I finished reading March on Monday. What a great story! At times the flowery prose can be a bit difficult to completely follow, but this was really only concerning the main character's letters home. The author did this in order to accurately render the time of the story, which is during the civil war. Toward the end of the book, I was having a difficult time putting it down. Once while reading it, with Joseph sleeping on my lap, Jim came into the room to tell me something, and I looked at him with wide eyes and my heart was beating rapidly. I was right in the middle of a scene of an attack on some recently freed slaves and the main character is trying to help save them. Brooks' writing is so tangibly realistic; at one point in the story the main character was trying to escape the attackers. He is going into a woodpile in order to hide, and the author describes the scene with such realistic detail that she writes about how he feels a searing pain from a splinter in his thumb.
So, now I am two days into Othello, and today I finished act 1. It is quite different reading Shakespeare this time. The last time I read something new to me from Shakespeare was about 10 years ago, and I remember struggling with it quite a bit. This time I am really enjoying it on the first read though. I thought about why my reading comprehension would have changed so much, and I mostly think that it has to do with studying several foreign languages over the past few years.