Anyway, here's what I did as I got into the Ramayana reading for Week 3: I started reading Arshia Sattar's translation of the Uttara Kanda, and what a perfect choice that is! The Uttara Kanda does not get the attention it deserves (for example, the new ACK Ramayana just leaves it out!), but I feel really lucky that the very first Ramayana I ever read was the one by William Buck, and for all the criticisms people might make of Buck's book, I really like the way he took all the Ravana backstory from the Uttara Kanda and put it right there at the start of his Ramayana. I don't know if I will ever do my own Ramayana to put into the public domain (maybe a Ramayana made up all of 100-word stories...?), but if I do, I think I want to follow Buck's approach. Sattar makes such a good case for the Uttara Kanda being the "answer" to the questions left unanswered in earlier books, so why not just put those answers there from the start...? Sattar even calls it: The Book of Answers!
book cover of Sattar's Uttara Kanda
At the same time, it felt kind of weird to be reading just the Uttara Kanda, so Id ecided to read the ACK Ramayana, the 6-volume comic book series that came out last year (I think it was last year?):
book cover of ACK Bala Kand
So, between working on those two books, I will have plenty of great stuff to read for Weeks 4 and 5 (and then I'll pick up the Ramayana reading again later in the semester), and I'm really not sure now what to do for the Mahabharata... maybe I'll read Amrtua Patil's gorgeous Adi Parva and Sauptika Parva books...?
There's still time to figure that out of course. Meanwhile, I am super-happy with this combination of Uttara Kanda and the ACK comic books... and if the next couple of weeks gobble up all my time the way the start of the semester often does, well, that's okay: I am very eager (VERY EAGER) to get back into this reading as soon as things get normal again, with time for reading and stories.
Here's what Week 4 looks like in my spreadsheet... and I'm really okay to wait until then if need be. What a relief........ :-)