Coming into 2015, I decided that one of my resolutions was going to be to read at least 20 books over the next 12 months. I love reading, and at any given time I have at least five books sitting on my bedside table that I’m in the middle of reading, and plenty more sitting on my bookshelf, in the living room, and in my purse.
Over the last few months, I’d taken to writing a reading goals post each month, with about three books that I planned to read that month; and what I’ve noticed is that those are almost never the books I end up reading. So this year, despite a resolution centered on reading more, I’m not going to be planning which books I’m going to read. Instead, I’d like to talk about the books I’m in the process of reading right now, in the hopes that it will motivate me to finish those books (I have a nasty habit of starting and never finishing books, because as much as I love to read, I love the feel of a new book even more).
The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer
I bought this book on my iPad months ago, and never really got into it until the last couple weeks. I’m a little torn on my feelings about it because while I love the characters and the general storyline, jumping back and forth all over the place in a book drives me crazy.
The Interestings spans a couple decades in the lives of several friends who met as teenagers at a summer camp for the arts. Instead of following a linear or at least logical passage through their lives though, the author jumps all over the place – in one chapter, a main character is 5-years-old, and in the next you’re reading a sex scene taking place in the life of another friend 15 years later. It can be difficult to follow, and while I do sort of like the omnipresent feel of knowing where everyone ends up and how that ties into who they are at 14, 15, 16 years old, I think I’d prefer if the book were at least somewhat more consequential.
Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I have been trying for years to read through all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but have only ever managed to make it through A Study in Scarlet, Hound of the Baskervilles, A Sign of Four, and about 10 or so of the short stories. I make this even harder on myself by starting at the very beginning with A Study in Scarlet every time I pick the book back up.
I absolutely love adaptations of these stories – Elementary, Sherlock, and House are some of my favorite shows; so I know I’d love the the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Unfortunately, I sometimes find them difficult to get into, probably because of the writing as compared to writing today.
The End of War, by John Horgan
I just picked this book up yesterday at Barnes & Noble after work, and I’m already about a quarter of the way through just from the bus-ride home (the book is just under 200 pages, so if I’m being fully honest, a quarter is only a little over 50 pages).
The book reads more like a long research essay on our propensity as human beings to engage in war and how we’re just as biologically likely to engage in peace. I’ve always been bothered by the idea that we’re incapable of brokering a more permanent peace. In my lifetime, we’ve had about 10 years of peace between the first and second Gulf Wars (or the Gulf War and the War on Terror – whichever you prefer). And as much as I enjoy (some) dystopian novels (like Station Eleven), I’m ultimately really bothered by the fact that in every one of them, humankind finds themselves incapable of starting over peacefully. All that said, once I’m finished with this book I’ll definitely be writing a post about it.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’ve been working on this book for a little while now, and am expecting that it’ll be a while longer before I’ve finished. Like The End of War, this book is also research based, but it strikes me as being a little denser and harder to get through.
So far, I’m enjoying learning more about myself as an introvert, but ultimately I think I’m a little disappointed, I think because I put too much pressure on the book to “fix” me.
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
I’ve been reading this book for about as long as I’ve been reading Sherlock Holmes, and it’s another one that I really want to get through but can’t seem to because of the writing. While the writing is easy to understand, likely because it was updated in relatively recent years, I think anyone who has read a book written before the 1900s would agree that it’s just different.
I also think that generally, romances are just not my cup of tea (unless they’re written by John Green, in which case give me all the books). For example, I’ve read all of two Nicholas Spark’s books, and I’m not impressed by either of them. I think this may be a personal problem with the idea of romance, but that’s a topic for another post.
So what’s on your reading list lately?