What’s On Your Plate?

DQ.jpegI’m considering adding books in Spanish (and maybe even French) to my lists. It’s not so much that I’m reading a lot more Spanish fiction but rather that my slow, fumbling march through fiction in a language other than English is absorbing more and more of my time. If it takes me ten times as long to read Bolaño or Cervantes might suggest that I will be reading far fewer books each month. Then again, is that a problem?

Way way back in the past history of this world (often referred to as The Sixties) I read Tarzan en la Selva. As a Senior in High School my family hosted a student from Peru and I spent much of the day immersed in Spanish. But when I matriculated on to the university I was coerced into thinking that a knowledge of Spanish was insufficient for advanced study in literature so I switched to French. This had three results: first, I learned enough French to pass my language exams for graduate school; second, my mind replaced engrammatic knowledge of Spanish words and phrases with the French equivalents, and finally, I twisted my little gray cells around the two languages such that I was never confident speaking either.

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It Was an Exhausting Year

imagesIt’s the end of the year and I have gathered together a reading pool that addresses some of the titles I have recently not read with some of the titles that I have perpetually avoided reading. Again, my quest is to remove a few of those big fat ones that haunt me month after month, year after year, and also to have a smattering of shorter titles to create a little breathing space.

I also am quite involved in watching many excellent and often challenging films on the Criterion Channel as well as brushing up on my Spanish with the help of Anna on Butterfly Spanish (YouTube). I’m busy in my old age.

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Mollusks I Have Suggested

download.jpgCan you imagine the height that my To-Be-Read book pile would be if I was to add every book I suggest each day? Despite needing a flashing red light to warn off unsuspecting aircraft, I probably wouldn’t be able to find any one title I decided to read in the future.

Actually, this has always been a problem. Many years ago I realized that I needed a way to catalogue my collection of unread books and to document as I read them. The advent of home computers and easy-to-use database programs made this fairly easy and the growth of the internet and smart phones has allowed me to access key information on my reading wherever I am.

But even if I can identify a book I want t read, I never can seem to find it easily on my bookshelves, so an inordinately tall TBP stack might not be so different.

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It’s November Already?

images.jpgI might be jumping the gun a little bit here but realizing that November only has 30 days and that I hope to read, amongst others, Gaddis’s The Recognitions, Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, and the final volume of Dos Passos’s U. S. A. Trilogy, The Big Money, I decided needed an extra day or two.

So I stopped reading from the October list, moved most of the titles from October to November (to at least suggest I still intend to read them) and dropped in several new titles I had been considering for the November pool. Thus, some old and some new but moreover a commitment to reading a few of the big fat ones that have eluded me too long.

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