My next short to-read list

Back in the middle of January, I wrote about reading goals for the year. In 2016 I read 46 books and I was hoping to read a similar number this year. So far, I’m on track (actually, I’m slightly ahead, but I read one or two shorter texts) but based on that post I’ve made a small, unexpected discovery, which I’d like to share and to exploit.

When I have my entire to-read list to choose from, I’m incapable of choosing the next book. When I select a short list of books to read from those I “should” read, and prioritise them as my immediate to-read list, I power through them like nobody’s business.

This is a little revelatory. It means if I sit down at some point and pick out ~10 books from my shelves, I’ll read them fast. Plus, because I can take the time to think about the themes of each book, I don’t suffer from overkill on any one particular topic or genre, so there’s even the chance to enjoy the books more.

Clearly, this should continue. Since I have only one book lift on my current short to-read list (The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux) I thought now was as good a time as any to come up with the next list. Since I’ve recently got my book club going, one book will have to be the current book club choice (The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Clare North) and I think I’ll leave one space black for the next book club choice. That leaves eight books to choose.

The next ten books I plan to read

Here’s my list:

Book club choice: The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Clare North
The Plague by Albert Camus
The House Without Windows and Eepersip’s Life There by Barbara Newhall Follet
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Book club choice: Go Set a Watchman
Insane Clown President by Matt Tabbi
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
The Silmarillion by J R R Tolkein
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The books on the list that I happen to own hard copies of

As with last time, it’s perfectly possible that something will come along to ruin my good intentions. I am prone to sudden ideas and obsessions which make me want to read on a particular theme, but if these occur I’ll get over them soon enough and will return to my original reading list. Also, I make no promises about reading them in order, obviously.

Also, can you believe I’ve never read The Silmarillion? Or The Handmaid’s Tale? What have I been doing?

3 thoughts on “My next short to-read list

  1. To be honest, I’m not surprised that you haven’t read The Silmarillion, I’m surprised that you’re intending to. The Silmarillion is… odd. It’s very mythic in structure and tone, somewhere between a mythology of the early years of Middle Earth (and Heaven, I suppose, as there are many stories set in Valinor as well) and the appendices from LotR. I’d be really interested to see how you get on with it.

    I’m unfamiliar with most of the others on your list, but The Handmaid’s Tale is one that I’ve deliberately avoided. I’m not a fan of dystopia and feel that I really wouldn’t enjoy this one in particular. Your reading tends to be much more widespread than mine though (and you seem like like hard/depressing stuff 🙂 ), so again, I’ll be interested to see what you think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to have a bit of variety, I find if I read too much of any one genre then I just go off reading altogether. But yes, I confess enjoying non-gratuitously depressing stuff occasionally.
      In terms of the Silmarillion, I’ve been meaning to read it for years and years – I was a huge LOTR fan as a teen but somehow never got around to it. Now’s the time!


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