Tag Archives: The Hours

Reads of Shame, Round 1: The Hours, by Michael Cunningham

Hello readers, and welcome to the first salvo in our Reads of Shame series. I decided to live-blog my reading of The Hours, with comments marked by pages rather than a time-stamp. Below are my thoughts on the book as I was reading it, and after.


Cover: Why is this even a Read of Shame? I don’t feel particularly bad about not having read it yet.

Title page: Hey, cool, it’s signed to the Library by the author!

3: I know that “potato-colored” is supposed to be clearly descriptive, but all I can think of is how many colors potatoes can be. I’m going to imagine it’s purple.

8: I don’t know about this. Sometimes the prose is lovely, and sometimes it’s way too much. Yes, I know I’m only on page 8.

12: Huh. From silliness to social commentary in one sentence. All right, Cunningham, go on.

14: But you’re losing me with these sudden perspective shifts.

23: Was not expecting discourse about queer identity and stereotyping.

26: Irises are  not outdated they are wonderful what is wrong with you, book?

27: Oh Clarissa. If only you knew that Meryl Streep plays you in the movie adaptation.

29: Here we go with Mrs. Dalloway again. Okay, Wikipedia, give me a summa – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

37: Oh look, it’s our third point-of-view character. Hello, Laura. Go ahead and read, your husband can make his own breakfast. Yes, I know that you’re a post-WWII housewife and there were (are) gender roles.

40: Well, that explains that weird perspective shift earlier.

43: Sinister roses? When did this become Poe?

49: Yay! I missed you, Clarissa.

50: ….And then you’re super depressing. Thanks.

64: Richard, you are dearly maddening.

73: “The brackets around his mouth are so deep you could slip a penny in.” I don’t know why that sentence amuses me so, but it does. I like the imagery.

82: “Yes, she can practically hear her own muttered words, scandalize the aunts, still streaming like a scarf behind her.” Scandalize is such a fun word.

94: Obviously I need to read Mrs. Dalloway. This is all your fault, Barrows.

95: And see the movie. I wonder who they had as the movie star? Did Meryl Streep see herself?

114: Oh look, more parallels. Just how interconnected is this book?

117: <stops and does research about Vanessa Bell’s children>

159: I realize I haven’t made a note in a while, but I don’t care.

193: Small children are creepy.

218: I’m dumb.

Well, that was a book. I definitely enjoyed it (you can see where I got caught up in it). And it reminded me of how much I enjoy reading Virginia Woolf. So Mrs. Dalloway, at least, will be going on my to-read shelf. An encouraging start.

Thanks to Ms. Barrows for badgering me into reading it. I will see you all for the next round of Reads of Shame!

-Signing off, Kit Gette (who is still mad about the irises)

Library Shame Con 2012

And so commences Reads of Shame: A Series from your Calarco Librarians

This series will consist of Mr. Gette and Ms. Barrows being shamed into reading various books at irregular and inconsistent periods of time. These will be books that we really should have read by this point in our lives (as librarians and as humans), but for shameful, inexcusable reasons, have not. We will shame each other, and we ask the greater Hopkins community to finger point and assign books to us humble, shamed librarians.

For this first non-specific period of time, Ms. Barrows was shamed by herself and Mr. Gette into reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Why is it shameful Ms. Barrows hasn’t read Great Expectations? Maybe because she is obsessed with Mr. Pip, visited England (where she saw a massive Dickens museum display), and secretly watched the bad Ethan Hawke movie once.

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Mr. Gette has been shamed by Ms. Barrows into reading The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Ms Barrows was going on and on about how good it is while talking about how embarrassed she is that she’s never read Mrs. Dalloway (a preview of things to come?). And since Mr. Gette had read some Virginia Woolf in college,and had sort of thought about maybe seeing the movie, he figured maybe he should give the book a try. Plus, he doesn’t read much contemporary fiction, so this should be a change of pace.

The Hours

Reads of Shame, Round 1: Start!

Signing off, Jenny Barrows (does doing bicep curls with Great Expectations count as reading it?) and Kit Gette (who hopes The Hours won’t take hours).