I had an odd Amazon.com experience recently, which affected what I’m reading right now. Looking for a nice Christmas present, Marianne decided to checked out my Amazon.com wish list, and found a recent book listed, which she promptly bought for me. Problem is, I don’t have an Amazon.com wishlist, and I’m not that interested in reading Fannie Flagg’s A Redbird Christmas. So, a couple days back we went back to the book store (Marianne bought a copy locally), and I swapped it for Nick Hornby’s The Polysyllabic Spree, which I’ve long been interested in reading.
For those not in the know, The Polysyllabic Spree is a small book from McSweeney’s that collects Hornby’s columns from The Believer. Every month Hornby lists the books he’s bought that month, the books he’s actually read that month, and then discusses his reading experiences. Hornby is a funny guy and, while TPS isn’t a knee-slapper, it’s the kind of personable book that reading obsessed folk like me are likely to enjoy.
I don’t buy that many books these days – the most recent was probably Pete Dexter’s Deadwood in the bookshop in San Franciso airport back in November – but it did prompt me to think about making ‘what I should be reading this week’, and ‘what I actually am reading’ lists. For example:
What I should be reading this week:
Asimov’s, March 2006
F&SF, April 2006
Novellas for Best Short Novels: 2006
Bruce Sterling stories for Ascendancies: Best of Bruce Sterling
Books for Locus Recommended Reading essay
What I am reading this week:
The Polysyllabic Spree, Nick Hornby
A Princess of Roumania, Paul Park
“The Diversification of Its Fancy”, John Barnes
Fishin’ With Grandma Matchie, Steven Erikson
The Life of Riley, Alexander C. Irvine
Burn, James Patrick Kelly
…and to make sure I feel guilty about deadlines whizzing past:
What I should be doing this week:
Editing book review columns for February 2006 issue of Locus
Writing year-in-review essay for February 2006 issue of Locus
Finalising Locus Short Fiction recommended reading list
What I’ve been doing this week:
Finishing the short fiction list
All of which makes it clear that, when I finish birthday celebrations, it’s writing and editing for me! Oh, and speaking of birthday celebrations, Happy Birthday Ellen for a couple days ago, and Happy Birthday Nick, who shares my birthday=!