by Jhumpa Lahiri
Don't You Forget about Me
by Jancee Dunn
The End of Manners
by Francesca Marciano
by Richard Yates
What Was Lost
by Catherine O'Flynn
The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
No, this is not a list of the best books I read in 2008.
It's much worse.
These are just a few of the books I meant to read in 2008 but didn't. A list of good intentions.
The sad thing is, it's not a list of books that I feel I should read, but books that I really want to read, but haven't. So what happened?!
Well, life happens. Sometimes other obligations come first. And also, as much as I love to read, I love other things as well, and a life in which all leisure time is spent reading wouldn't be a balanced life--not for me anyway.
That said, I wish I'd carved out more time to read in 2008. Not because I feel I should, but because of the pleasure it gives me. Reading is good for the soul--or it can be, if you choose books that feed it.
There will probably never be enough time to read all the books on my "to read" list, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Although Willa Cather is perhaps my favorite author, there are still a few Cather books I haven't read. I like knowing that they are waiting for me--the undiscovered Cather!--when I want them.
One of the books on my "to read" list has been there for years: The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. Hardy wrote one of my favorite books, Jude the Obscure, about a working class man who aspires to a life of the mind but finds his desire thwarted by England's class system, among other things. I want to read the Mayor of Casterbridge. I saw a television production of The Mayor of Casterbridge that whetted my appetite for the book. A copy of The Mayor of Casterbridge is calling out to me from my overstuffed bookcase. But I still haven't read it. Perhaps for one of the reasons mentioned above. Perhaps because I had a library book due that I felt I should read first. Perhaps because I wasn't in the mood for The Mayor at the precise moment I was selecting my next book to read. (The story, like much of Hardy's work, is bleak. It's about the ruin that occurs when a man, drunk and angry, auctions off his wife and daughter at a fair.) Whatever the reason, my man Hardy got pushed aside.
But no more! 2009 is the year The Mayor gets read!
It's never too late for books on your "to read" list. Is there a book you've meant to read for ages? Is it a book you feel you should read or that you really want to read but just haven't gotten around to? Let us know!