Remember I was lamenting my 'off reading year' when it comes to nonfiction? I have indeed been working on getting my reading stamina up, with at least a few pages each day with either my current NF read or a magazine article or other short piece of writing. And so now, I think it is time for some serious nonfiction. I have pulled a stack of potential reads and as I am in the mood for something about women's lives you can see which books have jumped out at me. Actually more than this
'short' stack of books jumped out but I had to try and keep it under reasonable control.
I've decided to get back to my routine of reading a nonfiction book while walking on the treadmill, which I do most days of the week. Even half an hour or so of dedicated reading will mean I can make steady progress, right? That's how I read Antonia Fraser's memoir at the start of the year. So why not finish out the year in the same vein. I may not actually finish it by the end of the month, but as long as I am reading it regularly I will happily let it carry over into 2017 (which I have been thinking a lot about when it comes to books and what I want to read/'accomplish').
So my shortlist stack of choices is as follows--I'll pick on today and dive right in. Of course it is still the same old problem of--they all look so good, how do I choose?!
Paper Houses by Michele Roberts -- A little carryover from reading the 1970s--this would have been perfect, but no matter, I can read it just as easily now. A memoir about living in London in the 1970s. I wonder if I will get all the cultural references but no matter; that's what Google is for, right?
In Search of Fatima by Ghada Karmi -- Most years I do one or two themed reading projects (this year was the 1970s), and yes, here I am already contemplating what next spring's theme will be. For a variety of reasons, not least that I have read so few authors from this region, I want to read more about and by authors from the Middle East. It seems especially pertinent these days and I have slowly been collecting books. Expect to hear more about that sometime in the near future, but this would be a perfect fit, as Ghada Karmi was born in Palestine and fled as a young girl with her family after the 1948 war to England. I am very keen on this one at the moment.
A Design for Living by Lillian Langseth-Christensen -- This memoir was published in 1987 and I read it sometime after that, but many years ago. So long ago that I only remember that it is about living in Vienna at a time I am most interested in reading about and that I enjoyed it enough the first time around to keep it on my shelves. Definitely time to revisit it. It is about a young American girl who goes to Vienna in the 1920s to study under Josef Hoffmann. So this is art and travel and memoir all rolled into one--what more can I ask for?!
First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis -- This is a bit of a cheat since it is a dual bio of the Adams's as a couple rather than purely one about Abigail. I thought I had a book just about her (they always seem paired, though, don't they?), but apparently I don't. Another reading project always in mind is to read more about US history/government particularly the Colonial era, though it never seems to happen . . .
Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime by Joanne Drayton -- I started to read her DI Roderick Alleyn mysteries a few years back and have (how often do I say this?) always meant to get back to them. She is one of the Golden Age mystery writers that I have so enjoyed reading. I could see this turning into a little project--reading her bio in tandem with a few of the mysteries!
So, as I try and clean off my night table for a clean slate new year, here I am with (always and ever) very itchy fingers all ready for something new.