Thursday, July 3, 2008

Devoutly to be wished but not to be expected

btt button

It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S., so let’s keep today’s question simple–What are you reading? Anything special? Any particularly juicy summer reading?

Here's my answer (with a little glimpse of my workspace thrown in):

And here are my thousand words:

Simple!?! On the left you see my pile of summer pleasure reading, mostly fiction, including books already in-progress: The Changeling, White Noise, Red Cavalry, and The Darling (two-word titles seem to be the order of the day) and books devoutly-to-be-wished: The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Breath by Tim Winton, The Road Home by Rose Tremain, Thirteen by Sebastien Beaumont, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer, The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon, Grace Notes and The Anatomy School by Bernard MacLaverty, Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf, and The Pickwick Papers. Yeah, right. And that's just the column delicately toppling on the left. On the right my school/work related reading hopes: a text on Sensation & Perception, another on neuroanatomy as told through case histories, a third called Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience, a text on attention, The Poetics of Mind, and Reading David. This does not include the six issues of The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience festering next to my big purple armchair, nor the articles I should be reading for my studies.

I'm taking bets folks - will I make it? I think not. My prediction is I will never even touch the Dickens, a shame since reading a Dickens novel has become an annual summer project with me. It started with Dombey and Son three years ago, then The Old Curiosity Shop, and the magnificent Bleak House last summer. I've already taken my hopes of re-reading Middlemarch off the docket. I think I'll only spot-read the texts, never get through The Poetics of Mind or Proust and the Squid and read Reading David with resentment, because it's a quick read but I hate the my-experience-with-disease-X books. I'm afraid I may hate the new Andrew Sean Greer, though I'm going to give it a chance, I've already looked into The Book Thief and while everyone raves about it, it seems rather cutsey and gimmicky to me. I have hopes for the rest. That would take the wrecking ball to my towering list, hewing it from 20 to a more manageable 13 for the remaining two months of the summer plus some reading around in the texts. Hmmmm, maybe if I don't go to work, turn off my phone, and cut down on sleep. Oh, and there are two books reserved for me at the library - so what am I doing writing here?


Marie Cloutier said...

I didn't find The Book Thief cutesy. If it's a matter of it being a YA novel, that's just marketing- in his own country Markus Zuzak is considered a writer for adults but he gets marketed as a YA author in the US. I have yet to read a cutesy Holocaust novel!

Ted said...

Marie - That's good to hear since the copy is on the pile and I hoping for the best!

S. Krishna said...

That is quite the list! Good luck!

SmilingSally said...

Umpfh! I'm overwhelmed!

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what my bedside table (and the shelf built into it), my coffee table, and pretty much every flat surface in my home look like! How reassuring that we're not alone in the obsessive collection of books yet to be read.

Iliana said...

I love book pile pictures :)
I had a bit of a hard time when I first started reading The Book Thief. The style seemed a bit distracting but really I got over that pretty quickly and loved the book. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Julia said...

I love the picture of your books pile! It show that you are a reader *grin*

Of all the books that you have listed, not one of them I've ever read except the Dicken book. But those are a lot of book lists you got there!

Good luck on your reading! Happy BTT and have a good weekend ahead!

Ted said...

Thanks, everyone, for the good wishes!