Sunday, 2 January 2011

I'm Making a List.......

I've just been listening to Howard Jacobson, the winner of what is now last year's Booker, talking with a selected BBC audience about his earlier novel, The Mighty Waltzer. When The Finkler Question won the Booker award someone told me that as I'd never read anything by Jacobson, The Mighty Waltzer was probably a better place to start and hearing him discuss the more autobiographical aspects of the book this afternoon, I can see why they might have thought that to be the case. So, my first reaction was, as always, a quick trip to the local library website to see if they had a copy that I could add to a list of requests that is already long enough to keep me in reading matter for the rest of 2011. And that was when realised that if I'm going to read more selectively this year trips to the library website have got to start to be more discriminating. As a consequence, while I didn't make a Christmas list I have just made a January reading list that I hope will ensure that I don't get stuck reading only one genre and that my reading will not be dictated by the return dates stamped in library books.

There are some books that I have to read for groups to which I belong and the first two

Gifted ~ Nikita Lalwani
Felicia's Journey ~ William Trevor

come into that category. I shall also have to make an early start on

Daniel Deronda ~ George Eliot

to be ready for the meeting in February when I'm leading the discussion on it. Because I realise that I'd bitten off rather more than I could chew expecting myself to read

Middlemarch ~ George Eliot

as well I've swapped the print version for an audio recording and that will take care of the hour before bed each night quite nicely. In addition I've added a Virago, a Persephone, a children's novel, a detective and the latest book by one of my favourite current novelist so

The Weather in the Streets ~ Rosmond Lehmann
Saplings ~ Noel Streatfeild
Reckless ~ Cornelia Funke
Trick of the Dark ~ Val McDermid
The Death of King Arthur ~ Peter Ackroyd

complete my list. As I finish each one another can be added to replace it and again, I'll take stock at the end of the month and see how this has worked out. I may be asking myself to be far too organised but I am really ashamed of where my lazy reading habits have taken me over the past year and I'm determined to try and put things to rights.



  1. I'm curious about the Lehmann, as I understand it's a continuation of the story in Invitation to the Waltz, a book I loved. I hope you like it! And how fun to be reading and discussing Daniel Deronda. I love that book too.

  2. Thank you! I hadn't realised the Lehmann was a sequel. it was just part of a job lot of Virago editions I bought some time ago. I've just ordered a copy of 'Invitation to the Waltz' from the library and I'll read that first.