Tilting at Windmills

20147233 I have added one more book to my reading since my last post when I said the only book on which I would be focusing this month was The Lord of the Rings, which I am doing a reread of. That additional book is the one pictured at left, Don Quixote (Don Quijote de la Mancha #1-2) by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra as translated by Edith Grossman. I read an abridged version of the book, translated by Walter Starkie, when I was in high school or in college and remember enjoying it, although I don’t remember anything specific about it other than I enjoyed it. So when this new translation came up as a Kindle deal at the end of last year, I picked up this one.

Then two weeks ago on Facebook, I saw that Nancy of the blog Bookfoolery and Ryan of the blog Wordsmithonia were going to read it together. I mentioned to Nancy on Facebook that I might be interested, and then thought I’d probably consider it and not do it. But then when I got an invitation from her to join the Facebook group, called “Tilting at Windmills,” earlier this week, I went ahead and joined. After all, I figured why did I purchase a copy of the book if I wasn’t planning to read it.

On her blog, Nancy explains that she has attempted to read the book three times and failed. I’ll be honest that I looked last year at a copy of this translation at our library while shelf-reading and thought, “Nyuh.” So why am I saying “yes” now and to a readalong of all things, which I am notorious for trying in the past and failing? Mainly, since, as I said above, I did purchase a copy of the ebook, I’m thinking that I might as well read it. It’s not just there to sit on my virtual shelf. Plus I guess I figure that split out over several weeks makes the task seem less daunting, that this might be a windmill I indeed can conquer. We shall see.

The reading schedule is as follows:

February 10 – Chapter XXV (p. 204)
February 17 – Chapter XLII (p. 373)
February 24 – Chapter XIV (p. 547)
March 10 – Chapter XL (p. 717)
March 17 – FINISH.

Have you ever read Don Quixote? If not, have you ever had a book that you kept trying to read but just couldn’t get through? For me, it was, and is, The Brothers Karamazov. I really liked Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, but for some reason, I have been unable to conquer his final tome. Maybe someday.


12 thoughts on “Tilting at Windmills

  1. Actually, I’ve tried reading Don Quixote several times and failed every time. But I think I’ll make it this time. I’m really liking the Grossman translation. I may have been bogged down in a poor translation.


    1. You’re not the only one who has tried reading it and failed. Our Facebook group leader Nancy has admitted the same thing. I did read an abridged translation in high school or college and enjoyed it so figured I’d try this readalong.


  2. It took me four times to get through The Brothers Karamazov. Crime and Punishment is one of my all-time favorite novels, but that thing got me every time. After a while, it became something I had to finish. I eventually did it with the help of my book club at the time. If I remember correctly, I believe I was the only one to finish it. I can’t say I recommend it or remember much. The whole thing was anti-climactic once I pushed past all the religion and politics, but dammit, I finished it!

    I had to read Don Quixote in college for a comp lit class. I think I skimmed a lot. This is one I have always wanted to read in full though because I did enjoy the craziness of it.


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