Tales of the something

In keeping with my plan to keep track of the new books I read in 2014, I’m updating the year’s reading 364405244_origlist with the last couple of additions. It’s still a little awkward that I set myself a reading goal at all because setting any kind of goal implies that this is something I don’t want to do or enjoy, or wouldn’t do naturally without the imposition of a goal or deadline hanging menacingly over my head. And that’s just not true.

It is true that I have a tendency to get caught up in my writing projects at the expense of everything else, including reading. For the first book, it felt acceptable to allow everything else to fall by the wayside. Now that I’m editing the second and preparing to write the third, I’ve realized that I have to pace myself and think of this as a longterm occupation.

So now that I’ve rationalized the logic behind this reading list for perhaps the thirtieth time, these are the new books I’ve read so far in 2014:

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Winterdance by Gary Paulsen

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

Magician’s Gambit by David Eddings

Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings

Enchanter’s End Game by David Eddings

If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

I particularly wanted to work on the list right now because I’ve just begun the first round of editing on Book Two–Vestal–and I always feel like I’m scrambling about on the floor trying to gather my wits about me when I’m editing my own book. Everything becomes uncertain. I forget how to spell words I knew by the age of five, and find myself consulting Grammar Girl on hyphenation rules I already know, on questions of italicizing foreign words, waffling between two near-identical adjectives for half an hour.

I know this stuff. But you don’t really know anything when you’re working on your own book. Everything is new and terrifying, nothing more so than your audacity for presuming to write a book, to create a world, to populate it with people from your head. Every sentence is a minefield, the one that could bring down my book from the inside, could betray my uncertainty.  

It’s comforting to remember that I know how read a book, at least.

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