Let's see. I'm reading Jane and the Barque of Frailty, The Ionian Mission, and Thief of Time. That's three separate series simultaneously, which strikes me as a form of laziness. Series, especially consistently good series- which all of these are at differing levels- provide guaranteed pleasure and guaranteed lack of difficulty and thus no need to expend effort. It's pleasant and untaxing. Now I'm glad not to be taxed as I inch back into work and also come down with a cold. But. But. Waiting in the wings are at least two heavy cumbersome works, The Remains of the Day and Possession. Neither of these deals with the kind of people I know or want to know, both (as far as I've got with them) seem to demonstrate what someone said about the protagonists in genre literature being people who not only cope but accomplish, and the protagonists in high literature being (I paraphrase wildly) useless neurotics. Still, high lit works the brain. I shall get to them eventually.
Only if I want my brain worked I'd rather read Japanese, to hit the language centres, or nonfiction, which provides information. Maybe life is indeed too short to read Great Books.
I'd rent the Master and Commander DVD- yes, really, a film in *English*- except that now my image of Stephen, physically, is Wen Zhong with a big nose, and I don't think I want that idea disturbed.