Currently Reading | 26th September

As you might have seen from my last ‘currently reading’ sort of post, I recently came back from a holiday to a crisis as I was, by that point, very behind with the War and Peace Newbies Readalong. Well, folks, I’m still very behind, to the point that I think everyone has finished the book and I haven’t. Not even close.

However, I have re-evaluated my reading plans and decided I need to clear a few more things from my ‘currently reading’ shelf in order to fully focus on finishing that mammoth of a book. Because I can’t give up now, otherwise I’d never forgive myself. (Plus I want bragging rights, I’m petty like that.)

So here is a little look at what I’m currently reading aka a general plan of attack because, if War and Peace has taught me one thing, it’s that it’s probably advisable to have a decent and realistic battle plan.

A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast (Volume Two) – George R.R. Martin

I am so damn close to being caught up with the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series that I’m determined to speed through this final volume and have done with already. However, it’s not easy to “speed through” a 500-page book so we’ll see. In an effort to make sure I can always dip into this when I have a spare moment I’ve checked out an e-book copy via my library’s Overdrive system so it’s now available to read on my phone even if I forget to take the physical book with me when I leave the house. Hopefully this should mean I get through more of it than I otherwise would, but I’m only two chapters into it thus far so we shall see what the future brings.

Northern Lights – Philip Pullman

I really wanted to re-read/read His Dark Materials before the publication of La Belle Sauvage in October. I even went ahead and pre-ordered a beautiful but far too expensive limited edition of that new book, to reward myself. I say re-reading, I never actually made it through the third book, The Amber Spyglass, even though I really loved Northern Lights, so I need to get on that, stat. I needed an audiobook to stick on in work whilst I did spreadsheet stuff so I ended up starting to listen to Northern Lights – I’m going to try to continue this tactic this week, so long as the spreadsheets hold out. One slight bug-bear I’m having is that the audiobook description said it was read by Philip Pullman but he doesn’t do the voices, they are pre-recorded with different voice actors and then have been edited in, but I’ve found that the difference in audio quality, and the slight delay in that track starting after Pullman pauses to allow for the change of speaker, makes the dialogue really quite jarring. I’m really not enjoying that element of it which is a shame because I didn’t realise there were other narrators or I probably wouldn’t have plumped for the audiobook at all. Maybe I’ll switch back to the paperbacks of the trilogy after this.

My Salinger Year – Joanna Rakoff

This is a book I shouldn’t even be reading; I swore to myself I wouldn’t pick up any new books before I’d finished what I had on my currently reading shelf and yet here we are. I looked back at my hastily scribbled TBR in my bullet journal and discovered that in a moment of madness I had said I wanted to read this in September. Well, October looms so I need to get to this before the month ends – shouldn’t be too difficult as it’s only 250ish pages and it’s a memoir of the author’s time working at a literary agency in New York so it’s something I’m super interested and invested in.

War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

I hope to make significant progress with the above three books above in the next week, and then I plan to devote most of my reading time/attention to finally finishing War and Peace – I’m so determined that I came up with 3 plans of attack, one of which is highly optimistic and two that are a little more realistic.

So, I am currently at page 1037, with 317 pages left to read, as follows:
Volume IV, Part I and II – 108 pages (p. 1037-1145)
Volume IV, Part III and IV – 110 pages (p. 1146-1256)
Epilogue I and II – 99 pages (p. 1259-1358)

And here we are with the rundown of my plans of attack:
Plan A: Starting 2nd October – read 45 pages per day, will finish by 8th October
Plan B: Starting 2nd October – read 22 pages per day, will finish by 15th October
Plan C: Starting 2nd October – read 15 pages per day, will finish by 22nd October

Obviously I would like to have this book finished sooner rather than later, but I definitely want it finished before my birthday which is on 24th October. Maybe I should aim for the middle, though, with Plan B even if I suspect, in my heart of hearts, that I will slip into Plan C. Let’s see, shall we? Oooh the suspense is killing me…

What are you reading at the moment? How are you finding it? Do you have any recommendations for books you’d read and loved and/or that you think I might like? Please do leave your comments below as I’d love to hear them.

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