyone has to write for themselves.I appreciated that a wide range of types of books and their characters, classics to modern, are mentioned.The biggest flaws of this book for me were that most not my own most influential works were not included (interestingly some were important to me when I was younger but no longer resonate as strongly), and also I think the characters/books written about were a tad too male centric (probably not as much as my perceptions indicated), and most definitely there was a deplorable lack of children’s literature, which has been so formative for me from age two to the present, and presumably the future too. There are many child characters talked about, but not children’s books.I found the old age sections rather depressing; especially the life not lived parts, although, thank goodness, there is almost ample humor expressed throughout. Interestingly, I found these works just as sobering when I was young as I do now, perhaps more so. King Lear (old section, naturally) resonated more with me when I was a teen than it does now. Oedipus too. Re Lear, my father was alive then (oh, those daddy issues sure come up in that play!) In my teens and twenties I got so much from these books. Perhaps I would again, perhaps even more deeply, but even if I should, I’m not likely to revisit them now. I got a kick out of the last section in the part that says it’s so hard to imagine some old characters young and some young characters old; that is often so true.There is a relatively short bibliography for a book of this type. The index is good except that I wish each characters could be found by first name too, not just by last name only; both would have been ideal. I didn’t read the entire index but assume all the works mentioned are there by title.As I read, I often thought of MY books that fit this discussion. That was fun, and a worthwhile pastime, but I couldn’t rate this book with more than 3 stars because the author and I are just different enough. If I’d read this as an autobiography and not as a book about books, hoping to find something wonderfully new for me, I might have rated it higher.I won this from Goodreads’ First Reads giveaway program and I am glad that I read it.