From the Stacks Update
Back in November, I decided to participate in the From the Stacks Challenge, which consists of reading 5 books from my shelves of previously-purchased, unread books. The deadline is the end of January, and I'm behind.
To recap, these were my picks:
Looking for the Possible Dance - A.L. Kennedy
Mary - Vladimir Nabokov
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
The Waves - Virginia Woolf
Spelling Mississippi - Marnie Woodrow
So far, I've read Looking for the Possible Dance, which was quite good. I found the start slow, but it gradually built to an unexpected, even violent, crescendo. By the end of the novel, I liked it so much that I felt guilty for having initially doubted it.
Now I'm reading Mary, and I'm about halfway through this first Nabokov novel. His prose is brilliant, with descriptive lines like this one, of a nighttime walk in Berlin:
"Occasionally, braying like a stag, a motorcar would dash by or something would happen which no one walking in a city ever notices: a star, faster than thought and with less sound than a tear, would fall."
But the main character's obsession with a young woman he was in love with in his youth and who has since married his ex-pat fellow Russian neighbour, is getting on my nerves. Nabokov's imagery is often stunning but I'm not exactly captivated by the subject matter.
Three and a half books to go!
I get my wisdom teeth out on Jan. 2nd (already once rescheduled because of a cold), and I'm hoping I can spend the recovery time sitting around reading the rest of the books in the Stacks Challenge.
What has prompted me to catch up on this is that Kate has posted a new book meme, based on Calvino's wonderful If on a winter's night a traveler. Check it out. I'm tempted to take up the challenge of responding to the "Books You’ve Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It’s Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them" category... thought "pretended to have read" is not exactly accurate for me; more like "Books People Assume You've Read, of Which You Know the Basics, But Have Not Actually Read or Finished Reading, and Really Should Really Read Instead of Just Nodding Politely."
I do have a few New Years' Resolutions of sorts - more goals than resolutions - and one is to read more.
Happy new year, everyone. Read more, write more, eat better.