Oh heck. I'm sorry, I was all set to write about this month's installment of Gillian Clarke's At the Source, but I'm afraid I am still reading. It's not a very long chapter, but my attention span seems to be on the short side at the moment. How many things can I procrastinate on this week? No short stories on the weekend (and I have to tell you it isn't looking good for the rest of this week either) and now no March nature reading and tomorrow is April 1st.
It's really not a matter of procrastination as I want to be reading, but I seem to be always running out of good reading time. How sad is it that at work today I took my afternoon break outside to sit in the sun and read and found instead that the warmth had a soporific effect on me and I was practically nodding off. Sometimes I guess you just have to give in to idleness!
Actually it isn't procrastination or a desire for idleness, but a combination of being tired and easily distracted. This is where my mind has been at--meandering all over the place.
First, I spent most of my reading time today finishing Dolly City by Orly Castel-Bloom. Can I make a confession? I was so happy to turn the last page of that book and finish it. I always feel a little bad when this happens. I knew this would be a challenging book for me to read, and it was. My feelings for it ran hot and cold the whole way through. I'm glad I read it, and found some things to really admire about it, but there were moments of feeling like it was an uphill slog. Isn't it weird how something can be a slog and you are thinking how much you just want to go and return it to the shelf but when you finish all of a sudden you think, maybe that wasn't so bad after all? So, no warm and fuzzy thoughts in retrospect but it will have left a mark on me. I already have written about it, so it will be tucked away now. Two books in a row that I have just finished and both were translated from Hebrew. As I have wanted to make an effort to read more international fiction this year, there is something to feel pleased about!
I've had all sorts of other bookish distractions tonight making it impossible to concentrate on actual reading. As strange as this may sound, I have a hard time reading at night when I am at home. Distractions! Piles of my own books all within reach. Generally too tired to concentrate. But that never stops me from thinking about reading and perusing my own books.
Here's where my mind has been at tonight.
Read email. Okay, no new email messages, so nothing there to read.
Do a quick little search for Mary Jane shoes because I have this inkling to buy a pair for summer. Do you know how cheap they are online? Spend far too much time looking at different stores. Find one store I like and then spend far too much time looking at their website. Decide I do want to buy a pair (or maybe even two) but am too tired to actually place order.
Move on to a new search. So, it's Bailey's Women's Prize time (two weeks to go until the shortlist). Hmm. I wonder what is happening with the CWA Daggers? This was prompted in part by reaching for Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Siege when I came home from work. It was last year's International Dagger winner and I am in the mood for a historical mystery (seeing as I have every other sort of mystery on the go right now, why not add another . . . well, think about adding another). Being familiar with Perez-Reverte's other books (I've read a smattering of his literary thrillers and at least one of his Captain Alartriste books (am a great fan of his work--it truly is literary!), I was thinking this might offer some good, higher-brow, swashbuckling fun that appeals to me at the moment with the added benefit of being set a bit before the Victorian era (which also appeals right now).
When did the CWA start listing all the entries for each category? It seems in the past they only shared the longlist and not all the titles that had been put up for a prize? This is good and bad. Good because it is interesting to see who is being considered. Bad because it then becomes a huge time suck as I look through the lists for potential reads. Do you see how my mind works? I am already in the midst of how many really good books, and here I am adding yet more to my wishlist. The other good/bad thing about the Dagger awards is the fact that mysteries are often series books, and being one to keep organized (not that you can tell that tonight, of course), I prefer to read books in order. What happens when a book sounds good and you want to read it but then discover that it is the third book in a series and now you have to go back and start from the beginning.
Seeing as I have mysteries on the mind, you can see how I am overthinking everything right now. But I am pleased to see that one of the books I am reading at the moment, D.A. Mishani's A Possibility of Violence (for class) is on the list for the International Dagger.
Oh, but wait. I won't go into detail, but here is some of the other bookish meanderings from tonight. Along with the Perez-Reverte I knew I wanted to pull out some Ray Bradbury (actually I want a book of his short stories that I recently bought and now cannot find, so I have contented myself with pulling two novels from my shelves). It is going to bug me, of course, until I find that story collection however.
Then I thought I really do need to pick up the next Little House book, By the Shores of Silver Lake and so it sits right next to me as I write.
Just because it was sitting on the top of a pile and caught my eye I also have Fannie Flagg's The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion next to the Bradburys.
And then I have been thinking of this pile of books I acquired at the end of last summer.
Should I admit that I do this all the time? Pull books pell mell from piles and shelves because I have been thinking about certain stories over the course of the day, but in almost every case they will eventually find their way home again and I will return to that towering in progress pile!
One book, however, came in the mail and will be added to that towering pile. I have a review copy of Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir by Frances Mayes that I think I will be taking with me to work for the rest of the week. It's about time I had a good nonfiction book on the pile.
I was thinking I would have nothing to share with you tonight since I didn't finish my reading. It's amazing how easy it is to chat about books, however! I will catch up with my short stories and March nature reading . . . soon.