"Some people say life is the thing, but I prefer reading"
- Logan Pearsall Smith
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The books I didn't quite get to in 2012
I think this post is going to become an annual event! Compiling it certainly encourages me to stop buying books for a while in the New Year. Every year I make the same resolution & my best effort was three months without buying a single book. After such abstinence, it was quite hard to get back in the habit of buying, but I managed it eventually! It is quite a good feeling, especially when I know I have so many lovely books on the tbr shelves - not to mention on the e-reader & at the library. It did lead to my wishlists at various bookshop websites getting longer, but that's a great way to remember what I want.
So, here's my list of books that I was desperate to read when I ordered them & was determined to drop everything as soon as they arrived on the doorstep & read them first. Only, I didn't & they're still sitting patiently on the tbr shelves waiting their turn.
Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins had so many enthusiastic reviews from Desperate Reader & Book Snob, among other respected bloggers & friends & it's a Persephone so what was I waiting for?
The Deepening Stream by Dorothy Canfield Fisher was recommended in my online bookgroup by Diana, Austen devotee & writer of the lovely blog, Light, Bright and Sparkling. In a flash, I'd ordered it & was determined to drop everything when it arrived, but I didn't, as you can see.
The first two volumes of Agnes & Elizabeth Strickland's Lives of the Queens of England was eagerly awaited & then completely ignored.
Desperate Reader's review of Arabella Boxer's Book of English Food only confirmed the fact that I'd been right to order it. It's been sitting by my reading chair ever since it arrived & I'm only halfway through the Introduction.
I seem to be collecting books about Jane Austen (I have two more on the way) but not actually reading them. Maggie Lane's Understanding Austen is one of these. Hopefully with the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice coming up this year, I'll be inspired to read this.
I read a lot of books by Dickens & a few books about Dickens in his Bicentenary year - but this wasn't one of them. I love letters & I hope to get to the Selected Letters edited by Jenny Hartley sooner rather than later.
Shamefully, I read no Elizabeth Taylor in her Centenary year although I enjoyed reading lots of reviews of her novels around the blogosphere. At least I've read quite a lot of her novels, just not in 2012. I couldn't resist her Complete Short Stories published by Virago & introduced by her daughter, Joanna Kingham, & even though Harriet reviewed it glowingly here, it's got no further than the Virago shelf of the tbr shelves.
Sylvia Townsend Warner is another writer that I want to read more of. Simon reviewed this volume of her Selected Writings called With the Hunted & I was keen to read it, especially the section on Jane Austen (see above). I don't promise to read the whole book this year but I will at least read Sylvia's thoughts on Jane. I can console myself with the thought that Simon hasn't read it all either - or, at least, he hadn't when he reviewed it in August.
Well, there you have this year's list. Writing a post like this does spur me on to read the books. Last year, I read all but two of the books in the 2011 list.
Happy New Year to everyone. Here's to a happy, healthy year with lots of reading - & a bit less book buying!