The Sunday Salon: More books than I could possibly read in December …

What, November’s almost over?  It seems like I just posted my November book stack, and I haven’t read as much as I thought I would.  As I write this, I’ve only finished 2 books this month:  The Vet’s Daughter, which was just OK for me (read my review), and Barchester Towers, which I really enjoyed (read my review).  Mind you, the Trollope was more than 500 pages, so twice the size of my typical reads.  I’m working my way through Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, and should finish it before the month is out.  But there’s no denying this month has been slow, and that I’ve read far fewer books this year than in any year since I began blogging.

So now I’m in a little panic about my year-end reading.  There are so many books I’d planned to read this year and even with a couple of weeks off work at year-end, there’s just no way I can read them all!  I have to keep telling myself there is no success or failure, it’s just about enjoying the books I read, and I’ve truly enjoyed my 2012 reading.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday I took stock of the situation and came up with a list of books I’d most like to read before the year is out.  There are a couple of books from my November stack that I’ll carry over into December.  Here’s the stack I’ll be working my way through, subject to mood swings.  🙂

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  • The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman:  OK, so I meant to read this in November, around Remembrance Day.  But I was dealing with some real life issues where lighter fare was in order, so I kept setting it aside.  I’m not sure it will suit my mood this holiday season, but I’ll keep it on the stack as a reminder of my good intentions.
  • Blaming, by Elizabeth Taylor:  this is the last readalong in the Elizabeth Taylor Centenary celebration.  Since we are reading chronologically, it’s also the last novel she published.  I’ll be sad to say “good-bye” to dear Liz, but I have her short story collections to look forward to.  I’ll pick this one up as soon as I finish The Buccaneers.
  • Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters:  I’ve had this one on my shelves for ages, and know it will be a fun read.
  • The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal:  my husband received this from a friend recently and was quite keen on it.  We don’t often read the same books, but he knows what I like and says I’ll like this.  I like the idea of a shared reading experience with him!
  • American Rust, by Philipp Meyer:  another one that’s been languishing on my TBR pile far too long.  I’m feeling pretty good about having read several from my stacks this year, and I hope to count this one in my final tally.

There are also a couple of books I will borrow from the library:

  • The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng: this Booker Prize nominee is another carryover from November, and one I will definitely read in December, probably right after Blaming.
  • Family Matters, by Rohinton Mistry:  I loved Mistry’s A Fine Balance and have eyed this one ever since.  It was nominated for the Booker Prize as well, and so will fulfill another of my reading goals.

Given my slower pace this year, I’ll be extremely surprised if I get through all of these in December, but I’m excited about giving it a try!

Are there any books you’re hoping to read before the end of the year?
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14 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: More books than I could possibly read in December …

  1. Great to see you’re planning to read Family Matters. It isn’t quite as good as A Fine Balance (is anything?) but is still very good.

    Tipping the Velvet has been on my shelf for far too long too. I might try to fit it in over Christmas and compare notes with you. Enjoy your reading!

    • Jackie, I’m so looking forward to Tipping the Velvet as a fun read and would love to compare notes with you if you also get around to it.

  2. I’ve tried very hard not to set myself any challenges this year but just read on a whim. So the only definite reads I have lined up are the December and January choices for my book club. I’ve read fewer books this year than last but some of them have been tough and/or chunky and it’s good that I got round to them.

    I’ll be interested to read what you think of the Tan Twan Eng book. They made it sound really good on the Review Show on TV but I’m not sure if I trust them!

    • I’m doing much more whim-reading this year than ever before and it’s funny, once I published this post I began mentally swapping out certain books for other ones, so who knows who well I will stick to my plan?! I like to reward myself in December and read entirely for fun, no obligations.

  3. Some lovely books there Laura! I have got behind on everything I planned to read as I got swept up in a Russian novel binge – I haven’t even managed this month’s Elizabeth Taylor. But I have Mrs. Palfrey and Blaming standing by and if nothing else I will get to those two before the end of the year!

    • kaggsy, I’m afraid I have yet to be attracted to Russian Lit although I understand the translation has a lot to do with one’s enjoyment. In any case, I hope you manage to catch up on those Taylors!

  4. I read The Hare With Amber Eyes earlier this year and liked it very much – I think you will too.
    I don’t think ahead much for December but I will be reading Bodily Harm for the Atwood in Advent event.

    • I think all of us avid readers have a bit of a book acquisition “issue” that results in the pileup. But I have no regrets and I don’t intend to change!! I enjoyed your blog post and like the idea of giving away books this time of year.

    • You bet it is, Erin! Just this morning I was thinking about how many books I’ve read from my piled-up shelves this year, and feeling pretty happy with myself. But that’s because I haven’t yet thought about how many more books I’ve acquired. Did I read more than I acquired? I doubt it … 🙂

  5. Its interesting how sometimes a book that you were looking forward to reading just doesnt seem the right choice on the day. At least we hoarders never have the problem of lack of alternatives though. As for the rest of the year I think I’ll be doing well if I manage to finish Midnights Children. I have another 400 pages to go but am only reading about 10 pages of it a day because I can’t get that interested. Some go off and read something else in between. I do need to read Michael Ondatjee’s Cats Table by the 16th since that’s the choice for the new book club I have joined.

    • Karen, i like your approach to reading Midnight’s Children. I may use that technique in the future! I will be interested to see what you think of Cat’s Table too.

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