BOOK TALK | Currently Reading

cr books 2

In lieu of doing an actual monthly wrap up (which, realistically, it’s too late for me to do anyway) I thought I’d talk about all the books that I’m currently reading.

I seem to have fallen into a bit of an unfortunate habit this year, which is that I’m constantly starting books and then hopping between them instead of sitting down and actually finishing one. A lot of this is due to me trying to keep on top of a lot of university reading. I didn’t have much luck with the books on one of my previous modules, so I ended up starting books because I was so desperate to read something that I’d actually enjoy.

At the moment, I’m about 200 pages into The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch, and I have been for several weeks. This was the first book on my Haunting the Contemporary module— a module that I’m actually almost finished with. It’s about a rather insufferable man who moves away from London and to a house by the sea for, I gather, no discernible reason whatsoever. While he’s staying at the house, people from his past keep turning up, and it’s largely focused on his interactions with them. I’m trying really hard not to DNF it. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it, I really do want to finish it, I just have no idea when I’m going to make time to read it. It’s one of those books that if I don’t get around to soon, I know I’ll never be motivated to pick it up again!

I’m making decent headway on The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. I’m taking my time with this one because I’m really enjoying it so far, and it’s nice to be pulled along by all the twists and turns it brings. This is the first book in the Gentleman Bastards sequence, following a group of thieves. So far its incredibly clever, witty, and fantastically written. Do you ever have moments when reading when you just have to pause and think about how good the part of the book you’ve just read was? I’m getting that a lot with this one. This is the book that I’m most desperate to just sit down with and spend hours reading, but because it’s not assigned reading, I’d feel a little guilty doing so.

Similarly, I’ve wanted to read Mark Z. Danieleswki’s House of Leaves for years now, so when I saw it on the list for this module I was thrilled to finally have an excuse to buy it and read it (given that it’s really expensive, I’d always put it off). It’s a very complicated book; it feels very much like a puzzle that doesn’t want to be solved. After discussing this in class, it’s made me want to get stuck into it. It’s hard to describe, and I’m not really sure that you could call it a novel. It begins with Johnny Truant, who finds a notebook kept by the reclusive and recently deceased Zampano, which contains the heavily annotated story of the Navidson Record. Johnny then begins annotating Zampano’s work, so you have the voice of Zampano, the voice of Johnny, and the occasional voice of The Editors. Like I said, it’s hard to explain, but I’m incredibly interested in it and I’m really hoping to make the time and finish it soon.

I was beginning to get concerned that I was actually veering on the edge of a huge reading slump, but last Saturday I picked up Her Fearful Symmetry  by Audrey Niffenegger (which is, you guessed it, another assigned book) and got through 200 pages incredibly quickly. I ended up finishing it the following day, and it felt so nice to just sit and read for a few hours. Hopefully finishing this one will give me more motivation to finish all the others! Since finishing that, I picked up The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor, which is my last assigned book and is, mercifully, only around 250 pages. As you can probably imagine, I’m keen to get all of this assigned reading behind me.

Given that I’m reading so many books at once, it got me thinking about whether, or how, other people manage it. So, do you read more than one book at any given time, or do you prefer to dedicate your time and attention to just one book? I’d love to know!



20 thoughts on “BOOK TALK | Currently Reading

  1. Ahhh this is such an interesting topic! See, I like to think I can juggle reading a lot of books in one go, but I’m mistaken. I’m trying to read 3 at the moment, but of course, one is getting more attention than the others. And if the book doesn’t interest me, I’ll just forget to continue reading it (oops)

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    1. I’m the same! No matter how much I try to convince myself that I CAN read this many books at once, I either end up prioritising one, or not making progress on any at all. And I definitely end up dropping the ones I’m not interested in haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t miss the days when I had assigned reading! I had no time for pleasure reading, and it honestly made me lose my zest for reading for a few years. I was so tired from school work and doing assigned reading for my English degree that I didn’t do much reading for pleasure except during the summers.
    The part of my life has been behind me for a few years now, thankfully and everything I read is for fun or because I want to. It’s an amazing feeling. haha

    I’m glad the latest book you read prevented you from falling into a book slump. I don’t wish that upon anyone.
    Oh, I can only read one book at a time. Two if I really put my mind to it. My attention span is very limited and I need to focus on as a few things at a time as possible. >.<

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    1. I’ll certainly be glad to have it all behind me! I thought I knew what I was getting into with this masters degree, but it’s just flown by and I’ve barely managed to keep on top of all the reading. Luckily I’ve enjoyed more of my assigned books than not, but it really does get me down when I can’t read whatever I want, when I want. It’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to this summer haha! Mostly I’m just happy that I’ve still managed to maintain my enthusiasm for reading.

      I much prefer to just dedicate time to just one book, but if I really have to (like now) then I just about manage to remember what’s happening in each of them!


      1. Sigh. I am also considering a master’s degree before I turn 30. Eeek. I don’t look forward to more assigned reading, but it may be something I will have to deal with anyway.

        How many more semesters until you’re finished?


        1. I’d definitely recommend doing one! For all the stress, I have really enjoyed it, and I’ll miss it when I’m finished.

          I have my last assignment due in a couple of weeks, so that’ll wrap up the taught part of my degree. But I have the summer to research/write my dissertation—which has to be 18,000 words! I have no idea how I’m going to manage it! So technically I’ll be all finished in September.


  3. I really want to read House of Leaves, but I am super intimidated by it. I also don’t get scared by books ever so I’m worried that it won’t have the same affect on me that it does everyone else. I do plan on getting to it eventually though because it sounds so intriguing.


    1. So far I haven’t found it too scary so I’m worrying about the same thing! It’s more unnerving than anything. It’s really interesting though, especially how it’s written. So I think even if it doesn’t end up scaring you, it’s still totally absorbing, and so easy to get caught up in it!


  4. Wow! Those are pretty good reads for your class. I wish I had the option to take such a course in school.
    I sometimes read many books at once but that’s usually because I’m searching for a story that will catch and hold my attention. Such was my case at the beginning of the year until recently when I picked up Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Now all I want to read is Assassin’s Apprentice and nothing else.
    By the way, are you in grad school and if so, what is your major? I ask because that Haunting the Contemporary course sounds very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The selection of books has been really good! Usually there’s a fair few that I wouldn’t ever read, but I’ve been lucky enough to have some really interesting ones.
      I’m like that too! I’ve also been meaning to read Assassin’s Apprentice for the longest time now.
      I’m in England, so I’m basically in our version of grad school. I’m doing a masters degree in Contemporary Literature! So Haunting the Contemporary is one of the classes I take on that course 🙂


      1. Oh ok. Pretty cool class.
        And I highly recommend Assassin’s Apprentice, btw. Such a wonderful, entertaining read that kept me on edge toward the end. I kept hopping around as I flew through the pages, unable to keep still.

        Liked by 1 person

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