November's book list is a bit different. I didn't finish any books this month, and I don't think I will in December either. But my gradual purge is still going on and I'm re-examining what I have and why I have it. The process is exhausting and so am I right now. But I think I'm going to feel better when I'm done and I hope our home is a little happier and I'm more mindful about book purchases in the future. We have libraries, we frequent the daylights out of them, and we're probably not going to get all book crazy again until we own a home.
Books 2-5 of the Song of Fire and Ice series are leaving the fiction shelf. I want to have more space on there for Evelyn's puzzles and also, really, I hate these books. I hate George R. R. Martin's writing, I hate the portrayal of women, I hate the clunky dialogue, I hate the nightmares I have for a month or so after I read these books. I want this clumsy evil out of my house.
I'm unloading them on a co-worker. Discussing these books with other fans is super fun, and I'm totally going to read the last two--assuming Martin's health lets him finish them. But I'll borrow them from someone. I always intend to reread the series before beginning whatever the newest book is, and I never do. I finally realized it's because there's no way in the realm beyond the wall that I'm going to force myself through gazillions of pages of this all over again. Ever.
Next up is A.S. Byatt's The Children's Hour. I bought it with Christmas money several Christmases ago and held onto it because I typically LOVE Byatt. LOVE. And I bought this with Christmas money and it's only one of two of her books that I own--the other being Possession, duh. I reread that every couple of years and love it every more each time. If I can't get through the first 100 pages of this, and really don't want to, then I don't need to have this around. So out it goes. I don't even mind.
I don't think I'll get rid of books every month I don't finish something, even though that is kind of like this destashing challenge I was in on Ravelry up until last month when I started lagging. The idea was to dig into your stash and commit something every month to a project. I've been a little pressed for time and couldn't always use stash for other projects I needed to make. But there might be time to catch up before the end of the year.
Anyway, the whole point of the challenge to force people to look at their yarn and think about if they really wanted it or not. If they wanted it, they should use on some awesome project. If they weren't that committed, then maybe they should get rid of their yarn. No one's tossing anything in the trash! But some things have been donated to charity shops, classrooms, senior centers, and some stuff is swapped out or given as a gift. I think it's a good approach to take to our books every now and then.
Anyway, I'm currently reading Beowulf and The Historian again because they're wintry and excellent and engrossing. Beowulf is a library copy of Seamus Heaney's translation, and The Historian is my slightly battered copy that will move from home to home with me until Evelyn is old enough to steal it. I'm enjoying myself. I was reading a book about homesteading because that's my equivalent of escapist fantasy, but I catch myself arguing back with so much of what the author is suggesting (no! I'm not allowed to have a rain barrel on my balcony and it doesn't get full sunlight and composting so close to a dwelling is a terrible, terrible idea! No, YOU'RE full of excuses!) that it wasn't enjoyable anymore. That's going back to the library soon. I'm thinking about boxing up those books like that that I already own and storing them away for another season. It's not like everything must go, but it should feel useful or awesome. Anything by Seamus Heaney would probably be a great gift, hint hint.
Next on my reading list: Elizabeth Zimmermann's books just because I like her voice, and maybe Possession one more time. It's been a couple of years, and all that springtime imagery is probably going to feel very relevant by the time I finish it in a few months.