I always have a stash of books to choose from next to my bed. About 10 years ago, it was a vary large 4 shelf bookshelf that I now have in my studio, then I downsized to a modest 3 shelfer, which is also now in my studio, and now I downsized to a modest 2 shelf cabinet. I keep downsizing as the larger the book shelves, the more often I would bring home books (when you buy them for under $3 a book, things can get out of control) that I had no desire at all to read. This led to having to weed out the duds every so often as I got sick of looking at books I didn’t want to read. With my new downsized stash, I still have the problem of buying a new stack, cramming them in there any way I can as long as the doors still shut and reading the new books while ignoring the old. This summer, I decided that I was not to buy any new books for a few months until I caught up on some of the books I have been wanting to read (and moving from home to home) for over a decade. This left me with a lot of serious reading, which can be a downside as when I’m tired and working a lot, I’ll gravitate to fluffier reading. However, they are books I’ve been wanting to read and I’m pretty psyched to be seeing some of these titles finally move off the shelves, its like checking off items on a very time consuming to do list. The shelves are starting to get so the books are loosely against each though, so perhaps next month I’ll take $30 and treat myself to a new pile!
1. Great Jones Street by Don DeLillo
At first I couldn’t get into the rhythm of his writing in this one. Sometimes, as with the beat writers or with the dialects of Irving Welsh and Anthony Burgess, it takes a bit to get them, so I figured I would just get into it after a few chapters. It never really happened for me though. I remember really liking White Noise, so I had high hopes…but after reading up a bit, I think I am in the majority on the flow not being that strong in this book.
2. Lima Nights by Marie Arana
I believe that at one point, I had two copies of this book on my “to read” shelves…no idea why. It was an engaging story, kept me thinking about it during the day…kind of a fluffy book in disguise.
3. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Remember when this book came out? There was A LOT of excitement about the author. I actually got this many, many years ago, right after it came out in paperback and started to read it, but didn’t have that much interest in it. It’s written extremely well, I just wasn’t that captivated by the characters. It covers a few generations of two families and for the bulk of the book it focused on two men who I was not that into reading about. My favorite books are when I cannot wait to see how the characters develop or what they do or say next, but this one…meh…I didn’t really care for the most part.
4. Behind The Scenes At The Museum by Kate Atkinson
Another multiple generation book, which was written in a way that I had no idea what was going on for most of it. The backstories were revealed as you went in footnote chapters in between. It was kind of like getting to know a family and hearing their secrets come out over time. I was iffy at first, but got really into it, so into it that I was sad when I finished it. Oddly the main family had four children, all girls with the second one named Gillian. A very odd coincidence.
5. Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein
Almost chick lit, but well written so it saved it from reading too much like a Rom Com. Great for a weekend getaway or when you want to immerse yourself in a the tale of a group of glamourous, high powered friends.