This is going to be me for the rest of the year. Wishful thinking perhaps, but if I actually try and meet my end-of-the-year-must-tidy-my-reading-piles ambitions, I had better try and emulate the woman in this painting. My mind has been all over the place lately and my reading has really suffered, so perhaps a more thoughtful approach with an eye towards a little Fall cleaning and putting my "house in order" will help me settle and get back on track so I can start 2017 all fresh and new. I tend to like making an end of the year list of books I want to complete, but I think I will try something a little different. No list of books I 'must finish this year', rather some projects that I hope to complete or chip away at. My reading table will be cleared off one way or another--either I will finish in progress books or quietly let them find their way back to my bookshelves for later enjoyment. I know I will be starting some new books, finishing in progress books and letting others go, and wherever they end up will be just fine.
So, I have those kicking off 2016 plans still in the very (very, very) back of my mind, some of which I have actually managed to, mentally at least, cross off the list. A few books ended up in that languishing pile and so now I must decide which way they'll go (into my bookbag or back on the shelves). And then there was the midway update which has ended up being more wishful thinking than anything else. Some finishes, some reshuffles and a few to still be determined. I think a few will likely be on next year's hopeful list. I actually quite like reassessing. I like the idea of clearing off one way or another, it is refreshing starting anew or to return to plans I was so excited about at the time.
There are four things I know I do want to do yet this year. One is read some German Literature in November. Handily some of my NYRBs (see below) can be included in that pile. I'll share my potential read pile this weekend.
I want to try and get to as many of my 2016 NYRB subscription books as I can yet this year: The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, Zama, Girlfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories, and The Invisibility Cloak (and whatever comes in November and December). The Walser is quite short and will fit in with my German Lit books (and I should be finishing Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel in just a few days), and I have already started Zama, which is quite slender.
That leaves tidying up the books I have finished but never written about. In some cases the books were read at the beginning of the year. I have been remiss in writing about my finishes this year. I like to have some sort of record of my reading, so I hope to write something, however brief, about these stragglers:
Journey to Munich, Jacqueline Winspear (and to think a new Maisie Dobbs novel will be out early next year!)
Beyond the Glass, Antonia White
Life Class, Pat Barker (with an eye to reading the third book in the loose trilogy soon)
Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively
The Lawyer's Secret, M.E. Braddon
Some Luck, Jane Smiley (another trilogy I will be very soon revisiting)
Indignation, Philip Roth
This Must Be the Place, Maggie O'Farrell
Family Life, Akhil Sharma
A Sensible Life, Mary Wesley
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
As a few of these are favorites I hope to start writing about them very soon.
One other small plan, or rather a habit I want to get back to. I love my short story reading, but I tend to be more regular about it when I know I will write about it each week. I may give my Mondays up to short stories and have a collection of stories translated from German to end the year with.
So, this should all keep me busy. I can now mentally tick the books off as I tackle each small 'goal' and now I have a place to keep track of my progress.