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