So here we are, a little over halfway through the year. I’m feeling the paradox of time flies and time is slow at the same time. As for reading, it never feels like there is enough of it. I haven’t done much in the way of following my reading plan for the year. But then I only make plans as a guide, not as something to stick to. Then again, I still have six months to get going.
Happily, I have new lingering books this month instead of the usual suspects from the past several months. Lingering is Place and Placelessness by E.C. Relph. My excuse is that I focused on finishing the Clarice Lispector biography and didn’t have time or brain power for this one. Also lingering is my April NYRB subscription book, The Crisis of the European Mind by Paul Hazard. It too was set aside for the Lispector biography. I have been reading it regularly though since last week. It has become my before sleep book. But as my eyes kept drooping last night and I had to keep reading the same paragraph over and over, I think it isn’t good to read before bed. At least not when I am tired. Which I usually am before going to bed. Go figure.
Before the Hazard book I tried to read my May NYRB book before bed. In Transit by Anna Seghers is really good but not much happens in it. There is lots of waiting. And the few nights I tried to read it before bed I kept losing track of what was going on. Or rather, what was not going on. That’s when I switched to the Hazard book. Tonight I am going to try a new book I picked up at the library on Saturday. My turn for it finally came round. Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner probably won’t have too many surprising things in it but as a social history I am hoping it will be interesting. It’s about how processed food became the go-to for American meals.
Nonfiction books aren’t the only books that are lingering. Poetry is too. I am still poking my way through Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds. I am almost done with it. It is very good. But more about that another time. Then there is The Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, also very good. I am not so far along in this one. Once I finish Sharon Olds though I think the pace on Thomas will pick up.
Last month I said I was about to start reading Tristram Shandy or David Copperfield or maybe something by Hardy on my Kindle. Then the very next day I started reading none of them. Instead I read The Letters of Dorothy Osborne. Just finished those today so you will hear about them tomorrow most likely. Now I really am going to start reading Tristram Shandy. It is queued up on my Kindle so when I sit down on the train tomorrow morning and wake up my book, there it will be.
Another book I have from the library that I requested after reading the article in which Nature Deficit Disorder was mentioned is a book by the man who coined it, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. It’s about the restorative powers of the natural world. It could be good and it could just as equally turn out to be drivel. I’ll let you know.
I’d like to get to Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel this month. And is it too ambitious to also aim for a little armchair travel via something by Patrick Leigh Fermor? It might be, but if the weather keeps on hot and humid I could be spending more time indoors rather than playing in the garden, so you just never know. Then, of course, there will be at least one book that pops up that I will read but had no plans for at all. I wonder what it will be?