Thursday, October 2, 2008

The brick wall

I’ve reached a strange point in my reading journey … and it looks a bit like a brick wall.

I’m sure it will pass as quickly as it has arrived, but in the meantime, I thought I’d blog about it, as I like to put something new on this site around once a week. And, by the nature of my reading situation, I don’t seem to have anything else to write about this week!

Here it is: I’ve suddenly become indecisive about my reading choices. I have an interesting list of titles waiting on my book shelf, but I can’t seem to get excited about any of them.

I’m worried that if I start one and cast it aside, I won’t go back to it (I’m not big on revisiting books that don’t grab me – remember my ill-fated relationship with The Confederacy of Dunces?), and so forever ruin a book I may otherwise enjoy.

My current shortlist is as follows (in no particular order):
- High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (loved by my good friend the Ink-stained Toe-poker)
- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (loved or hated, depending on whose review you read)
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (I really enjoyed The Kite Runner, but not sure if I’m in the mood for the emotional commitment I suspect this book will require)
- Second Strike by Mark Abernethy (Aussie spy adventure sequel to The Golden Serpent, which I enjoyed last year)
- A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon (who wrote The Curious Incident With The Dog in the Night-time) (Side-note: I grabbed this book off the shelf last night and knocked a glass of wine over my laptop - which didn’t help its cause.)

Does anyone else hit these sorts of reading walls? If so, how do you break through of them?

This is quite new for me, and is probably more a reflection of where I’m at in my brain at the moment, than anything else. I have no doubt it will pass….

So, apologies for the lack of intellectual stimulation in this post. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting for you next week!


Charley said...

I, too, hit reading walls. I find they occur when I'm trying to read too many books at once, or when I'm reading just for the sake of reading. What usually works for me is to pick one story that I've really been wanting to read, cast aside all the others, and just focus on enjoying that one book. Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men worked for me earlier this year.

Reg said...

I'd recommend reading the Stieg Larsson, IF you've got the patience to get through the first hundred pages before a lot starts happening. But believe me, all that background is necessary, and the story will grab you... and it continues through 3 volumes with one of the greatest heroines of crime fiction in years. I know, all 3 volumes grabbed me -- and I'm the translator! Have fun, Reg in Albuquerque

BooksPlease said...

Yes I know that wall. I find I just have to sit it out and eventually the right book surfaces. I often start books and put them down, sometimes for ever. It's a gamble.

Gustav said...

Dear Paula

Even you run into brick walls.

I have been in awe the last few months as you cruised through new great stories like a shark gobbling pork sausages.

I too often hit brick walls as I look at the pile of great stories next to my bed. Which to read and which to ignore?

This is normal for me, but you, perhaps, are more focused and determined than I.

Do not worry Paula, you will be back blasting through brick walls and we look forward to your new revelations about Great Stories.

Linda Jacobs said...

It's happened to me, too, and I just coast along waiting for it to pass. In the mean time, I read magazines, or poetry, or do something else and try to enjoy myself knowing that the urge to read will return.

I've only read one of the books on your list but I really enjoyed A Thousand splendid Suns.

Bec said...

Hi Paula,

I reckon you'd love high fidelity - for some reason I can totally imagine you doing the 'list' thing. In fact, you've inspired me to go back and read it again, now that I remember what rollicking good fun it is. And I might have to start making a few 'top 5' lists myself. Anyway, not exactly sure why, but I just think you'll 'get' it. And I'm sure you'll be blasting through that wall very soon. You know what they say - "Can't keep a good girl down"... well... something to that effect.

Paula Weston said...

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the kind words and suggestions.

(And special hi to Reg in Albuquerque - thanks for visiting!)

I've finally started on a book (surprise, surprise, not on the list), so hopefully I'll have some interesting thoughts again soon.

I've taken everyone's suggestions on board and will tackle the other titles soon.