So, as we’re probably all aware at this stage, when I’m not writing away or guilting myself about not getting 100% in every single uni assignment, I have my head in a book. Some might say that I have no life, but I prefer to think that I am a very driven sort of person. I’ve got one more week of writing left for my Iconography series on literature at Bitch Magazine, so you’d think I’d be sick of reading. But no, because, even while writing up several books a week, I’ve still found the time to read books for fun. Bless the summer holidays. You can check out my Goodreads account to see what I’ve been reading lately; I always keep it updated.
But I am already looking to the future to see what to read next! My goal for this year is 100 books; I’m already a bit behind, but I’ve been busy, and I should catch up and then some when life settles down in February!
Here’s what’s littering my bedroom at the moment (I can’t get out of bed without tripping on a book):
- I’m making my way through the The Circle Opens quartet by Tamora Pierce. So far I’ve read Magic Steps, and I’m currently on Street Magic. After that I have Cold Fire, and I shall have to borrow the fourth from the library. I’m partway through Trickster’s Queen, too. I’ve also got Terrier and its sequel, Bloodhound, out of the library, but we’ll see how I go.
- Grass for His Pillow is the sequel to Across the Nightingale Floor, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are a few more Lian Hearn books I’d like to check out, too.
- I need to read T.H. White’s The Once and Future King at some stage. I have a copy with me now, but it doesn’t quite seem the right time, somehow, so I might return it to the library.
- The same goes for George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss.
- I bought Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog afer I saw the film, which was beautiful, last year.
- My affection for Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South is no secret. I bought her Cranford February last, on a memorable trip to Canberra, in a lovely independent bookstore.
- I was given a collection of stories by Australian writers as a promotion on a trip to Borders last year. It’s called 10 Short Stories You Must Read in 2010. Whoops.
- Possession by A.S. Byatt. I’ve been meaning to read it for years.
- Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran was given to me as a birthday present a couple of years ago, and I’ve been enthused about reading it all that time, and haven’t yet.
- A really lovely woman called Dr Katie Ellis sent me her book, Disabling Diversity, subtitled “The Social Construction of Disability in 1990s Australian National Cinema,” a few months ago. At the time, I had too many uni assignments to read, and then couldn’t concentrate enough for non-fiction, and then, well, having to read a billion books for Bitch Magazine happened, but Katie’s launching a new book so I really have to get it read! It’s a bit embarassing that I haven’t yet, really. Sorry, Katie, I think you’re fabulous!!
- A reader who I know would want to remain anonymous gave me Heidi by Johanna Spyri, which, though I read my Pollyannas and Katy Carrs, I didn’t read in childhood.
- Dear, lovely Beppie gave me The Red Shoes by Ursula Dubosarsky, who has produced some work I think is really wonderful, so I’m looking forward to that.
- Charming, marvellous WildlyParenthetical gave me Anne Michaels’ The Winter Vault. I approve of WP’s literary taste, so this is most exciting!
- We had some visitors recently (that’s partly why I haven’t been reading much this January!), who gave me The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I haven’t really blogged about this much, but I absolutely love examining and exploring religious traditions, and this book is supposed to take a new approach to the story around the Abrahamic figure of Dinah. I saw a Goodreads interview with the author a few months ago and have been meaning to read it ever since, so it was a really nice gift to receive. I was also given The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern, which will be great for continuing the Irish women writer reading trend I embarked on last year! Woo!
- Yesterday, I bought The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall at the bookstore…
- … and also Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton.
Now, here are the books that aren’t currently in my room that I also want to read this year:
- Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, because Jill was just reading it, and she has me intrigued.
- Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, because Toni Morrison is great, and because I’m tossing around ideas for my honours thesis (yes, I know I have two years of this degree to go before then; I have my dream supervisor picked out, too).
- Millenium Hall by Sarah Scott.
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. (This and a few of those to follow are recs of Lauredhel‘s; thanks, mate!)
- The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
- Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.
- Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams.
- Zombies vs Unicorns, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.
- On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
- Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore.
- Artemis Fowl: the Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer.
- Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson.
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.
- Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave, about queer boys in Melbourne. I can’t believe I actually missed the play version of this, but I did.
- Something of Nick Hornby’s.
- Something I haven’t read of Sophie Kinsella’s.
- The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia King.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, because it’s about time.
- Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.
- The Sookie Stackhouses (Charlaine Harris) I haven’t read.
- Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson.
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.
- And… I can’t believe I’m about to admit this, but I haven’t actually read Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, which is bizarre considering that the woman rocks every pair of socks in my possession. I need to borrow it off one of you sharpish!!
Now, am I going to read all of these? Probably not. Probably I will have uni and work and will find other, shiny, distracting books. But I am going to make a good go of it. And these only make up about half number the books I want to read this year, so it could happen! As for the others, I’ll see what comes my way and go back over the recs made me by readers here, at Feministe, at Bitch and so forth.
I am reasonably sure there is a list of books that I was saving for my twenties somewhere round about, but there’s a lot of my twenties yet to go, and I want to get back to some young adult fiction. What kind of YA have you been reading? What have you been reading in general, or want to read?