Friday, May 18, 2007

I've noticed a strange thing - when I add a book to my "currently reading" list (over there on the right) I stop reading it. Some titles have sat there for months. So perhaps I should rename it the "living in anticipation" list. At the moment my reading is largely driven by what I have out from the library, which means I am distinctly side-tracked from the bigger purpose of reading at a pace towards the book I'm writing. I need to crank things up a notch or two for this "working reading" as I call it (as opposed to reading for pleasure). Happily, they frequently overlap.

Look at this fantastic opening paragraph to HARVEST OF THORNS by Zimbabwean Shimmer Chinodya:
The day he came back, and she walked in obliviously from the shower-room with soapsuds on her hands and found him sitting in his big brown boots on the sofa, she cried so much the neighbours rushed in thinking she had received news of death; after they had gone and she could talk she looked at the ropes of dried meat hung on a strip of newspaper and fished into her long skirts to send Peter to the butcher.
Published in 1989, part of the novel first saw the light of day as Chinodya's MA thesis at the University of Iowa in the mid 80s. In 1990 it won him the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Africa Region. It has a wonderful quality to it, and I am enjoying it thoroughly as (unofficial) current reading!

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Ann said...

Do you know, I have just the same problem with my 'current reading list' so much so, that I'm thinking of abandoning it. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

11:02 am  
Anonymous Maxine said...

If you start a new blog, you could call it "Living in Anticipation" -- good name for a blog!

4:19 pm  
Anonymous danielle said...

I find I am doing the same thing as well. I list books I am reading--some of them I am, but then I sneak books on the side that I don't list!! And library books usually do get to cut in line!!

5:36 pm  
Blogger litlove said...

You know I really understand that 'current reading' list problem. I don't have one on my blog because I just know I'd abandon books there. What is all that about, I wonder? Perhaps I just like all my pleasures to have a little tinge of naughtiness about them!

8:44 am  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

I used to find that happened with me, too, so now I don't keep a list, I just pick up a book as and when I want to read it, ofcourse, because I don't have obligatory reading it is a luxury I can enjoy.

That certainly was an interesting passage...enjoyed reading it!

2:36 pm  
Blogger equiano said...

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one! Perhaps I should follow the example of some of you and remove my list altogether. I guess the one thing it does do, though, is tell readers the sort of thing I "might" be reading! :)

12:07 pm  

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