The big challenge for me is trying to figure out what I should read during Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. The organizers suggest variety, levity, and in some cases brevity when choosing books. I think that is basically good advice. My problem is that I don’t want to read anything that I am really looking forward to (like a few Dorothy Whipples) because I worry that reading them in a compressed period of time may make me rush too much through them. I don’t want to take a savor-worthy read and cram into a few hours.
I needed to find books that will be exicting and engaging but not so precious to me that I will feel like I am giving them short shrift. And to avoid that feeling of having to read a particular book (turning the read-a-thon into a chore) the key is to have many options. I have a pretty long list from which I will choose.
Kingsley Amis – Lucky Jim
I have heard good things about this academic novel. And its on the short side.
Margaret Atwood – Bodily Harm
I read this one years ago and I have been meaning to go back and re-read all of Atwood’s fiction.
Frank Baker – Miss Hargreaves
I know that Simon T will think that this is one that I should savor, but it has been sitting on my TBR for as long as I have been reading his blog and it seems to be one that will draw me in pretty quickly. I may need that. And if it turns out to be savor-worthy I can always re-read.
Heinrich Boll – End of a Mission
Anything by Boll would make for good contrast with most of my other selections. I will pick this one up when I feel the need for something a little more masculine.
Charles Burkhart – The Pleasure of Miss Pym
The only non-fiction on my list, this is a thin volume about the work of one of my favorite authors.
Jasper Fforde – Thursday Next: First Among Sequels
I enjoyed The Eyre Affair, but not enough to become a bona fide Fforde groupy.
MFK Fisher – The Boss Dog
A very short book of vignettes that take place in the south of France. I have tried starting this one before and haven’t gotten past the first page. Just wasn’t in the mood. I figure this way I can power through until I start to like it (I hope).
Thea Holme – The Carlyles at Home
Molly Hughes – A London Child of the 1870s
Two of my shorter Persephones. (How convenient that they fall next to each other in this alpabetical list.)
Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House
A scarey thriller by a very good writer. Perfect for October.
Dezso Kosztolanyi – Skylark
Don’t know too much about this short Hungarian novel except that it is a NYRB edition. And I have had wonderful luck with those.
Bernhard Schlink – Homecoming
If it is half as compelling as The Reader it should easily hold my attention.
Nevil Shute – Requiem for a Wren
I love Shute, and you might think I would consider his work to be savor-worthy. But the bottom line is, whenever I read his novels I can never put them down. He writes gripping, fascinating, page turners. Can’t wait.
Matthew Stadler – Allan Stein
Don’t know anything about his one, but I needed a little gay on the list.
Meg Wolitzer – The Position
I loved Wolitzer’s The Wife and liked Surrender, Dorothy. In this novel four children in the 1970s have to cope with the surprising and run away popularlity of a sex manual written by their parents.
Oscar Wilde – The Happy Prince and Other Stories
Wilde tells a great fairy story. (No pun intended.)