At the beginning of the year, I made a handful of reading resolutions, and I thought take some time now, as I’m getting back into blogging, to check up on them and see how I’m going (hint: it’s not good).
One of those resolutions was to read every book that I bought. So far, I’m hitting about 50% – 9 read, 10 unread. Personally, I’m actually pretty impressed with that result. I’ve been making a point of only buying one or two books at a time, and only when I actually intend to read them. So far, so good. Problem is, I never read as fast as I think I’m going to, and sometimes I skip books on my TBR just to keep things trucking along.
So here’s a list of the books that I’ve bought so far this year; the ones that I’ve read, and the ones that I haven’t yet.
The Letters of Napoleon to Josephine
I bought this one at a secondhand bookstore in Clunes, during the Clunes Booktown Book Festival. I originally planned to read it chronologically, cover to cover – but my faourite thing to do is to pick it up and read a random letter or two when I’m feeling the need for a little love in my life.
Romantic Poets (The Viking Portable Library)
Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda
I like poetry. I like seeing poetry books on my shelves, I like flicking through them and reading the odd poem here or there – but I’m not a die-hard poetry fan. Last year, when I organised my bookshelves into read and unread, all my poetry books went on the read shelf. Reading them is an ongoing process, and I doubt I’ll ever be finished with it.
Throne of Glass, by Sarah J Maas
Keep an eye out for a review of this one. It’s kinda fantastic, and just like the fantasy novels I used to read as a teenager – political drama, a kickass young woman at the centre, castles and swordfights and morally ambivalent monarchs. Ugh. So good.
Real Man Adventures
This was a Queer Book Club book (more on that later). It remains unread, as I couldn’t make that month’s meeting and had too much else on to read the book anyway. I do look forward to reading it though; it sounds really good, properly satirical and judging of the way we construct masculinity in our culture.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
I tried and I tried, and I really wanted to like Dave Eggers, but I just couldn’t manage AHWOSG. For sure, it was beautiful, and heartbreaking in that it was layered and realistic and very twenty-something. The narcissism, the ambition, the too-cool-for-school factor were all there. Maybe I don’t like my writing that candid, still being in my twenties myself; or maybe I just didn’t connect with the characters as much as I hoped I would. Either way, I got a little over halfway before I had to put this down. It’s still sitting on my bookcase, pouting at me.
How to be Both by Ali Smith
Another Queer Book Club book. I really liked this one, once I had it finished. Keep an eye out for my review.
Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford
I loved this book. Check out my review here.
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Another collection of short stories to pick up and put down at random. I really wanted to read this one the whole way through – I love Gaiman’s writing, and his short stories never seem to be hit-or-miss the way his novels are. That month, however, was not a good reading month for me. I read two or three of the stories, and now it waits patiently on my bookcase for me to read the rest.
Werewolves and Shapeshifters, edited by John Skipp
I’m a bit of a sucker for werewolf stories, so when I saw this on the $10 table at the Clunes Booktown Book Festival I couldn’t resist. In my defence, the collection includes short stories by Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, Chuck Palahnuik, Charlaine Harris, and Angela Carter – and they’re just the writers on the cover! I have to admit though, this one stays firmly in the unread category.
The Luck Uglies, by Paul Durham
Another $10 impulse buy, this time from Big W when I was in there looking for The Scorch Trials. Explores the idea that the so-called ‘dregs’ of society – the crooks, the homeless, and so on – aren’t as useless as they seem. Still unread.
Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven
July’s Queer Book Club book is another collection of short stories. I didn’t manage to read them – too many assignments! – but I’m looking forward to it. I’m planning to review it when I’m done.
Orlando, by Virginia Woolf
I now have less than a week to read Orlando for this month’s book club meeting. I love Virginia Woolf, but her stories require an absolute commitment. Fingers crossed I’ve read enough to follow the discussion next Wednesday!
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Another one that I had to put down, but this one reluctantly. I love the story and am hopelessly obsessed with the characters’ lives, but I think it just wasn’t the right time. I’m planning on bringing it overseas with me, so hopefully I can make some headway on the flight.
A Mother’s Disgrace by Robert Dessaix
Another Queer Book Club book, and another which I missed out on discussing – damn evening classes! Keep a look out for my review next week.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
This was one of the first books I read this year, and I can remember reading it with almost total clarity. Reclining on my bed under the window, the Christmas tree in my peripheral vision… I loved the book. Check out my review.
Madeleine by Helen Trinca
I started reading this one last year, after reading a review of it over at Whispering Gums. I’d never heard of Madeleine St John before I read the review, but Sue writes about the book so well, and makes it sound like such a worthy read, that I couldn’t help but run out to the library and borrow it. Of course, I only got about halfway through before I had to return it, so when I saw the book in the Readings tent at the Clunes Booktown Book Festival, I thought now’s my chance to buy it without guilt. I still haven’t managed to finish it.
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
I’ve heard over and over that this is a great read, and I had such success with Throne of Glass that I figured it was worth giving another gushed-over YA fantasy novel a try. Still unread, but this is in the list of books to come to Europe with me.
Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
I’m been interested in Salman Rushdie ever since I studied Satanic Verses at uni. I actually haven’t got around to reading any of his other works, though, so I figured that the best way to start was to start filling my shelves. This one is still unread, but the sheer size of it makes me think it might be best saved for the summer holidays, when I can just sit and read and not have to worry about moving for hours.