A clear idea of right and wrong

I’ve been listening to Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy, my first Tolstoy, and am enjoying the lack of moral relativism. It’s somehow refreshing to have a narrator with a clear opinion of what is evil and what is good, and a character who also knows this and is trying to be good. All the shades of grey in current fiction, though realistic, leave a bit to be desired as far as inspiration goes.

The story is about a nobleman in 188x, Nekhlyudov, who is on a jury, and sees that one of the accused is a woman he was in love with, and wronged, in his youth. She has since become a prostitute, and he blames himself and the way he treated her for her decline over the years. After at first wanting to ignore the situation, he decides he wants to ask her forgiveness, and help her, and do anything he can to make it right, he will even, he thinks, go so far as to marry her.

The drive to do good, and make things right, and make up for a past error are appealing in a character. And its sort of a spark of light among all the antiheros of the day.

We’ll see where it goes, though, I’m only at the start…

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Book clubs: how do you do it?

I can’t time my desire to read a book. It’s almost like the books I pick decide for me to read them. So the couple times I’ve tried to join a book club, I’ve always ended up reading something else than what I’m supposed to.

I like the idea of having a discussion with people about the book as we read along, but even if you manage to get everyone reading the book, they won’t read it at the same pace.

Maybe we are aiming too high with the current format, and the book club should be re-imagined as a club for people who read books regularly. Those people are hard enough to find, these days.

I wouldn’t mind having a group where we meet every couple weeks and just talk about what we’re reading currently. It would be a neat way to be exposed to other genres and things you wouldn’t normally read, without having to spend precious reading time actually reading the book.

Reading club? Sounds good to me.