I am sure you have all dutifully read to the end of Volume 7? It’s a very long chunk, but ideally you hid in the room with the coats during lackluster holiday parties in order to catch up. If not, just pipe in where you can, and dedicate yourself anew to the task this month.
Now, before we get going, I’ve got a fun update about Rebecca’s NYPL event, and we’ll do some #realtalk about it, since I am also doing an event with Rebecca at The Strand on March 5th, and you’ll probably only want to attend one of them (no, I mean, you SHOULD go to both, but since they cost money, you know, let’s drill down):
EVENT THE FIRST: January 29th, 7pm, at the New York Public Library. The nice people at the NYPL have done a discount code for Toasties, so if you enter TOAST at checkout, you’ll pay $15 instead of $25, and will skip service fees. Rebecca is also going to be doing a little private meeting with Toast readers prior to the event, where you can ingratiate yourself and ask questions and get books signed (it comes out on the 28th), etc. I will not be at this one, I am in Canada.
EVENT THE SECOND: March 5th, 7pm, at The Strand (New York, again, sorry Londoners.) Rebecca and I will BOTH be at this one, and the requirement is that you either have to buy her book (I expect you will own one prior to March, and we’re also doing giveaways) or a Strand gift card of equal value, which, you know, that’s pretty reasonable. I didn’t love the idea of having any cost for the event, but I also like saying “oh, I’m speaking at The Strand in March,” and buying a book is something many of us do all the time for fun. I will be hanging out for ages at this event, it will be a mini Toast-up that can then be moved to a bar.
On to Middlemarch!
What I loved about having such a large chunk of the novel to do this time was really getting into a rhythm with it. I tranced out with George Eliot, honestly. I got this mini foot elliptical, because my New Year’s resolution was to actually stop sitting 80% of the day, and just powered happily to nowhere while utterly engaged with the novel.
Rebecca is interested to know:
a) How your impressions of the characters have evolved so far, if at all. How about Bulstrode, in particular? She feels as though she was utterly uninterested in his inner dramas as a younger reader, but by her thirties, they seemed far more compelling.
b) If this is your first time through Middlemarch, how do you think it will end? Make your predictions now!
All right, let’s talk. Oh, and can you do me a favour? If you think you’ll attend either or BOTH of the events, can you tell me in the comments? We’re interested for purposes of giveaways and numbers and just curiosity.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.