Saturday, March 15, 2014

Library Books Mid-March Edition

This pile of books makes me wonder if I am getting too caught up in the Reading Shoulds again.  What are the Shoulds?  Any time you are doing something because you feel you should, of course.  I kick the Shoulds to the curb on a regular basis in many areas of my life, but it is more difficult with reading.  Of course I want to read the books everyone is reading.  I joined book clubs with themes that interested me so that I could read more books along those topics.  But too many of those and my reading list becomes cluttered with books I need to read for those groups!  There are only three books on this pile that did not originate as a Should.  I may feel less overwhelmed by the others once I have tried them, but in this moment I am feeling a strong feeling of "Why did I do this to myself again?"

This weekend I will be reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, all 477 pages of it, because my only in-person book club meets Monday evening to discuss it.  I was not planning to read this book, not because I don't enjoy Adichie (I do!) but because I have read multiple books set in Nigeria and want to expand my African horizons if I spend time reading authors from that continent.  As of this writing I have pushed through 100 pages, and it is good, but it is not the book I'm in the mood to read.

Dreams in a Time of War, The Sand Child, and Dead Aid are all from my Great African Reads group in GoodReads.  I don't tend to read along with every selection, so I will probably try these out and only read what grabs me.  Dead Aid is non-fiction and short, and might be interesting.  Altered Carbon is this month's pick for the Sword and Laser group, and it has been a while since I've read along.  I started that book and liked it but it was getting mixed up in my head with the audiobook I was listening to at the time, so I put it aside for later. 

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia was the last book I read for the Tournament of Books, and I already discussed it earlier this week.

The book on the top of the pile, Palimpsest, is actually one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors, Catherynne M. Valente.  I loaned my paper copy to a former student and I was thinking about how much I love the language, and thought it might be nice to hear in audio.  On a whim I searched the catalog of my local library and voila! 

The last two books are not Shoulds but I have not yet tried them.  We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a book I've been circling for a while, thinking about checking it out, knowing I have enjoyed previous books of her stories (What I Didn't See.)  Then a friend e-mailed me to reassert that I should definitely read it, and I checked it out.  Ironically I'm not reading it because it is on the list of Nebula nominees, as I'm not pushing myself to read everything Nebula and Hugo as I have done in years past. Nearby I found the Diaries of George Orwell, and I just couldn't help myself.  I hope they are slightly paranoid and obsessive or I will be disappointed!


  1. Hope you are enjoying Americanah, it may be a 'should' book but it's still an enjoyable one!

    1. I just finished it and thought it was great. Hardly anyone writes about returnees.


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