Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

Update – 11/2/13

No reason to give excuses here. It simply turned out to be a matter of personal taste. After slogging through Clear and Present Danger for nearly 3 weeks and roughly 350 pages, I decided that it was proving to be a laborious read that I was not enjoying. So I followed my own advice and closed the cover firmly last night. It was time for a trip to the library today anyway, so I picked up three new books. I’m hoping that at least one of them grabs my interest this month! October has not been a successful month for my reading life.

What books now sit on my desk? I grabbed a biography of the composer Bela Bartok as well as Life Support, a work of inspirational fiction by Robert Whitlow. To round out my stack, I randomly selected a novel listed on the Modern Library’s Top 100 NovelsAngle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.  I’m not going to read exclusively from the list, but I think it will be an interesting journey to work through in the coming years.  We’ll see what sparks my interest and how far I get on the Modern Library list.

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Looking Ahead….

It’s been a busy week here, so my reading has been very slow. I’m plowing through Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy at the moment. I like the book, but I find myself getting confused by the names that are so similar; as we shift between scenes, it takes a few minutes for me to figure out where we are in each plot line. I think if I had more time to sit down and read in larger chunks, it might be easier going.  I’m about 200 pages into this 650 page work. Things are just beginning to get interesting. I expect to give you a full review by the end of the week.

A few days ago, I received a note from my niece (also a book lover) telling me that she just couldn’t get her nose out of the Jodi Picoult novel I had recommended. She then asked if all of her books were this good. I assured her that Picoult was one of my favorite living writers and that she should check out all of her novels. That discussion got me to thinking about some of the book releases that I am anxiously awaiting.  At the top of my list is Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult!  (No surprise there!) Jodi’s works have been appearing in February or March of each year.  For a brief synopsis of the book, you can check out Picoult’s website here.  The other release that has me on pins and needles is Ken Follett’s Edge of Eternity, the final volume of his Century Trilogy.  I’m gonna have to be really patient for this one……it’s not schedule for release until late 2014.

What author’s books do you have to get your hands on as soon as they are released?  Share in the comments section below.

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Reading Update

I’m still not happy with exactly how the format of this blog is turning out. Although I don’t plan on writing daily, I do want to provide some sort of routine update to how the reading is going rather than just waiting to post reviews. So……here’s the first update of my reading life.

My intentions were to read An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser while flying back and forth to Los Angeles. The travel didn’t happen (because of illness), but I still started the novel. I don’t know if the problem was how I was feeling or the writing. I struggled through 50 pages and knew this book simply had to be put away.  There are too many good books to read instead.

This morning, I returned my borrowed books to the Memphis Public Library and selected three more to dive into.  This week is all about making progress related to some personal reading projects.

At the top of the stack is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. This book is the final installment in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first two novels and had never gotten around to reading the last one.  The time has come to finish the adventures of these characters.

When I heard of the death of novelist Tom Clancy, I immediately knew that I wanted to read one of his novels. I tend to steer clear of these big, masculine thrillers. Because Clancy’s work has become such a part of mainstream culture, I decided I owed it to myself to give one of his works a try. Although I contemplated reading one of his lesser known novels, I opted for his 1989 work Clear and Present Danger. This 656 page tome looks really intimidating for some reason. As long as I don’t get tied up in minute details, I think I’ll be fine.

The last treasure in today’s haul is a biography of the Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn.  I’m not certain what I expect to learn from it, but I have committed to including biographies of composers and musicians as part of my reading diet.

I’ve always wanted to read through the major classics of Western literature. I have read many of them throughout my years of school. I was probably too young for many that I read during high school; in college, I was searching for a way to get through the books as quickly as possible rather than lathering in their beauty.  So, I’m in search of a list that can help guide me through my reading of the classics. It won’t exclusively dictate my reading; the list will merely be a project that I’ll work my way through in the coming years.

What are you reading now? I’m always looking for good recommendations from friends. Do you know of a list (other than the Time Magazine list of 100 important novels of the 20th century) that I might consider? I’m hoping to find something like “The 50 Novels Every Educated Person Should Read.” We’ll see what I find…..and I’ll make sure that I share!

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