I love a good list. This one is especially satisfying, as it’s made up of books I already own and intend to read or reread before buying anything new.
- In the Unlikely Event – Judy Blume
- Deep Water – Patricia Highsmith
- Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
- Levels of Life – Julian Barnes
- Transgressions: Ten Brand-New Novellas – edited by Ed McBain
- The Best American Short Stories 2016 – edited by Junot Diaz and Heidi Pitlor
- The Candy House – Jennifer Egan
- My Sunshine Away – M.O. Walsh
- A Psalm for the Wild-Built – Becky Chambers
- A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay
- The Pull of the Moon – Elizabeth Berg
- Winter Solstice – Rosamunde Pilcher
- The Word is Murder – Anthony Horowitz
- Elric of Melnibone – Michael Moorcock
- Affinity – Sarah Waters
- The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
- Crow Fair – Thomas McGuane
- A New Race of Men From Heaven – Chaitali Sen
- A Song of Ice and Fire – George R. R. Martin
- This Time Tomorrow – Emma Straub
It’s nice to see the titles together like this, because what usually happens when I finish a book is that I start casting about for the next one, going, No, no, no, as if I’m channel-surfing through my library. I need to be more organized. I thought if I set myself the goal of reading what I own, I can at least begin with a narrowed-down set of choices and avoid the dazed and dazzled experience of browsing on Amazon or at the local bookstore. Also, of course, it’s wasteful to buy a book and neglect the part where you actually read it.
So, here we go and I’m starting with the Highsmith. Domestic bliss from page one, in which the narrator describes his drunken wife dancing with another man: Vic didn’t dance, but not for the reasons that most men who don’t dance give to themselves. He didn’t dance simply because his wife liked to dance. His rationalization of his attitude was a flimsy one and didn’t fool him for a minute, though it crossed his mind every time he saw Melinda dancing: she was insufferably silly when she danced. She made dancing embarrassing.
Ooo, delicious. Pass the popcorn.