Back in April, I made a pile of most of the first page of my to-read list, and worked through until I had tasted each one. From there I decided whether or not to keep reading, to put on hold but to read later, or to discard. I was able to weed out a few, and ended up finishing three completely. The mightiest tome on the list, Infinite Jest, I am halfway through as of yesterday, so even that book got dipped into.
It is time to do it again, namely because I have run out of room on my bookshelves and something's gotta give! I also can't stand to read Infinite Jest every day, and I've been pulling that back to once a week. I had to wade through two pages of my to-read list to come up with a significant pile, but here it is. I'm going to have dated all of these books (read 50 pages minimum) by August 1. In the meantime, please tell me what you think! Have you read any of these titles? Any you would steer me away from or encourage me toward? I'll list the author, title, and brief thoughts on each below.
Fernando Baez - A Universal History of the Destruction of Books
I've read Double Fold by Nicholson Baker twice, where he focuses on libraries' recent roles in book destruction. This seems like a much longer and international history, and will look great on the shelf in my office, even if I don't decide to read it all. Ha!
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Strange Pilgrims
Slim volume, short stories, I imagine it will go quickly. But I thought that of the Borges stories that I keep starting and not finishing.
Doris Lessing - The Grass is Singing
This is a better known work of Lessing; I have read lesser known Lessings. I predict I'll like it.
Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary
I've just never read this classic and I know it was very scandalous when it was published. The challenge will be the prose of the translation.
Paul Theroux - Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
I have several Theroux on my shelves and wonder if this is really the best place to start. It is a revisit by Theroux to a journey he took and chronicled in The Great Railway Bazaar. I might swap them out since I own both. Shhhhhh. (Or does it matter?)
Curtis Sittenfeld - American Wife
I've read other books by Sittenfeld, and intended to read this book for my DC pick this year. Might as well get to it.
Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth
I had such intentions to read this that I ended up with two copies. I liked The Power of Now, so maybe this will have some good stuff in it.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind
I've been saving this because I so loved The Angel's Game. But now that Zafon has other books coming out translated in English, I don't have to save this one any longer. And why am I waiting? I expect to love it; the setting and the topic are both right up my narrow Spanish alley. :)
Ellen Gilchrist - The Writing Life
I tend to enjoy books on writing, and have been intending to read this for a while. It ended up on the leisure reading shelves at work, so no time like the present.
E. L. Doctorow - Ragtime
I have two Doctorow books at home that I've been intending to read... no three. Ack! I don't even know if I like him! Nathaniel asked me if this is what the musical is based on, and I have no idea. I guess I'll find out.