I have, and am slightly astonished by this, finished reading Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse in time for the autumn readathon. I had insomnia on Tuesday night and (after weeks of wading through, struggling with a handful of pages every day in my fourth attempt to read this book) I went back to Page 1 and gave myself completely over to the book’s peculiar rhythm. I was finished by dawn. I’m still recovering from the surprise of turning the last page. :)
Anyway, this sudden completion of the only reading goal I set myself this month means that Saturday’s 24 hour readathon comes at just the right moment. I feel ready for some indulgent wallowing. After exploring my shelves this morning here’s the pile of books I pulled together:
I’ve tweaked the contrast of the image a little but in case you can’t read any of the titles they are, from top to bottom:
Colette – Gigi and The Cat (two novellas in one)
Alan Bennett – The Uncommon Reader
Jennifer Egan – A Visit From The Goon Squad
Amelie Nothomb – Fear and Trembling
Vladimir Nabokov – Pale Fire
Federico Andahazi – The Merciful Women
May Sarton – After The Stroke
Claire Tomalin – Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life
Robert Macfarlane – The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
Julian Barnes – Nothing To Be Frightened Of
That’s six fiction and four non-fiction, equally split by gender and of the ten two are re-reads and eight are new-to-me titles. The Bennett and the Egan have been on my shelves for over three years now and I really can’t believe I haven’t read the Macfarlane before now. In contrast, I just bought the Barnes book (which is apparently a family memoir and meditation on mortality combined) this week and replaced my tatty copy of Pale Fire with this lovely new edition in August.
So, plenty of diversity in my starting pile I think. I always find the autumn event harder than the spring one (less natural light and I can’t go and read in the park for hours) but I do love the idea of celebrating reading this way by setting aside a day, well planned in advance, for nothing more or less than feeding your imagination and mind.
And now I’m curious to see who else I know is taking part and what they’ve put on their own piles…