Every time I make a reading list, I inevitably pick up new things along the way that upset my careful plan. I’ll make a plan to read three books on a particular subject, and then after reading two I’ll be inspired to go in a different direction, leaving one poor orphan book unread on my shelf.
And over time, they accumulate.
So for this next season, my fun book list (as opposed to my also fun academic book list) will include some forgotten unread books that fell out of previous reading lists, plus some new items and re-reads for my book club. I’d love to clean up my backlog a bit.
1) The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Their Friends: I thoroughly enjoyed Humphrey Carpenter’s biography of Tolkien, and I couldn’t wait to start his treatise on the Inklings. But then life happened, dissertation reading took over, and I joined a book club, so this one fell out of the list.
2) The Buccaneers: The third and final installment of Iain Lawrence’s High Seas Trilogy. The first two were quite well done, so I’m excited to finally enjoy this last story.
3) Maus I & II: This graphic novel series by Art Spiegelman found its way onto my radar through my book club, but then my Skype connect could’t make it to the meeting just about the same time I was overwhelmed by grading, and it got left behind.
4) Chretien de Troyes’ “Lancelot”: This one is such a gross oversight that it’s almost a little embarrassing. It’s the fourth story in this collection, and for some reason I’ve just never gotten around to it, even though it’s obviously the most famous. I always go back to poor Enide just to check on her, and then something always happens just before I start the fourth story to knock me off track.
5) Magic in the Middle Ages, by Richard Kieckhefer: I picked this up along with a whole pile of books ages and ages ago when I was just starting to fall in love with Medieval history and literature, and somehow never actually read this particular piece. It’s time.
And since I cannot resist, some new items for my reading list:
1) World War Z, Max Brooks
2) Sword of Honor Triology, by Evelyn Waugh
Last, but not least, I’m queuing up a few re-reads, both for the sake of fun, and because it’s been over a decade since I’ve read them. I’ve got an itch for myth:
1) American Gods, Neil Gaiman
2) Tales of the Elders of Ireland, Acallam na Senorach, trans. Ann Dooley and Harry Roe
3) The Tain, From the Irish Epic Tain Bo Cuailnge, trans. Thomas Kinsella
Well, that should keep me busy for a while.