The books I’m trying to read

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November 4, 2009 by Tracey S. Rosenberg

In an interview for a book-related job, the questioning went something like this:

Interviewer 1: What are you currently reading?
TSR: *takes deep breath*
Interviewer 2: Restrain yourself!!

[Yeah, Interviewer 2 had me dialed. And I did get the job.]

The sidebar ‘books I’m reading’ has been pretty static lately, mainly because I keep starting books and then not finishing them, or rather some other book gets in the way. I currently have on the go:

– George Gissing, New Grub Street. Someday I must determine why I love Gissing so much, even though his work is so depressing, whereas Thomas Hardy’s work is also depressing but makes me want to stab myself with a sharpened pen. The problem is that this will probably require me to read more Hardy, and that is something I do not wish to do. I am rereading NGS in the hopes that it will make me feel better to be reminded that, in fact, there never was a prelapsarian publishing era of joy, and authors have always had it tough. Status: just begun.

– Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey. Required reading. I like it, but I really want to reread Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. Status: just begun.

– Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played With Fire. I mistakenly thought this was the first in the series, though as the library won’t be able to get me that one for weeks, I might as well start with this. I am trying to approach this book with an open mind, but given that the original title of book number one is Men Who Hate Women, I have the feeling I may finish the book solely to avoid ‘but you haven’t READ IT’ arguments (though these will undoubtedly be replaced with arguments that include the words ‘you feminists’ and ‘no sense of humor’). Status: just begun.

– Tom Brown and Henry McLeish, Scotland: A Suitable Case for Treatment. Am toying with writing something set in an independent Scotland (those cries you hear are the Scottish Nationalists a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’), and picked this up in a quest to figure out how Scots view Scottish national identity. Still not entirely sure, though most seem to agree that the deep-fried Mars bar is an aberration. Status: a third finished.

– Tobias Smollett, Humphrey Clinker. I have a woefully deficient background in 18th century literature so I figured this would help fill the gap. Also, I can read bits aloud to my Scottish friends, who splutter amusingly when they hear nice things about Alloa and Greenock. Status: three-quarters finished.

And don’t even ask about the BTR stacks/shelves. No, really, please don’t….


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Tiny bio

I live, work, and write in Edinburgh. I travel to other places as much as I can. To contact me, email writingmostly at gmail dot com.


CURRENTLY READING: The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo.

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