Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reading to the End of Time

According to a lot of people, we’re counting down. Whether or not you buy the hype, it seems a good excuse for a read off, as initiated by my friend and colleague J. Kingston Pierce over at The Rap Sheet:
Now, I’m not buying into this whole reading of the Mayan calendar that claims we’re in for apocalyptic and literally earth-shattering events tomorrow. We have already survived more than a few predicted ends of the world over the last 2,000 years. Why believe these latest prognostications of doom, especially when they may we be based on a misunderstanding? As the Los Angeles Times reports, “NASA scientists and Mayan scholars say there is no reason to fear Dec. 21. They say the date simply marks the end of one 5,125-year cycle of the complex Mayan calendar and the beginning of another one.”
There’s nothing wrong, though, with employing this latest end-of-the-planet scenario as entertainment. Several media sources have already provided suggestions of what to read, if we actually have just a few pitiful hours left in which to bury our noses in books. (Cormac McCarthy’s The Road seems to be a popular choice.)
But what Pierce wants to know is this:
If our beloved but puny globe at the edge of the Milky Way does meet with destruction tomorrow, and we’re all swept away in a sea of fire, say, or a cataclysmic cascade of asteroids, what books will you not have finished reading. 
I am not looking for your whole to-be-read list, just the titles and authors of books you’ve already begun.
As Pierce says, we’re not looking for your whole TBR pile. Rather, what books have you started that you are unlikely to finish by the end of the world (if that end happens tomorrow)? I’m looking for your list. Here’s mine:

The Purchase, by Linda Spalding (McLelland & Stewart)
Lola, California, by Edie Meidav (FSG)
NW, by Zadie Smith (Penguin)
The Teleportation Accident, by Ned Beauman (Bloomsbury)
Finnegan’s Wake, by James Joyce (Don’t hold your breath on this one. I’ve been at it for a while.)

Now it’s your turn. In the Comments section of this post list the book or books you’re in the midst of consuming, but wouldn’t have time to finish before the end of the day tomorrow, Friday.

I hope you’ll play along.


Anonymous bookiebarb said...

Books not finished:

The Price of Inequality, by Joseph Stiglitz
Grace Among Thieves, by Julie Hyzy
The Caterpillar Cop, by James McClure
The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens
The Nine, by Jeffery Toobin

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:18:00 AM PST  

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