I also finished To the Lighthouse
a few days ago. Woolf's is a sort of love-it-or-hate-it style that, when I'm in the mood, is simply vivifying but, when I'm not, is frustrating and tedious. I lost it for a bit and didn't read the book as quickly or smoothly as I would have liked, but I regained my enthusiasm on the final stretch and finished the novel in fine form - and a good thing, too, as it's a very, very good finale. One of my biggest problems when engaging with Woolf is that, as I put it while talking to Drew a few days ago, she doesn't have much patience with her characters. She doesn't hate them, but it seems like she, as an author, is quick to jump on their negative attributes - all through the lens of their own individual streams of thought, of course, but the judgment from Woolf comes through loud and clear. This makes the novel off-putting at times, even downright ugly (though the prose never is), but at the same time Woolf has access to such a clear and concise insight into humanity with which she can whip out a sentence or even a tiny turn of phrase that cuts through all the nonsense and gets right to the heart of the way people function, what motivates them, how they think and perceive the world. She's quite a stunning mind, I think, but her manner of expression will never be one of my favorites.
I also just started Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds
and so far it's ... odd. Very odd.