I am, yes, exhausted by books.
Not by reading books, but buying books.
On the nightstand, just in case I feel like reading them, are 17 books. Do I plan to read all 17 at once? One wonders. The cats do not like the stack
at all. They are fond of jumping up on the nightstand . The nightstand is actually a chest of drawers. They jump up on the chest and nudge the books off the edge with their paws.
I am already in the middle of five other books. (Reviews to follow!) So do I have time for 17 more? Yes, I would dearly love to reread Doris Lessing’s Children of Violence series, but after looking at a few pages of A Proper Marriage , I realized that I should skip to her fourth novel, Landlocked, in which Martha Quest becomes disillusioned with the Communist movement in South Africa during World War II. Landlocked is a masterpiece. At my age, I need the masterpieces.
I cannot understand why I purchased Mary Renault’s The Charioteer, described on the Vintage edition as “a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II.” I am not sure I need another gay classic: I already have two of Radclyffe Hall’s books on a “sub-nightstand.” After Virago reissued The Charioteer a few years ago, a reviewer at the TLS raved about it, and, if I remember correctly, considered it a classic. If I could get past the first chapter, maybe I’d agree. N.B. Doesn’t the guy on the cover look as though he’s wearing a Star Trek uniform? Is this a novel about a gay Trekkie?
I thought the former Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley had recommended Shirley Ann Grau’s Pulitzer-winning The Keepers of the House, but it turns out he was lauding The House on Coliseum Street. Oh, damn, I bought the wrong book!
I discovered Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Lolly Willowes at a used bookstore when I was in grad school, and went on to enjoy many other of her books. I adore Kingdoms of Elfin, her dark collection of whimsical fairy tales. Somehow I have never read The Music at Long Verney, another collection of stories. Will I finally read it this summer?
Imagine 13 more…
Shall I shelve my 17 books? It gets ridiculous.
What do you have on your nightstand? Is yours as useful (ha ha) as mine?