To celebrate my release from the shackles of academia for the year, I decided to buy myself a book. Or six. OK, to be fair, I only planned on buying one. But it never quite works out that way. I have a running list of "Must Reads" which are on my shelf and "Must Buys" which I plan to acquire. They never get any shorter as there are just so many bloody good books out there and I haven't had nearly enough time to read even a fraction of them.
I guess a major life goal of mine is to be as widely read as possible and I feel a certain amount of urgency about this. The more I study in the field of literature the more I become aware that there is so much out there I haven't read that I need to. Being the youngest in my class a lot of the time through my Masters papers, there have been so many times when the "Have you read this?" question comes up in general discussion and yet again I am found lacking. Of course, I have had less time and I have done reasonably well in the time I have had BUT! The lists keep growing as does my passion about reading great books.
My acquisitions this week, in no particular order, are:
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova; On Beauty by Zadie Smith; Love in the time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Case Histories by Kate Atkinson; Perfume by Patrick Suskind and The inheritance of loss by Kiran Desai.
I have been accused of being a book snob on a few occasions (and a movie snob) as I tend not to spend much time reading or watching the more lightweight stuff. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the more lightweight books - I do. I just don't see how I can spend time reading something I will quickly forget when I have so much serious catch up work to do on contemporary literature. Besides, I find reading a novel that challenges and surprises me far more satisfying.
I'm currently reading The book and the brotherhood by Iris Murdoch for the book club at work, which is going well. I've only really just got into it and figured out who everyone is. I was warned about the proliferation of characters before I started reading her (I'm a Murdoch novice) but I had no idea that you could include so many differing characters and keep the attention of the reader. It's a true testament to Murdoch's skill as a writer. In any case, more will follow on that I'm sure.
For now, I am going to add these six beauties to my ever swelling collection in my on-going quest to be even more of a book nerd than I am now. Happy reading!!