Tuesday, April 7, 2015

List-ing

I used to be more selective and discerning when adding books to my to-read list. Sometimes I was self-conscious about the fact that other people could see which books I was adding, or realized that I already had many, many books in the same vein on there, or just that there wasn't enough time left in my life to get through them all.

Then I thought, screw it. My tastes are wide-ranging, from the elevated and erudite to the tawdry and profane, and anyone who knows me already knows that. And if I leave one off, I inevitably end up spending long minutes searching frantically for it a few days later. I've started to think of it less as composing a prescriptive list than gathering butterflies in a net - "you get in, and you get in, ooh, you're pretty, squish over everyone, this one's going in too". I won't get to all of them, and if I did only a few would maintain their lustre after the first few pages, but every once in a while it's a pleasure to fan them all out and admire their jeweled wings.

So I have this: Adam Gopnik's Winter: Five Windows on the Season, which is "an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists, and thinkers, who helped shape a new and modern idea of winter". The words "existential", "meditation" and "homage" are at home here. 

And then there's this: The Stars Never Rise (Unnamed Series #1) by Rachel Vincent. Soul-consuming demons, a girl with a dependent younger sister, and a hoodie-wearing fugitive with deep green eyes! Okay, yeah, it's blatantly whoring in on the whole trilogy thing and the series isn't even named yet, for crying out pete's sake, and it's most likely a Hunger Games rip-off, but WHAT IF IT'S NOT? Can we take the chance? I think we owe it to ourselves not to. 

Oh, I just noticed I had Etta and Otto and Russell and James on there twice (gorgeous literary debut, plucky old woman, pilgrimage, Canada, talking coyote, 'nuff said). Whew. That means I'm down to one thousand and NINE.

9 comments:

Steph Lovelady said...

We're traveling for spring break and I have in my backpack Anna Karenina and a cozy mystery set at a Victorian women's college. It's fun but no classic of Western Lit. (And we left home Friday and I haven't cracked the spine of either, but now that we're on our own and not running around with relatives, I intend to change that.

Steph Lovelady said...

). I'm closing that parenthesis now

Maria said...

Mosquitoland by David Arnold. Sheer brilliance.

Nicole said...

You're the cutest! I'm re-reading A Year in Provence because I LOVE IT. I should get started on something new though...

Mary Lynn said...

Nothing bookish to add here. You already know I think you'd enjoy Texts From Jane Eyre...and you've probably already added it to your to-read list. If I wasn't so lazy I'd go into GoodReads and check.

What I really wanted to say is that Steph's closing parenthesis comment cracked me up. Sooooo something I would do.

Maggie said...

Pfft at least you read books where existentialism would be at home. I am incapable of reading what I'd consider to be serious classic literature ever since having kids. I only get about an hour of reading time max and it's at bedtime and, well, I just fall asleep.

Currently, I'm rereading the entire Magicians series by Lev Grossman and some prequel to The Maze Runner. Sophisticated! (or not)

Helen Abbott said...

I can just hear you saying "ooh, you get in there too!" The butterfly net is such a perfect image.

Ms. G said...

Which is why I'm reading something unoriginally fantastical and adventurous and magic infused and totally Hershey Bar mind nutrition while Sinclair Lewis's "Main Street" sits on my bedside table and glares accusingly at me because I'm not in the mood to be asked to think. And a host of historical door stops sit proudly on my 'to read' list.

Sasha said...

I've never been all that selective or discerning... but I did just go in and perform a MASSIVE cull on my list.

(Also? Please tell Steph that I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't stand the thought of an unclosed parenthesis.