The recent run of summery weather must be over-heating my brain and making me lazy. After all, it surely can’t be the early evening gin & tonic or Pimm’s that is wrecking my concentration and making me disinclined to read anything more demanding than chicklit. Yet, with a TBR shelf that isn’t doing too badly at the moment, I don’t have anything I want to read. But as I’ve just bought a new, and horrifically expensive car, I’m feeling too guilty to go and buy a stock of book shaped mind snacks as well.
Instead, it’s time to crack on with some of the titles that have been hanging around for far too long as it is. Maybe this will be the summer in which I finish vol 3 of Proust? (I can see Mr W laughing out loud at that one). Well, maybe not, but a little more discipline wouldn’t go amiss.
So, here’s a summer reading list. It’s not complete because it’ll doubtless get interspersed with ad hoc choices and the monthly delivery from Blackwell’s. And first, I need to clear the decks and finish No Harm, but then it’s full steam ahead!
- The Faerie Queen – Edmund Spenser. This has been sitting on a shelf for five years. Five years! I know, because when I opened it up I found, firstly, a bookmark at the end of the first canto (oh well done me, tremendous effort that); and secondly, a receipt from a bookshop in Amherst. I’m thinking, one canto per day. It’ll be a bit pathetic if I can’t manage that. I might see if I can get it on audio as well, then I can switch back and forth.
- Family Life – David Kynaston. This has been sitting around for so long that Kynaston has delivered volume 3. I almost bought it as a matter of course before remembering that I hadn’t got anywhere with vol 2. Sigh.
- Speak, Memory – Vladimir Nabokov. I’ve absolutely no idea where this came from. It’s a US copy but that isn’t to say I didn’t pick it up last year on the grounds that I’d read it at some point. Anyway, I was quite surprised when I found it on the bookcase, and moved it to TBR at once.
- A High Wind in Jamaica – Richard Hughes. I actually only acquired this one a couple of weeks ago, but I do know my own tendency to go off the idea the longer a book lies around unread. Unfortunately, I just abandoned Hughes’ A Fox in the Attic. On the plus side, A High Wind in Jamaica has pirates and morally challenged children.
- The Story: Love, Loss and the Lives of Women – Victoria Hislop (ed.). I keep telling myself that as this is short stories, one can just dip in and out at whim. Which is true, but very little dipping is happening and it is too beautiful a volume to be neglected.
There you have it, kids. You may all mock me as being a namby-pamby, illiterate lightweight if I don’t make it.