Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Salon: the book pile - my chaotic reading

Here is the sad state of my reading pile at the moment. These are just some of the books I am currently reading.

Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch (read one chapter - great writing style, desperate to read more);
The Water Theatre by Lindsay Clarke (read a couple of pages - beautiful writing...);
Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (managed to read a couple of chapters because it was so intensely gripping, but unfortunately was interrupted - now desperate to read the rest of this too);
Louis Pasteur by Patrice Debré (this is 'research' and therefore work, but an inspiring and fascinating read nonetheless - I'm about a quarter of the way through);
Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama (also 'research' but also a big pleasure - couple of chapters in);
Noble Ways: Lay-bys in my life by Roy Noble (an hilarious read about growing up and being grown up in Wales - I keep picking it up, reading a bit and giggling);
The Interrogative Mood: A Novel by Padgett Powell (an innovative novel composed of questions, intellectual and strangely addictive (I couldn't resist posting response here) - about three quarters of the way through);
The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet (great writing, and anxious to read this after enjoying his book 'Jealousy' so much);
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (I've read the first couple of chapters but I actually think I shan't finish this book just because the type font is so tiny it is an effort to read. I think I might try and read it again when I get a Kindle).

And then there's The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (don't know how far I am through this as I am listening, when I can, on audio).

So that is the state of my reading at the moment. It is feeling a little out of control, and my aim today is to finish at least one of these books. I wonder if anyone else feels like this - and I'm also wondering if the Kindle will make things better or worse.


Anonymous Clare said...

Wow that's some reading list. How on earth do you keep up with all those books at once? I can never quite understand how I can watch several TV series at the same time but can't handle more than one book!

My Kindle is on order and I can't wait for it to arrive :)

Sun Aug 29, 12:56:00 pm  
Blogger Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

You've got some very, very different books here. I found Interrogative to be extremely clever. As is Murakami. But then you are also working on Louis Pasteur! How do you keep everything straight?!

I finally finished The Three Musketeers. I write about it at my Sunday Salon post today. I'd love to have you stop by!

Sun Aug 29, 01:04:00 pm  
Anonymous marly youmans said...

I always find your pile to be pleasantly hodgepodge, such a mixture of fiction and nonfiction. Appealing.

Sun Aug 29, 02:23:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Hi Clare: I think I end up reading this way because I am untidy. I put down a book, then come across another...

But now I've got used to reading like this I find I actually like the contrast. I guess it's like a balanced diet - a few vegetables, a little starch, meat, a refreshing starter, and maybe something easy to digest to end the day. (:-))

Ooh Readerbuzz, I'm excited to come across someone else who's read Interrogative. I must remember to take a look at your thoughts when I've finished.

Hi Marly - yes I guess it is a bit hodgepodge - a like my life, really...

Sun Aug 29, 03:41:00 pm  
Blogger Laurel-Rain Snow said...

That is a varied and ambitious pile of books! When I'm in a slump, I usually pick up the "fastest" read and finish that first. Then the next, and so on. Sometimes that helps me pick up my pace.

For example, on your pile, I'd go with Men and Dogs. Loved that book.

But that's just what works for me.

Here's my salon:

Sun Aug 29, 03:51:00 pm  
Anonymous ojimenez said...

I find the idea of controlled Chaos a good thing.

There are piles of books at various spots around my home: top of the piano, next, and under the bed; next to the easy chair, and so on, and so on. I visit and revisit each pile and shuffle up, pick up, peruse, one-two-three books, read a chapter here, a chapter there, with no real roadmap.. it's what the mood demands, kind of like a "Maslow's" pyramid or self-actualization, where if I need comfort, that book will go to the top, etc...

A clever and fun book that's atop a pile is Steven Moore's The Novel: An Alternative History.. it's irreverent and erudite at the same time. I will keep it next to me until some title, from some pile, in some room, catches my eye..

P.S. I sold my kindle.. I just couldn't; it wasn't the same, it had to go...


Sun Aug 29, 04:05:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Hi Laurel-Rain, that sounds like a good idea - there is a sort of satisfaction in getting through the pile, I guess, but I don't really mind being like this, to be honest. In fact I kind of like it. I think maybe it helps in creativity - all sorts of weird connections coming together in the brain.

I do somehow feel guilty about it, though - as though (harping back to my meal analogy) I've gone on to my dessert without finishing all the vegetables.

Hi Ojimenez, I really like the sound of your house and your methods. And that Steven Moore's tome sounds good...just off to do a little more investigation now.

My Kindle hasn't come yet. I wonder if we'll get on.

Sun Aug 29, 04:42:00 pm  
Blogger Gavin said...

That is quite a pile of books, Clare. I've got four going right now and am adding a couple from your stack to my TBR. Have a lovely week!

Sun Aug 29, 09:32:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Hi Gavin, thanks fro visiting - which books are you adding to your TBR pile I wonder.

Sun Aug 29, 10:27:00 pm  
Blogger Anne S said...

I so very rarely have a TBR pile, I'm envious of those who do.

But as I celebrated a birthday recently and received books as gifts, I've been joyfully making my way through a modest TBR pile; and what's more they've all been great books.

The only one I've read on your pile is Finch - a remarkable book, as you probably already know.

Mon Aug 30, 11:30:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

Oh, and Madame Bovary, many years ago.

Mon Aug 30, 11:33:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

If you blogged in the UK, Anne, I think maybe you would accumulate a TBR pile - publishers seem quite keen to get book bloggers on board these days so I find myself the happy recipient of book proofs. Have you come across such a thing in Australia?

Mon Aug 30, 02:30:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

And yes, I agree - Finch is remarkable!

Mon Aug 30, 02:30:00 pm  
Blogger Anne S said...

Regarding publishers supplying bloggers proofs,
I think B would object to me acquiring even more books, as there's hardly any shelf space left. And I would not like to be obliged to read and review books in order to get them for free. I'm very choosy about the books I read and acquire and do enjoy rereading what's already in my library.

Tue Aug 31, 12:12:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

You have a point about space, Anne - after doubling up on bookshelves, my books are now piling up ever higher on the floor of my study. I still keep getting them, though - some from publishers, more that I buy. I don't particularly feel obliged to read and review every book that I receive, and make this clear to the publisher at the start. I only read and review books that appeal to me.

Anyway, I've come across great books this way - ones I wouldn't normally have read - so I think that's good. It also pleases me to think I am helping the author (as you do too, of course) because it is so difficult to get books reviewed in print these days.

The problem of space remains though. I don't tend to reread (though I think I ought to)but even so I find it difficult to bring myself to have any sort of cull. Maybe the Kindle is the answer - but I would miss the physicality of books.

Tue Aug 31, 07:50:00 am  

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