Ack! It can't already be December. The year can't be almost over. I have too much reading to do still. Too many books read but not written about yet. Too many unfinished projects. And a far too large semi-abandoned reading pile giving me glaring looks from their place next to my bed. Even after going through the pile and weeding those books out that were barely started the pile has more books than I can reasonably think of finishing in the next four weeks. Sigh.
There's nothing for it but to press on and try and wrap up what I can and then think about how I am going to make a fresh start with the new year. So, I realize that in the same breath as I talk about unfinished books I should not say the words holiday reading choices (meaning new books to read for December), but there's no turning back now. Needless to say I'll have plenty of reading choices this month to see me through the end of the year. And then plenty of unfinished books to see me into the new year as well. (There's always a positive twist to be had).
As I furiously (no, read that as calmly) try to finish the books on my sidebar (and a few of those semi-abandoned bedside books) this month, I have a few new books to intersperse amongst them to liven things up (fresh blood so to speak).
Rosamunde Pilcher is one of my favorite go-to comfort read authors, though I've only read (and reread) two of her many books, I've always meant to read more. What better time of year as the shortest day draws near than to pick up Winter Solstice. It's set in Scotland and Cornwall with a cast of five very different people and includes a rambling Victorian house. I have hot chocolate stocked up and at the ready and I have a feeling it will be just the right accompaniment whilst reading this.
Next weekend I'm going to see the Nutcracker performed, so thought it would be good to read E.T.A. Hoffmann's Nutcracker and the Mouse King (my copy also has The Tale of the Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas). Coming so soon after my fairy tale reading, it seems like a perfect follow up (with the added benefit of it being a story story I'm familiar with as well as one with a happy ending).
I've already mentioned Adalbert Stifter's Rock Crystal, which I had hoped to squeeze in last month, but it was not to be (despite the novella-length), but as I want to read it in one go, best to save it for a day when I can spend a little uninterrupted reading time with it. I've heard it's a magical story, so one that is best read closer to the holiday, I think.
Inspired by Dickens in December I've pulled out my copy of A Christmas Carol for a reread. As it is Dickens's 200th anniversary of his birth this year I really do need to read something in (a late) celebration. It would have been nice to read something by him I've not read before (and as I have read so little by him there would have been lots of options), but there's not enough time now for one of his longer novels. Maybe I can read one of his other Christmas writings included in my book.
And last but not least and for something a little different I have Diana Tutton's Guard Your Daughters, which seems to have been making the rounds in the book blogosphere with quite a positive reception. It's been compared to Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle (even better I've heard, which is high praise indeed), and as I loved Smith's novel, I have to read this one. It's out of print, but seems to be a prime choice for a publisher like Persephone Books to snap up.
I've been feeling strangely festive this year (normally I am much more curmudgeonly about the holidays, so I'm not entirely sure what's come over me other than finding work stressful so need some other happier outlet, I guess), so I'm very much looking forward to my holiday reading. It probably helps that the weather has been mild (only one brief snowfall that melted away quickly). I've even been writing this post to the smooth, jazzy sounds of the Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas (how much happier can you get than that?!), and Peter Buffett's Star of Wonder, which are two of my favorite holiday CDs (along with the most excellent Ella Fitzgerald).
So now if the month could just move slowly so I can fit in all I want to do. Anyone else doing a little holiday reading? Or anything festive for the upcoming holiday (however you might celebrate) season?