I have not read a book for a bit which is very unusual for me. Maybe it is because I am forcing myself to read books I own and haven’t read yet, or perhaps I ditched the tube for a bike loosing up to 1h of valuable reading time a day.
Very often I read book after book and when I get to # 5 or 6 I can’t concentrate anymore and need a break. I don’t stop reading entirely but engage in magazines and short stories instead until the book hunger pang strikes again.
At the moment I am reading short stories by Chekhov, Bukowski and J.D. Salinger. Chekhov has been one of my most beloved writers forever, his elegant and pure style is a big part of my literary education. I read all Bukowski’s books in one go and got a slight overdose while reading his short stories but I reached for The Most Beautiful Woman in Town again and I am enjoying it a lot. As for Salinger, I loved Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey but couldn’t engage with his stories, I had a second approach at Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters this morning and I can’t wait to go back to it when I get a free moment.
My book pile is getting smaller and smaller, I was really hoping to be done with it by the end of the year but I really don’t think this will happen. The few books left to read are:
Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
Ulysses (2 failed attempts – what I need is a right moment in the future)
The Corporation by Joel Bakan (not feeling it at all so might skip it)
The Faithful River by Zeromski
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
And a few books that I am planning to read afterward:
Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat and Travels with Charlie: In Search of America- I have to ration his books as they are so good!
Capote’s Summer Crossing
Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich
start on Proust
I’d like to try something by Anais Nin as never read her before and some of the Persephone classics
Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia and The Road to Wigan Pier, the only things I have not read by him and I adore him!
Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned and This Side of Paradise
Ayn Rand’s Anthem and also her biography, she fascinates me and if we are talking of amazing women I really must read D.V. by Diana Vreeland
A friend of mine mentioned a wonderful bookshop in the back streets of Wimbledon apparently piled with second hand classics for a song, I shall be visiting this treasure trove for sure.
Oh, almost forgot, I am also reading Jane Austen in Bath: Walking Tours of the Writer’s City by a wonderful publisher Little Bookroom. Have a look at their website as they have the most amazing and unusual guide books with true insider tips. I have read half of the Bath guide last night, city that I have been meaning to visit for a very long time, and need to plan a short weekend trip very soon given that is it only a couple of hours away. The book is beautifully illustrated and tells stories from Austen’s life while taking the reader through various parts of the city.
Looking back at 2009 I have not read that many books but the ones I’ve read were mostly very good. The favorite ones being:
Generation X by Douglas Coupland
Vonnegut’s stories, re-reading Slaughterhouse 5 and Mother Night- I went through some Vonnegut phase few months ago
The World of Coco Chanel
The Love in Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Tender is The Night and whole lot of Fitzgerald’s stories
High Rise by J.G. Ballard – I couldn’t stop thinking of the Trellick Tower, and a very good biography of Erno Goldfinger
Collected stories by Nikolai Gogol
Now it’s time for some festive fun, been listening to Billie Holiday’s album 40 Hits and it’s about the time to break for Christmas, starting at The Champion with some friends (lucky I didn’t cycle to work today!).