I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been writing because I haven’t been reading. I haven’t been reading, or going to concerts, or to the cinema. I haven’t been to the theatre in 2011. My brain is atrophying. My only cultural activity in the last two months has been going to the opera.
I always get a reading block around this time of year. I wonder why?
Here’s my goal: by the end of May I’m going to finish some of the books I’ve read half of and then stalled at. These are:
The state in capitalist society – Ralph Miliband
Greed – Elfriede Jelinek
The intellectual life of the British working class – Jonathan Rose
Woman’s estate – Juliet Mitchell
War and peace – Tolstoy
The end of the peace process – Edward Said
The Penguin history of modern China – Jonathan Fenby
La Débâcle – Émile Zola
A tale of two cities – Dickens
You know what, when I finish that little lot I’m going to read some really short, fun books. Suggestions in the comments, please. I haven’t even included Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland, which I’m a quarter of the way through, because it’s so enormously detailed I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it before Christmas. The first two hundred pages took me three months.