Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Currently" Reading

my living room library
My Goodreads account notes that I am "currently reading" ten books, some of which have been on that list well over a year, some longer. Some of them have been on that list long enough that I have read three dozen other books in the meantime.

Here are the books my account thinks I am reading:

from On Writing
On Writing by Stephen King. I am actually reading this book. I have read several pages today and will probably finish it this evening. I recommend this book to anyone who writes or wants to write or wants to get better at writing. King tells his own journey into writing and shares insight into his own writing process. Fascinating stuff.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. Also reading this. (These early titles are the most recently updated in my list so they are, of course, what I am truly into.) Ferrante delves into the sometimes confusing and haunting events of childhood and follows her characters into adolescence. I've just started the adolescence section. Took a break to read Stephen King.

Selected Stories by Alice Munro. I think I've read three or four pages of this. I took it with me on a long plane trip a couple of weeks ago, with every intention of finishing it. My other books that trip was Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale. I read that instead and have not yet returned to Munro. Earlier this year, I read Munro's Dear Life, also a collection of short stories. Her work moves me. I get lost in the language.

Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker. I picked this up because I've really enjoyed Brandon's wife's work. (Jen Hatmaker has written 7 and Interrupted, among others, I'm sure, but those are the two I've owned. I'm partway through Interrupted, but don't tell Goodreads...) Can't recall why I set this one aside. It sits atop a stack of books on my dresser, most of which I have begun and not finished and none of the rest of which are recorded in this list.

with Hannah, who played Tammy
Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen by Jimmy McDonough. Last summer, a whole year ago now, I performed in a production of Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story as young Tammy and a whole host of other characters, including at least two of her daughters. I added this to the collection (along with two other Tammy Wynette biographies) as "research." As you might have guessed, I haven't finished any of them. The show closed September 20, 2014. My motivation is all but gone.

The Mill for Grinding Old People Young by Glenn Patterson. In 2012, I visited a college friend in Ireland and bought three books. (The others were Girl Reading by Katie Ward and The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, both of which I enjoyed immensely and highly recommend.) I started this so long ago that I don't remember much of it. When I return to the story, I will probably begin again.

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. My first experience with this author's work compelled me to become a vegetarian (Eating Animals). This book had the unfortunate luck to fall into my lap in the midst of a busy work season. I read about a third of it and returned it to the library. If it's still there, I'll take it home with me this evening.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Ah, dear Don Q. Another bit of "research." I didn't even record my progress, but I think I made it more than a hundred pages. Maybe not. The bookmark remains in place, but to summarize: Don Q sets out to do something hare-brained. Sancho tells him that's a bad idea. Don Q does it anyway and is surprised when it ends badly. Rinse and repeat. The musical adaptation by Dale Wasserman & co. is magnificent. I don't know that I'll ever finish the book.

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan. A friend recommended this title to me some time ago, and I read some of it. It's outside my usual reading interest, but I trust this friend's reading habits so I gave it a try.  I remember that it reads much like a novelization of a film, which makes sense considering del Toro's background. In any case, I might go back to it. Perhaps not. I remain undecided.

The End of Poverty by Jeffrey D. Sachs. A meaty economics study with tons of real-world accounts to balance the academic side of things. I'll finish this at some point, but I was sidetracked by fiction.

to read...
Lest the sad state of my "currently" reading list lead you to believe I have not been reading at all, I assure you that I have. Goodreads reports that I have read 35 books this year. Reviewing this list reminds me that I was rather enjoying some of these and might want to revisit them, even if it means starting over at the beginning.

What are you reading?