I have been reading the dead.
Not the recent dead.
The long dead. Ovid, Turgenev, and Henry James.
It was not my intention to read the dead this year. But it has restored a sense of normalcy . It reminds me why I loved to read in the first place.
Why do we read? We don’t read to keep up with the new best-sellers; we don’t read to review or blog; and do not feel the need simultaneously with everyone else to reread Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, even if it is No. 1 on the best-seller list. I prefer Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s magic realism, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Ovid’s poetry of exile, Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto.
I am on a temporary break from new books.
Tonight I even scrolled down the list of titles on my e-reader to delete last year’s unread review copies. (I no longer accept new review copies.) There weren’t as many as I thought. Thank goodness! And I may read some of them after all.
REVIEW COPIES I DIDN’T READ OR FINISH.
Alice Hoffman’s Faithful. It’s not bad, but it’s not her best. The heroine Shelby and her best friend were in a car accident. Shelby survives physically intact, but her best friend is in a coma for years. Shelby turns to drugs, shaves her head, and has sex with her drug dealer, but occasionally receives anonymous postcards that say “TRY.” Eventually she finds redemption in a pet store and rescues animals… and some people.. Why didn’t I finish it? It’s good, but the words on the screen are not quite compelling enough. The physical books would have made me feel more connected.
The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters by Laura Thompson. I love biographies of the Mitfords, but the formatting of this fee “review copy” e-book was off-kilter. And anyway biographies are better as physical objects, so you can see the photographs and family trees.
The Sea Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard. I enjoy Howard’s books and forgot I had this one. I also have a physical copy, so will try to read it this year.
The Photographer’s Wife by Suzanne Joinson. I very much enjoyed Joinson’s novel A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar. I’m afraid I forgot all about this.
Siricusa by Delia Ephron. Another badly formatted free e-book. Lots of weird numbers inserted in the middle of sentences.
Well, so it went. Deletion is done!