Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Too many books to read, she wails

We're still reading David Copperfield. At our current rate of speed, we should be finishing it the first week of March. I haven't read much of anything else the last couple of weeks, but I feel the need to do so: many of the characters in Dickens have become quite annoying and I need some distraction from my desire to stomp them all into mudholes.

But what? Most of the books I hope to get to this year are long, slow reads. Do I really want to have several of those in progress at the same time? I was doing that to a great extent at the end of last year--wishing the whole time that I was concentrating on one instead of juggling. Do I want to go back to that? I should probably turn to short stories instead.

Anyway, the month of March may consist of nothing but library books. Since the Read From the Stacks challenge was announced in November I've read a mere three--one from the public and two from the university. I started placing holds again in late December, however, for books yet-to-be received/published, and it appears that all of them will become available in a week or two. I already have John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things and William Boyd's Restless checked out; I'm waiting for notification emails for Jonathan Raban's Surveillance, Kitty Burns Florey's Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, Jane Smiley's Ten Days in the Hills and Susan Patron's The Higher Power of Lucky. Yes, I'll be reading the Patron because of the scrotum controversy.

And I have an Amazon order that will be arriving either today or tomorrow. I'm hoping my stockpiling urges will then be tamped down for a couple of months.

I have a four day weekend before my new hours at the library begin next week; maybe I'll spend a great chunk of it reading.


  1. Jonathan Raban caught my attention with his book list in _Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books_. He chose a book by Trollope in his top ten, and he also likes Austen, Eliot, Henry James, Dickens, Evelyn Waugh, and P.G. Wodehouse. Sounds like my kind of guy.

  2. I'm really looking forward to Jane Smiley's new book. Lucky you - I want a four day weekend too :)

  3. I'm not great at juggling multiple fiction, I admit. So, when I am on a slog, I tend to break up the read with nonfiction.

    Short stories are good candidates too. If you are looking for ideas for Dickens relief, may I suggest Alice Munro, George Saunders or Judith Budnitz?

  4. I'm giving up on challenges as I never seem to finish them. I'm even sort of disgusted by my library stack because I feel like I am making no progress on anything at all. I think I am going to take them all back once I finish The Book Thief and work on reading my own books for a while. I am trying to concentrate on just a couple of books (and eyeing nervously the rest that are sitting on my nightstand), but I feel like I am not getting anywhere. I need a better reading plan or something. And there is nothing like a good banning controversy to make people pay attention to a book they might otherwise not even thought about. Must thank the people who have brought the book to my attention!!

  5. Sandra6:16 AM

    Oh, I'm sad that David et al are annoying you. If it's any consolation The Brothers K (which you and your son romped through with ease) are taking years off my life - every page feels like it takes a month to read!


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