One of the things I love about reading is disconnection. Sticking my nose in a book is nice way to cut myself off and insulate myself from the rest of the world, even if it’s only for a little while. (She says as she posts this on the internet for the world to read.)
Lately, I’ve been pretty promiscuous in my reading. I’ll pick something up, stick with it for a bit, and then set it aside and forget about it. Not necessarily because it’s bad — though not every book is a winner — but because I’m busy or because that particular book is one that you can pick up and put down whenever you want.
In no particular order, here’s a peek at what’s in my TBFR (to be finished reading) pile:
The Book of Disquiet – Fernando Pessoa
Yes, I have been reading this thing on and off since I bought in back in the summer of 2014. I even wrote a mini blog post about it back in February 2018 about not being done with it and why.
In my defense, this is a book meant to be read in fits and starts. It’s not a linear story, or even really a story at all. It’s an unfinished collection of fragments that Pessoa called as “factless autobiography.” Honestly, it reads like a blog written before the internet was a twinkling in Al Gore’s eye.
Would you read every post on a blog all in one go? No. (But by all means, go binge mine.)
I used to be afraid to finish it because I didn’t want it to be over. However, I picked up another translation — I’m currently reading Richard Zenith’s version — so when I do finally finish this, I get to read another arrangement of Pessoa’s fragments.
This book is a kaleidoscope that I never want to be finished with.
An Edited Life – Anna Newton
I bought this for advice on getting my shit together. Specifically, I wanted to channel a little but of my favorite minimalist blogger/YouTuber into my apartment and my wardrobe. After I bought it, I spent most of this year not having the time to do either and not wanting to read about it and feel guilty that I wasn’t doing it.
But now that I’ve finally made some headway in editing my life, I’ve gotten back into this again. It’s pretty straightforward and has a lot of advice you’d find elsewhere, but I like Anna’s voice. It sounds like her, not a ghost writer.
A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
Okay, I’m actually listening to the audiobook of this. I’ve read this series more times than I can count. My first time was back in 2000 when I was a freshman in high school, a sweet summer child who knew nothing.
Since then, my last re-read was in preparation for the publication of A Dance With Dragons… all the way back in the idyllic past of 2011. The show has taken over the books in my memory, so I decided it was time for a refresh.
I devoured Fire & Blood and A World of Ice and Fire as audiobooks, so why have I stalled out on this one? It comes down to one thing: pronunciation. Since the audiobooks came out before the show, the pronunciations don’t always match.
The biggest offender? Petyr Baelish isn’t pronounced “Peter,” but “peh-TIRE.” It takes me out of the story every. single. time.
26 Stories – Machado de Assis
This is a classic case of a book Liz buys on vacation, dives into while she’s gone, and then forgets to finish when she gets home. I picked up this collection of short stories when Jim and I were on vacation in Seattle. The Elliott Bay Book Company is my favorite Seattle bookstore and I always get excited when I see a Portuguese-language work in translation.
Because it’s a collection of short stories, it’s easy to pick up, read a bit, and put it down again. I started reading it in June while were were up north and I even took it to the beach with me in July… and it’s sat in my beach bag ever since.
It’s not the first vacation book to fall to this fate, nor can I promise it will be the last.