I mentioned the pile of books that I want to finish this month, but don't be too impressed that there are thirteen of them. With the exception of a very few that are books I'm just starting to read this month, the majority of them are either very short (novella length in some cases) or I am already midway through or even nearly finished reading. This is mostly a clean-up sort of month for me when it comes to reading. I had wanted to finish most of the books I had started earlier in the year, but I'm probably not going to manage to get to a number of them.
So what to do about the rest? Some will get carried over into next year and some might end up back in my TBR piles. I read very much by whim, but sometimes (no, most of the time) I get carried away by books and the possibility of reading lots of them (usually at once). If I set any goals for myself for next year (and I really try and avoid 'goals'--better to stick to a few loose plans), it is going to be to be more discerning in my reading selections and try and stick with books from start to finish and not get overly distracted by each new book that crosses my path that I feel like starting right away. Perhaps then I can avoid just this sort of end up the year clean up. So, in no particular order here are my last reads for 2012 (though don't be surprised if some other book happens to pop up in my posts during the last few weeks of December--I might feel inclined to finish some other book from the 'in progress' pile).
- Ghost Story by Peter Straub -- This is a holdover from October's RIP reading. I'm nearly finished--less than two hundred pages to go. With shorter days and walks to and from the bus stop in the dark, I admit that its creepiness makes me only want to read it in the comfort of my own home.
- Windflower by Gabrielle Roy -- I read this for the Canadian Reading Challenge and just need to find a moment to write about it. I liked it so much that I've gone and bought most of Roy's other works and can't wait to start another book by her.
- The Nutcracker and Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann and The Tale of the Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas -- I really enjoyed these stories and may have to give a quick rundown of the Dumas at some point as well (though as the basic story goes it's quite similar to the Hoffmann). These are stories I'll be revisiting in the future.
- The Stalin Front by Gert Ledig --WWII story for the Literature and War Readalong. I had hoped to read all the books from the list this year, but I didn't finish June's reading selection (Bomber by Len Deighton) and have a feeling I won't do so before the year is out. Maybe I can finish it retrospectively.
- Guard Your Daughters by Diana Tutton -- Have just started this short novel and think it will be a light and entertaining book.
- Cashelmara by Susan Howatch -- I'm going to try and mostly concentrate on just one or two books at a time, but this will be my one constant that I take with me. It's a good family drama and quite easy to slip into and get involved with.
- The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie -- I had to try and sneak just one more mystery in this year and thought it was time to catch up with Miss Marple. I'm trying to read the books in the order they were written and am slowly working my way through the Miss Marple mysteries.
- The Progress of Love by Alice Munro -- Although I've not yet gotten around to writing about the last two stories I read (still hope to do so--will cover the last few stories in one post I think), I'm nearly finished with the book--may even finish the last story tonight. I'll definitely be reading more of Alice Munro's stories (and have her first collection Dance of the Happy Shades partially started and sitting on my bedside pile).
- The Well-Kept Kitchen by Gervase Markham -- This is the first volume (according to my list anyway) of the Penguin Great Food Series that I'll be reading over the course of the next year. All the books are very short in length--no more than about 150 pages each.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett -- I started this last month. It's another charming story that I am looking forward to getting back to. I read about a third of it before a few other books came along and distracted me.
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -- I'll wait until just a bit closer to Christmas to start reading this one. From what I recall it's fairly short and should be a manageable read for the end of the year.
- Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter -- Another very short book, more novella-length, that I'll be reading just before the upcoming holiday.
- Dispatches by Michael Herr -- This is the last of this years Literature and War books. I'm hoping I can squeeze it in easily just after the holiday on my week off from work.
I've got quite a combination of books, don't I? Everything from traditional Christmas tales (I don't usually do so much seasonal sort of reading like this--I just seem to be inspired by Christmas tales this year) to war stories and family dramas. Something to suit my every mood I hope. I won't have quite a clean slate to start 2013, but hopefully I'll come close.