Winter Reading Preview

Image ©Tom Gauld/Conde Nast/The New Yorker

 

Following my two recent reading reviews (here and here), I thought it might be worth taking brief stock of where I am in my reading year.

At the start of the year, I wrote about my two reading goals:  to finish at least 50 books; and to work my way through a list of twelve books inspired by ModernMrsDarcy’s 2015 Reading Challenge.

I would never wish to read only for the sake of clocking up conquests.  But I do find having an overall target to aim for helpful in maintaining focus on the importance of reading in my life.  Will it matter if I don’t make it?  No, of course not.

As a matter of interest, I have read 42 books so far this year.  And progress through my MMD list looks like this:

  • A book published this year: The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon
  • A book you can finish in a day: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • A book you have been meaning to read: Guernica by Gijs van Hensbergen
  • A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller: In the light of what we know by Zia Haider Rahman
  • A book you should have read in school: Silas Marner by George Eliot
  • A book chosen for me by someone else (in my case by a dear friend): For all the tea in China by Sarah Rose
  • A book published before you were born: Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
  • A book that was banned at some point: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • A book you previously abandoned: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • A book you own but have never read: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • A book that intimidates you: Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  • A book you have already read at least once: An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

I am quite pleased with this.  The unread books in this list will make up the principal remainder of my reading in 2016, with one exception.  When I initially chose Salem’s Lot as my ‘intimidation read’, I reserved the right to change it because I was not wholly convinced that, in the end, I would actually want to spend any time with it.  I realised recently that I have on my shelves a much more important book that deserves to be read, but I have not until now been brave enough to tackle.

Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl needs no introduction.  It is perhaps one of the most well-known memoirs ever written and I have long wanted to pick it up.  But I find the thought of its subject matter to be extremely harrowing and upsetting.  Nevertheless, in my comfortable, safe, peaceful world, it is only right to pay tribute to those who have suffered so tragically by engaging with the work they have left behind.

I have many other books lined up to read as well, including: Lionel Shriver’s The Mandibles; Jessie Burton’s The Muse; How to Wake Up by Toni Bernhard; and The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher.  I look forward to summing up my next batch of reviews at the end of the year.  Incredibly, that is only just under 10 weeks away – how the year has flown! 🙂

Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.

~ E.P. Whipple

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Winter Reading Preview

  1. Congratulations!! WOW!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I would definitely recommend Anne Frank’s Diary. It is lovely and funny and heart-breaking too. Congratulations on having read so many books this year! I’ve only managed 18 so far.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good to know, thanks! And re the number of books read – it is not a race!! You are averaging 2 books a month – that sounds pretty impressive to me, given how busy you are with everything. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know it’s not a race but I used to read 40 to 50 books a year and I miss doing that! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, I see and yes, can understand what you mean. I am sort of in the opposite position, having gone from hardly finishing anything at all for a number of years when still working full time to now being in a position to read prolifically. It is not so much that I have more time to read, although that helps of course. I think it is mainly that I have more brain space and energy to actually want to read, and to enjoy it once again. I guess life goes in waves, chapters you might say, and so perhaps you could allow yourself to think ‘given everything I do in my life at the moment, I am pleased to be able to read as much as I do’?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. That would be a much more positive way of looking at it! Thank-you ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Every time I read Anne Frank’s Diary I hope the ending will change. I know the ending of course but I always start out with the hope that this time/this read it will be different. I do hope you will enjoy it Liz.

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      1. That is so touching, Mandy. But thanks for the encouragement – I am really looking forward to reading it now 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am especially impressed with how widely you read. Most of us stick to a genre or two but you are an equal-opportunity reader! I think you will be glad your read Anne Frank–in spite of the sadness and ugliness it contains, it’s a testament to goodness. ‘Salem’s Lot would just haunt you in a different way . . .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Kerry! I love the idea of being an ‘equal-opportunity reader’. Thanks also for the encouragement re Anne Frank. I feel very happy about switching it with Salem’s Lot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also would definitely recommend Anne Frank. Lots of life encouraging words in there. she was the most positive person given her circumstances and shows us how to look at the world. Your list is impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ute – thanks to your comments and those from other blogging friends, I am now really looking forward to reading the diary – not intimidating after all! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have had Anne Frank’s Diary on my shelves for more years than I care to remember. Perhaps now is the time for me also 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go for it, Sandra – we can hold virtual hands and jump in together! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup – it’s in the pile for the next two months of reading 🙂

        Like

      2. Excellent – I look forward to swapping notes in due course. 🙂

        Like

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