Now that I am getting serious about catching up on my reading pile, I've been thinking about how I want to tackle the books. I'm thinking it would be best to choose one and concentrate on it until I finish and then move on to the next making my way through the pile, but I always have such a hard time choosing which one to read first. So I am still juggling a bit, but I'm close to finishing a third book from the list.
My biggest challenge is finishing Les Misérables. I feel like it is a huge impediment in the road. Summer is quickly coming to an end and I told myself I would be done with the Hugo by the end of summer. I have about 400 pages left to read, and every page feels like it goes slower than the last. I feel bad as I am getting a little resentful. If he digresses on one more matter I might scream. Well, actually I won't, but I feel like it sometimes. This is the book I should work on finishing before any of the others. It would be such a sigh of relief to get through it, but I just can't quite bring myself to read only it. Maybe when I have less than 300 pages? I'm sure when I finish I will be happy to have read it, but it's a struggle at the moment. I whipped through 1,300 page of Dumas in no time, but the Hugo has just worn me down, I'm sorry to say.
I'm also working very. very. slowly. on Laura Claridge's Emily Post biography. It's very interesting, but it is so chock full of information I can't seem to read it very fast, and it is quite a long book. Claridge has spent a lot of time on Emily's family, filling in all the details, but I suppose it's necessary to learn about the milieu she grew up in to understand who she later became. So far the book has only discussed Emily peripherally, but now that I've finished the first section, and Emily has just gotten married, I'm hoping the book will center more on her. Still, reading about Gilded Age New York is fascinating stuff. Even only a fourth of the way in I can say Claridge is an excellent writer and has definitely done her homework.
I'm really enjoying Cordelia Frances Biddle's Deception's Daughter. I read the first Martha Beale mystery last year and had mixed feelings about it, but so far this has been a very satisfying read. It is set in mid-19th century Philadelphia, and Biddles very convincingly writes about the time, place and people. The pages are turning pretty fast on this one. I can usually count on whatever mystery I am reading to capture my attention, and I say this not to reflect badly on M. Hugo, but then I think each author is trying to accomplish something different! Hmm. Does this mean I'm a lazy reader only looking for momentary gratification? Maybe sometimes.
Since I'm thinking mysteries, why didn't anyone tell me that the last two Inspector Lynley mysteries (season VII) just aired? I missed all of them--they repeated season VI as well. I've added them to the top of my Netflix queue. I'm still very disappointed that the show was canceled, as this is it now--no more Lynley. I've come to enjoy the TV adaptation almost more than the books, if you can believe that?! And I see that the DVDs have been released, but they are tacked on to season VI, which I already own. Am I going to have to buy the whole set over again? I guess I'll have to go back to the beginning now and watch them in order from the first to last.
I discovered that the next Maisie Dobbs mystery, Among the Mad, is already listed on Amazon. It's not due out until February 2009. I don't want to wish the year away, but I am looking forward to the next Maisie installment. And a new book by Anne Perry caught my eye too, Execution Dock. I can't tell if it is another book in one of her series or a stand alone mystery. That one isn't due out until March. Just as well, though, I need to keep my attention focused on the list for the time being.
By the way, my postal reading group book came in the mail. I'll be reading this book by this author. It was made into an award winning film, too. I'm not at all familiar with it, but it sounds good. An excuse to start a new book in the near future.