My how the month has just flown by. Here we are halfway through and not much time left in the year to say nothing before the upcoming holiday and I have only managed to cross one lone book from that ambitious list I made not so long ago. Of course one of the books is a chunky one and I have been devoting a good part of my reading time to it, so I have been making progress in my reading, it just does not seem very obvious. So, I think I am going to have to rethink that list and pare it down to maybe half the size.
Since I seem to be trying to catch up and dust away the remnants of this year, I am also now getting more and more excited about putting my attention to the coming new year. I do love a fresh start. That languishing pile that has been sitting there becomes ever more lackluster compared to the list of "new" books I want to start. They are not newly purchased or library books per se, but mostly books from my shelves that I am looking forward to reading. I don't think I will have any plans really for the new year (I say that now, but just wait until the last days of this year when I really think of what I want to do next year!), but I have ideas of reading themes I want to start out the year with and then I tend to let my reading meander organically after (as in give in to whim and mood!).
I did, finally, this week update the Excel spreadsheet that I keep of my yearly reading (and from which I glean my end of year statistics). The last time I had updated it was at the end of February. So that was a lot of work, but also it was sort of enlightening--to see where my reading started and ended up and remind myself of all the really good books I read (and how often I meant to read more books by a particular author). I also have a list of books I never got around to writing about and which now it is probably too late to write a proper post about most of them, but maybe I will do a few catch up reviews just so I can have a record here of my thoughts.
I think of my list the last books I will try and finish and spend my time with will be the Smiley, which is the chunkster, which I am feeling more and more ambivalent about. I sort of feel like I am just putting in time with it to get through it rather than really enjoy my time with the Langdons. But if I set it aside now, I am not sure I will ever return to it, so I just keep plugging away. Maybe I will feel differently about it once I turn that halfway mark.
My last prompt of the year is my easy comfort read. I have been keeping it in my gym locker and reading it as a nice distraction there. I need to work on next year's list of prompts now.
Probably the two books I am most enjoying right now are Locked Rooms by Laurie King and Emma Beddington's Paris memoir, We'll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French. Mary Russell and San Francisco (with a cameo by Dashiell Hammett), how can you miss? But I will say Mary is definitely not her usual self. And Emma Beddington just has such a wonderful wry sense of humor and I love her 'voice'. I can imagine myself in her situation if I ever had the chance to live in Paris! More on those two later, I hope (before the year is out). And I hope to squeeze in Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country, which has been rather at the bottom of this little stack (only because I want to be able to give it more attention than the occasional page or two the others are getting). This is my reshuffled night table pile looks like now. Anything else will either just have to be carried over or (quietly) be returned to their places on bookshelves until a more auspicious moment for them comes along later.
I'm still in those happy hazy moments of just starting to think about next year's reading (list started of books and authors on my mind), but I will say one mood/whim that is going to be attended to sooner than later is a desire to read a book, preferably mystery or crime and maybe something vintage set in (preferably) WWII London. Any ideas? A favorite you can recommend? If not I will be contemplating the problem myself.
However you spend your weekend I hope it will be with a good book. My weekend will include these, short stories (am behind in them, too) and a visit to the bookstore, where I hope to cross a few more presents off my (nearly completed) gift list (and by gift list I mean gifts for others!, though maybe a book for me will also find its way into my bag).