When I had more time to read, I used to have about 6 to 8 books going at the same time. This was never a problem and I did like to be able to read sections of a books consistently with group reads keeping me on track. But sometime in the last three years or so, it’s all gone wrong. Suddenly, I wasn’t finishing books I started, yet I would still pick up new ones to begin. Which, of course, has left with me with a number of books I’ve begun but never completed. Not good.
In fact, I was looking at my Goodreads currently-reading shelf the other day and the numbers made me whoozy. My currently-reading shelf stood at 44 books. How on earth did that happen? Even after pairing it down, I still had 34 books that I do PLAN to finish. I’ll highlight ten of them for this list:
City of God
Good grief. Even though I wasn’t enjoying this book nearly as much as Confessions, I was at one point moving along at a reasonable pace. I’d even planned to pick it up again last year when a group on Goodreads was reading it over the entire year. Fail! However, I WILL finish it!
The Faerie Queene
Well, if my version was an “as told to the children” version, I’d be finished it now. However, it is the full poem and it is LOOOOOONG! I do know why I stalled though. I was doing posts each book and part and they took hours and hours and hours. It was all I was reading and all I was posting on. To see the length of the posts, you can view them here and perhaps understand why I stalled. I would like to complete it though, including the posts. I wonder if it’s wishful thinking …..
The Republic of Plato
I did love learning about Plato’s perfect city. I started it while I was away on the island when I had the time and brain capacity to absorb it and have fun with it. But when I returned to the city, I found I just didn’t have the mental energy to devote to it. Perhaps it’s a self-isolation-type book. I should pick it up again.
The Last Chronicle of Barset
What an embarrassment! I had planned to read The Chronicles of Barsetshire as a read-along from May – October 2014. And I’m STILL reading it. The good news is that I never gave up and this is the last book in the series. More good news is that I’m actively reading it now so I do plan to finish before the year is out. I’m happy that I’ve kept plugging along and even produced reviews for all the other books: The Warden, Barchester Towers, Doctor Thorne, Framley Parsonage and The Small House at Allington. Never give up, right? Slow and steady, wins the race ………. You get the idea ………….
The History of Napoleon Buonaparte
Okay, this one gets the award for the most ridiculous unfinished book of mine. I began reading it in August 2013 and I LOVED this book. It was so fascinating because Lockhart lived during Napoleon’s time and he apparently covered many of the great little man’s victories that are overlooked in other biographies. I remember it enough that I could pick up where I left off, but for the enjoyment, I’m considering reading it again. I’ve yet to decide.
I started reading this with Cirtnecce ages ago and I don’t think either one of us finished. In fact, I didn’t even get 1/4 through, not because I didn’t enjoy it but probably because of other book distractions. It would fit with my Russian Literature Challenge which I’m not doing great with so far this year.
The Cloud of Unknowing
I was reading this as part of my undocumented project to make my way through the book, 25 Books Every Christian Should Read. I love their list because they have you read great spiritual works chronologically. With only 25 books, you don’t see a detailed development of the Christian faith but there’s a glimmer. So far I’ve read On The Incarnation, Confessions, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, and The Rule of Saint Benedict in order, and previously The Divine Comedy, The Seven Storey Mountain, Mere Christianity, The Brothers Karamazov, and Orthodoxy, but I’ll probably read each of them again when I reach them on the list. In any case, The Cloud of Unknowing is difficult. It’s very esoteric and mystical and, honestly, confusing. The anonymous writer (who was a monk) states that no one should read it unless they are called to the holy devout life. I perhaps should have followed his precept. 🙄
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and A Tour of the Hebrides
This was a fun book. I’ve technically already finished the first book by Samuel Johnson and was starting the second. This will be easy to pick up and start reading where I left off. It’s still quite fresh in my mind.
The Gulag Archipelago
This was my very last biography book to complete the biography section of my The Well-Educated Mind Project. Why didn’t I get through this one? Because for once in my life, I need to read an abridged version (which I believe Bauer recommends). I have two huge volumes of this read and I think there’s a third. Unless I’m given two more lives, I don’t see the sense in trying to make it through them. However, I still need to find an abridged version. So Soltzhenitsyn will have to wait.
The Good Soldier Svejk
I found this book to be silly and rather stupid and I didn’t care for it at all. Svejk acts like an ignorant idiot and while at first it could been amusing, after page after page of his silliness, one gets a little weary of his antics. I don’t know … perhaps it will get better but I don’t have much hope. In any case, to read a classic of Czech literature, I will attempt to make my way through it.
So here is my list which I can look back on and see if I accomplished any of it. I did spend some time a couple of weeks ago looking through some previous lists and was encouraged that I eventually read what I planned to (mostly) although not necessarily in the time I expected. The key word is EVENTUALLY!