100 books in 2011

Progress is slow. For one, I’ve been putting in a lot of hours at work, and freelancing, and two, I’m currently stuck slowly wading through Tropic of Cancer.

WTF?

I’ll admit I have a bit of a potty mouth sometimes but the c-word is off limits. It’s ugly to the ears, but much more so to the eyes.

It also paints a truly revolting picture of Paris’ filthy side, which I’m not particularly enjoying – but I’m about 3/4 through and determined to finish. On the plus side, my vocabulary is certainly being extended.

Also, has anyone read the Your Face Tomorrow series by Javier Marias? Oops, I think I’ve already put my foot in it; it’s a novel in three parts, to be precise. In Volume One, the narrator is hired by MI6, essentially as an interpreter of people, predicting their future actions. In Volume Two Deza witnesses the violent side of his new boss. And the third? Well, let’s just say I’m reluctant to go into anymore detail in case you do decide to read it yourself

I first read about it in The Listener and was immediately intrigued. I found it very educational; it deals with war (the Spanish and World wars), as well as relationships, violence, and basic human nature. Of course, being a novel, just where the line between reality and fiction falls was not always clear to an ignoramus like myself.

But it was also a frustrating read. The word tangent takes on a whole new meaning. Marias segues into rambling parenthetical clauses, sentences that stretch for a paragraph, paragraphs that stretch to a page or more. And the narrative is just as relaxed, jumping from point to point in time.

I speed read. A lot. I lost my patience in the second book, but wanted to find out how everything would turn out (I’m annoying like that). And like Tropic of Cancer, it often sent me running for the dictionary. I bet the original Spanish version is even more lush than the English translation.

(See, this is why I could happily live as a lady of leisure. With books like these to challenge me, recipes to conquer, new songs and techniques to wrestle with…what more could I ask for?)

Also, have you added me on Goodreads yet?

3 thoughts on “100 books in 2011

  • Reply Afford-Anything.com March 15, 2011 at 09:05

    I read almost 70 books last year … but then, I wasn’t working 🙂

    I’m glad you’ve got a strong list going. I’m reading A Pattern Language right now, and love it. It’s an older book (from the 1970’s) but classic and relevant.

    I also love “chick-lit,” like Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin.

  • Reply First Gen American March 15, 2011 at 20:27

    My godfather is an avid reader and he LOVED tropic of cancer. I couldn’t get through it. I really couldn’t. It was too dirty, even for me. I don’t get the allure of that book AT ALL.

    One of my many goals this year is to read not on my computer. I have substituted blogs for books and I miss the escape a long book can give. Snippets are good but not when I just want to extract myself from life in a deeper way.

    Enjoy your journey.

  • Reply Serendipity March 17, 2011 at 18:21

    I’m still put putting away on my books list sadly, and I’ve even taken the semester off from school to relax yet I’m just lounging away playing Cityville. And I think a GoodsRead account is a good idea! If I make one I’ll be sure to add you!

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