November 17, 2004

My Reading List

I've been a bit busy lately and I can't seem to find enough time to read. I might fit in a few pages before bedtime but I am mostly cut off from the literary world. Subsequently, the pile of unfinished books on my bedside table is growing at an alarming rate. At the moment, I'm sleeping with a plethora of authors. This level of bibliophilic promiscuity is exhausting. In the past week I've started (but not finished) reading or rereading an anthology of Daniel Pinkwater's commentaries, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Emerson's essays (Self-Reliance and Friendship, to be exact), Driving to Detroit (journalist Leslie Hazleton's paean to cars and the open road), a collection of Wallace Stevens' poetry and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker. I also finally finished reading Bel Canto (which reminds me…if anyone who happens to be reading my blog can explain to me why Bel Canto was so well-received, please let me know because I wasn't impressed). Somewhere at the bottom of the unfinished stack is Reading Lolita in Tehran, my current favorite new book.

One of the reasons why I haven't had time to finish more of these books is that I have been reorganizing my library. I have a wall full of bookcases but I still have extra stacks that don't fit. Finally, in a fit of frustration I broke down and decided to winnow out a few books to give to charity. After several hours of soul searching I picked about 40 books that I was willing to live without (including Piers Anthony's Xanth series). I still have more books than space but at least it's not quite as overwhelming. However, I ended up selling several of the discarded books to the local used book store. Now I have $50 in credit to spend on, you guessed it…books! So, being the out-of-control addict that I am, I bought A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft, several psych texts (I justified buying those by telling myself that I needed them for work) and a second copy of Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris (hey, it's a gift!).

All of this discarding and shopping got me to start thinking about what books I absolutely couldn't live without. Off the top of my head, here's a partial list:
1. The Ink Dark Moon (an anthology of haiku by Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu)
2. A Walk Across America (Peter Jenkins)
3. Where The Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)
4. Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
5. Dogfish (my favorite Mary Oliver poem)
6. Doonesbury cartoons from the Vietnam era (Gary Trudeau)
7. Le Petit Nicolas (Rene Goscinny)
8. For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
9. Alas, Babylon (Pat Frank)

4 Comments:

Blogger Shelly shared an opinion...

Hi,
Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is very nice. I'll be making note of it. :)

6:41 pm  
Blogger Laurie shared an opinion...

I had already cleaned by bedside table of the stack of partly read books (except for Lord of the Rings)out of sheer guilt. They stared at me accusingly every night. Then, I started my damn blog! Now, I read a couple of pages a night and that's it. It will take me approximately ten years to finish Lord of the Rings. But, by God, I will do it.

P.S. Maybe we'll run into you at the Cat's Meow one day!

8:32 pm  
Blogger ml shared an opinion...

Emerson's essays would be great to read before bedtime. Hi KB. How's the house coming?

12:19 pm  
Blogger Jexebel shared an opinion...

Thank god, a reading list worth of stealing! I'll get started right away!

10:52 am  

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