For the past week I’ve been reading the “third movement” of Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time, and have enjoyed every minute and every page. I’m now approaching the conclusion and while I’ll be sad to leave Nick Jenkins and the varied cast of characters in this series, I need a break before reading the fourth (and last) movement. Each time a new month rolls around, I like to create a little stack of books I’m hoping to read. I keep them on my desk and derive a strange sense of satisfaction as the stack gets shorter. Last night I created my “February stack”:
The current plan is to start at the top and work my way down, which led me to an interesting coincidence: the first three books are all inspired by my good friend Tui! So let’s take a closer look, shall we?
- Dissolution, by C.J. Sansom: set in Tudor England, this is the first in the “Matthew Shardlake” mystery series. I don’t read many mysteries, and am very selective about taking on new series. But Tui zipped through this series in record time, and raved about it on LibraryThing. I just had to check it out (oh, and I’m confident enough to have acquired the second book already!)
- Emma, by Jane Austen: Tui mentioned likes to re-read at least one Austen every year, which is such a great idea. I began the 6-year re-read cycle last year with Pride and Prejudice, and decided to continue in the order I first read Austen’s books. This led me to Emma for 2012. The red book pictured above is actually my Kindle (hooray for free classics on Kindle!)
- The Stone Angel, by Margaret Laurence: I picked this up recently in a one-day sale at Betterworld Books. It was a complete impulse buy; I knew nothing about it except that it was a Virago I didn’t have in my collection yet. Imagine my surprise when I learned Laurence is one of Tui’s favorite authors, and she even has a personal connection to her from her university days! Well that was all I needed to put it at the top of my Virago reading queue.
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan: this isn’t the oldest book on my stacks, but it’s close. I picked it up in a used book sale three years ago, not long after I became vegetarian. It’s also on my reading list for the Nonfiction Challenge. Why haven’t I read this yet?
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See: I acquired this one in the same used book sale. At the time I’d read a fair amount of buzz about it. Again I have to ask myself, why haven’t I read it yet?
Since February is a short month, this stack may be a little optimistic but we’ll see how it goes. Anything I don’t finish will end up on the March stack!
Oh, and did anyone notice the yarn next to the book stack? That’s my latest hobby (not yet an obsession, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility …). My daughter and I recently learned to knit at Stillwater Fibers, a local yarn shop. Four 2-hour sessions later and I’m working on my first project: a scarf for my dear hubby (the very least I could do after all the fine furniture he’s built for our home). I love the feel of the yarn and the variegated colors. I’ve found I enjoy knitting while watching television — for some reason I have a hard time just sitting still, and like to be occupied!
I’d love to hear about your February reading … and knitting, if that’s your thing. Please leave a comment!