On November 1st the final phase of #Woolfalong will begin. If you haven’t joined in yet, then it isn’t too late. The challenge of Phase 6 is just to read one or more of: Jacob’s Room, The Waves or The Years. However, that is all still to come.
Phase 5 officially comes to an end tomorrow – but of course there may still be people reading Virginia Woolf essays, letters or diaries, so please alert me to anyone I have missed in this round up.
Woolf’s non-fiction was the theme for phase 5. Virginia Woolf wrote an enormous number of essays, her two most famous A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas. Many more essays available in her famous two volumes of The Common Reader, there are now of course, other collections of her essays available like the selected essays from Oxford World classics which I bought but have still not read.
Alongside the essays Woolf has left letters and diaries behind her. I had read A Room of One’s Own – last year, so Three Guineas was my first choice. I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book very much, but then got rather bogged down, finding the final third hard going. Those other essays I will no doubt get around to another time, perhaps next year. My second read for phase 5 was A Writer’s Diary – the extracts of Virginia Woolf’s diaries edited by her husband after her death, which relate mainly to her life as a writer. It was, quite simply, a wonderful reading experience.
I had expected that by this point in the year, far fewer people would still be joining me in #Woolfalong, so I am delighted that I do still have some company.
A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas were chosen by other readers too – including A Great Book Study who read and reviewed A Room of One’s Own, in her review saying how much the essay resonated for her, and how relevant it is still for us today. O from Behold the stars also reviewed A Room of One’s Own in which O tells that Virginia Woolf’s essays ‘don’t merely inform they also enchant’ – I would have to agree. In her post about A Room of One’s Own Caroline from Bookword considers what has changed in the 88 years since the book was first published. Mrs Arachne from Twitter who has the blog A Canon of One’s Own planned on re-reading A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas. Unfortunately, O from Behold the Stars didn’t really like Three Guineas, finding it an odd read, left wing and middle class at the same time.
Mary from Twitter read the Selected Letters – finding (as is the case with letter collections I find) some dull, other fascinating, she particularly liked those to Vanessa Bell and Gwen Raverat.
Liz from Adventures in reading, writing and working from home, re-read The Common Reader vol 1 – particularly enjoying her take on Austen the Brontes and George Eliot, and not really agreeing with her thoughts about Arnold Bennett.
Phase 6 seemed a long way off back in January as I began reading To the Lighthouse. Suddenly it’s here, and I have books I bought for #Woolfalong still unread – despite the amount I have read. I intend to read at least two of the three novels linked to phase 6 – I would like to do all three – but I may not manage it. Would love to hear from you if you are intending to join in especially if this will be the first time you have Woolf-ed-along with us.