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Reading Life: 9th June 2017

A photograph of flowers

Earlier this week I made the decision to get back to books I haven’t finished and the almost unheard of (for me) decision to allow myself to abandon, for now, books that I’ve started but have made little progress in. I’ve several books on my list now that are unfinished and it’s becoming a bit of a reading burden as well as just a bit silly, effectively creating an inflated number of books read. Subsequently I finished a book I’ve been reading since last month – I’m not setting any limits on how long the book has to have been on the list.

This has led to another effort to finish Tender Is The Night. I didn’t really feel like picking up a ‘current’ read yesterday, so I opted to try once again to read Fitzgerald’s higgledy-piggledy novel and, pun intended, I have turned a page. I’ve reached that point I’d heard about wherein the narrative becomes clearer and more active, the plot is a lot more linear and thought through, and I read a good number of chapters. On book two of the novel it’s turned into something akin to the term people have been using to refer to Tom Malmquist’s book, ‘autobiographical fiction’, wherein a diagnosis of schizophrenia had been given to a main character prior to the start of the book, whilst she was in hospital.

The book I finished before that was Joanna Hickson’s The Agincourt Bride. I’d been steadily continuing it alongside others, but decided it was time to complete it (I’d paused because I’d started reading it for a planned event that was then cancelled). It’s a different sort of book to others on similar subjects/tones in that the person of honour, so to speak, is being talked about by a third party and that third party is fictional, but it’s been a very interesting reading experience – the cover and general expectations pointing to more of a historical romance but the reality being more about the politics with lots of details about battles and the French-England conflicts. The book’s title is the part to base your expectations on.

Despite my prior dislike of Madeleine Thien’s work, albeit that it was a while ago, I have bought her latest, award shortlister. Her event at the Hay Festival was absolutely brilliant, I was completely won over to the point of getting the book there and then. I’m hoping to start it shortly. I also got a copy of a book I regretted not getting last year – I had found a hardback of Monica Ali’s Brick Lane but unwisely chose to mull it over a bit, losing it to someone else. I was particularly interested in a hardback which at this point is difficult to find but I found another this year and didn’t hesitate.

In terms of current reads, Christina Stead’s Letty Fox: Her Luck is a priority, however as I’ve said before it’s a long book and when I opened it I discovered small text and small margins so it’s going to take longer than I’d thought. It’s looking a bit like an updated Vanity Fair at the moment, in terms of heroine personality, and a bit prone to extensive detailing. Still the plan is to finish it sooner rather than later.

In the near future I’m looking at Meike Ziervogel’s The Photographer and the book she commissioned for Peirene Press, The Cut. The former is inspired by the lives of Meike’s grandparents in war-torn Germany and the latter was commissioned last year – a book about the divisions in the UK in regards to Brexit.

How is your reading life?

 
 

Jenny @ Reading the End

June 9, 2017, 11:53 pm

I am so excited for you that you’re DNFing books! It is a better way of life! Maybe now that you have done it a little bit you’ll be able to comfortable DNFing books in the future! WELCOME COMRADE.

jessicabookworm

June 10, 2017, 8:11 pm

My reading is going great, thank you! I have recently finished reading the wonderful short story collection Sandlands by Rosy Thornton and I am now already half way through First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson. I hope DNFing helps you to enjoy your reading and read more :-)

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