14 Jan 2014

what to read next – january blues edition

So far in 2014, I am reading like this:

  • Pick up a book, read two pages, put it down.
  • Pick up a different book, read two pages, put it down.
  • Put seventeen books on hold even though I have seventeen perfectly good books already checked out.
  • Spend an entire 60 minutes browsing Overdrive and Goodreads to find seventeen more books to put on hold.
  • Listen to one disc of an audiobook, then stop listening and try another one.
  • Pick up another book, read two pages, put it down.

I’m in between cycles of Required Reading, which should be fun but sometimes isn’t. On one hand, I have all the time! In the world! To read whatever I want! On the other hand… I read 25 books in December. Can a girl get a break? For a few weeks.

Unfortunately, though, I don’t want a break. I’m sure some of you are familiar with this feeling, this Aarrrrrrgh where ARE YOU, book that I WANT? Why can’t I FIND YOU?

I am a professional. I’m better equipped to assess reading tastes and desires than most. You would think I could recommend myself The Book that will Soothe My Soul.

I cannot.

The truly sad part of this tale is how many truly tantalizing, juicy books I have at the ready. Fantasy. Literary memoir. Trashy exposé memoir. Books I’ve been waiting forever to read. Books I just discovered. . Audiobooks. Ebooks. Advanced Readers. Regular readers. I bring home one new book a day, in the hopes that a subway ride will be long enough to snare any one of them. Nope nope.

These specimens are all sitting in my apartment. Waiting patiently. For me. Should I try Ellen Litman’s Mannequin Girl, a March ’14 coming of age novel set in Soviet Russia, about a teen girl who has scoliosis and is sent to a special school for invalids? Or maybe Dave Eggers’s latest, The Circle? Do I dare scare myself away from social media and the Internet completely?

Or maybe a book that I have probably put on a list, oh, A HUNDRED TIMES??? Now I have acquired my own copy of Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, I am running out of excuses. Even psychological ones.

Perhaps, though, I am setting my bar too high. Maybe my brain is just small and inattentive right now, and I should turn to something completely scandalous. Like a good religious cult memoir. My hold for Jenna Miscavige Hill’s Beyond Belief finally came in.

Or maybe instead of coddling myself with ghostwritten scandal-books, I should get my gd nose to the grindstone and get ahead of the game. I have a copy of Leslye Walton’s The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender in my possession. It looks magical and weird and something I might like.

If only I could get past those first two pages.

In the meantime, I have set the bar even lower than low. I am re-reading Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Despite my low esteem of myself and my reading motivations in this chilly, slumpy January, Fangirl is just as delightful as it was the first time around. While I can’t read anything else for longer than a few pages, I read Fangirl  for 30 consecutive minutes yesterday.

On my phone.

On the treadmill.



  1. Amanda wrote:

    Taking a little break from new reading sounds good. 🙂 I hope Fangirl helps!

    Posted on 1.15.14 · Reply to comment
  2. I’d recommend stepping away from YA and reading some middle grade. YA can be depressing and send me back to a bad high school place. Sometimes reading something different helps. If you can get a copy of Johnson’s Ice Dogs, that was excellent. Hard to go wrong with Horowitz’s Stormbreaker, even though it’s ten years old. Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood was fun and is on Netgalley. Sometimes, especially in January, reading can be hard! (The other benefit of MG is that the books are short, so they aren’t as intimidating!)

    Posted on 1.15.14 · Reply to comment
    • jessica wrote:

      That is a good idea… I still have a copy of The Thing About Luck I have not cracked open yet, and I just passed by a copy of Charlotte’s Web and it called out to me a little. You may be onto something!

      Posted on 1.16.14 · Reply to comment

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