Friday, 6 June 2014

What's On Your Reading Pile II.... Take 2.....

I was inspired, earlier this week to write a response post to Baju, my co-blogger's post "Whats On Your Reading Pile" with my own reading 'to-do' list, books I already have in my possession, but haven't got around to reading yet. 

Now as you may know, I'm an addicted book buyer, so it could be argued that my 'to-do' list is about 1000 titles long, the number of books in my library is around 1500, so statistically I'm failing dreadfully to make any headway. I always fully intend reading every book I buy. I'm usually reading at least two or three books at any given moment. I read every day. But still for some mysterious reason the backlog grows and grows....hmmm.

The reason this particular post has "Take 2" in the title is that I did fully write it earlier in the week, but due to my deficiencies in tech skills, I managed to delete the whole thing somehow by accident! If it ever turns up, I'll be fascinated to see how closely it compares to this version. At least the titles I"m discussing remain the same!

There are six books in the list, however in the few intervening days between losing the original post and the re-write, I've actually started reading one of them, so technically it's an interloper, but at least this demonstrates I do genuinely intend working through these!

This, just like all my lists comes with the caveat that it is entirely subject to change, based on the vagaries of taste, timing or just about any other factor, but for this moment in time at least, here are the six books occupying the position of 'next in queue'....... Enjoy.

The Better Angels Of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
This is the book I've actually begun reading this week, I'm 120 or so pages in and it's just as fascinating as I thought it might be. Sub-titled "A History Of Violence And Humanity", Steven Pinker  puts forward the idea that we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species' history. With faultless research, argument and statistical analysis he weaves psychology, history, science and popular culture his exploration is compelling. 

Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester
Surprisingly for someone who has long loved the swashbuckling adventure genre, particularly with a basis in the Napoleonic War era, I've come to the Hornblower series late in life. This is the second in the series, in which the hero, Horatio Hornblower has to contend with a mentally deranged commanding officer who seems hell-bent on destroying the junior officers aboard his ship. Told from point of view of one of Hornblower's fellow officers, the author has an opportunity to present his hero from a very different perspective. 

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie
Of course there was going to be an Agatha Christie novel on this list, and of course it would be one featuring my favourite detective Hercule Poirot. Another author I've come to late in life, I'm desperate to make up for lost time, so it's likely there will be a Christie in my reading list for some time to come. Better known in the U.S. as "Thirteen At Dinner" this is one Poirot tale that has been re-worked for TV and the movies on three occasions that I know of. I can't wait to read the original.

Confessions Of An English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey
A century and a half before Hunter S. Thompson put pen to paper on the subject of drug use, Thomas De Quincey was enlightening the world with his own experiences on the subject, but this is not so much about drug addiction as a meditation on the mechanisms of human imagination. I'm looking forward to getting a glimpse into the mind of this extraordinary literary figure.

A Very Short History Of The World by Geoffrey Blainey
One of Australia's most significant historians, Blainey follows up his popular "Short History Of The World" with this further abridged volume. Still running to nearly 500 pages, there is scant space to cover the story of us over four million years, but I have high hopes that this book will be up to the task. Told from a non-Eurocentric perspective, this is one of the reasons I'm interested in this particular work.

Parisians: An Adventure History Of Paris by Graham Robb
I've always loved Paris, the home of my favourite book shop in the world; Shakespeare and Company. In this book, Robb brings together an anthology of true stories about the city of love and her denizens. I'm hoping, now that I live so far away, this will be a little escape back to one of my favourite places in the world.

So, there you are, my 'pile', my 'to-do' list, call it what you will. I hope it gives you some inspiration for reading material yourself. If it does, let me know.

Stevie at B.L.M.