I have always been one of those people who only reads one book at a time. I am always amazed by people who can read more than one and keep things straight in their heads. That has never been me.
However, I ended 2009 and started off the new year biting off more than I could chew, and am currently in the midst of reading three books. This is not going well. I started reading Team of Rivals during Christmas, thinking it would be a great book to end the year with, nice and chunky. However, I have only gotten about half-way through the book. I also signed up to read Dead Souls with my friend in Minneapolis over the course of five weeks. So I'm reading that one now as well. And Zibilee and I agreed months ago to read The Bone People by Keri Hulme together because it is a very intimidating book. So, er, today I delve into that one as well.
Dead Souls isn't stressing me out (yet) because it's a pretty slow read we paced ourselves for and the book is fantastic. Like, really pretty fantastic. It flows really well, is easy to follow, and is absolutely hilarious. I have noted down all sorts of quotes from there that have made me snort in an undignified way. And others that I read and just think, "That's so true!" Here are a few I'll share with you, just so you are not intimidated by dead Russian authors:
It is so much easier to describe characters larger than life: there you need only hurl the paints on to the canvas- gleaming black eyes, beetling eyebrows, a furrowed brow, a cloak, black or flame-red, thrown over the shoulder- and the portrait is complete; but as for that great multitude of gentlemen who are so similar in appearance, yet who on closer inspection show many highly elusive and distinctive features- these gentlemen are the devil of a job to portray. Here you must make a supreme effort of mind to bring into clear focus all these subtle, almost imperceptible features, and even eyes adept in the science of observation have to be strained to the utmost.
Here Manilov, with a slight motion of his head, cast a very meaningful look at Chichikov, all his features and his pursed lips taking on an expression of such profundity as had perhaps never before been beheld on a human face, except perhaps for that of some excessively clever Minister of State, and even then at a moment of the utmost mental exertion.Excellent stuff! I'm really enjoying this book and I'm thrilled that I started this classics read-a-long with my friend. However, as we're reading it over the course of five weeks, a review won't be going up until February.
Well, the BBC series Robin Hood has been made available on Netflix "watch instantly" recently, and I am completely addicted. I initially started watching because I adore Richard Armitage (who is, I almost wept to find out, the villain in this series). However, now I'm watching because the show is fabulous. And I've been watching a lot. I am almost through the first season now. This disturbs me because there are two full other seasons to go and I show no signs of slowing down.
All this is really just my way of telling you all that I have absolutely no idea when my first book review for 2010 will go up. I am reading. A lot! And I'm quite proud of the very meaty and difficult books I'm starting the year off with. But at the same time, I have no idea when I'll actually finish any of these. Hopefully at least The Bone People will be done within a week, but I have no real idea! I do know that, going forward, I will definitely not be reading three books at once any more! Two is my limit.
What about you? What sort of book are you starting 2010 with?