Reading Temptations

I really hate when this happens.

The LikenessI’ve had Tana French’s The Likeness out from the library for a while now. It’s on its last renewal legs, so to speak, so I’ve got to either finish it up in the next few weeks or it has to go back to the library until I can check it out again.

I really liked French’s In The Woods (my review is here) – despite the ending – and everyone I know who’s read In The Woods tells me that The Likeness is even better. But for some reason, I’ve been having trouble getting into it. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it when I do sit down with it, because I am. But for some reason, the book hasn’t hooked me in quite that way yet.

When I was reading In The Woods, I couldn’t put the book down, and if I had to, I could think of nothing else but picking it back up again. This hasn’t happened for me yet with The Likeness. But with only a couple more weeks left for me to finish it, I will need to buckle down and make sure that it’s the book I pick up to read whenever I’m in the mood for reading.

Which will really be difficult, because I’ve got some very interesting books that are calling to me right now. No, really, they are. They’re all making those funny squeaky noises, the ones that my booklover’s discerning ears can hear all too clearly. And those voices are saying, “Pick me up! I’m the one you should be reading right now. Pick me up! I’m so interesting. You won’t regret it …”

First, there’s French Milk, by Lucy Knisley, which I talked about in my last Incoming! new book arrivals post. Since this one is in graphic novel format, it would be so easy to pick it up, because I know it will be a quick and lovely read.

Wait Until TwilightAnd then there’s Wait Until Twilight, which author Sang Pak sent to me in the summer. I read the first chapter online at Sang’s site before the book arrived, and if the book had only arrived shortly after, I would have finished it by now. The first chapter was really eerie and gothic and had me wanting more. So now I keep looking at the book and thinking, yes, I really should see what happens next.

But wait, there’s more (isn’t there always, though?). I also just picked up a whole slew of books from the library that I’d put in requests for.

Most of these books ended up on my library list because I saw it on a blog somewhere, by the way. So we know who’s to blame, don’t we?

KitchenThere’s Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto; this is the product description from Amazon: “Mikage, the heroine, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, Mikage is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who is really his cross-dressing father) Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale with the kitchen and the comforts of home at its heart.” Doesn’t it sound so interesting?

We Have Always Lived in the CastleAnd then there’s Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, an eerie little book that looks like a wonderfully creepy read.

This one was a rather embarrassing find – I’d quickly skimmed through a review on a blog I frequent (I can’t remember which blog it was – I really need to start jotting down where I find my reads) and for some reason I thought it was “in the style of Shirley Jackson”.

Well, I loved The Haunting of Hill House, and “The Lottery” is one of my favorite short stories, so I quickly chirped in the comments something about being a Shirley Jackson lover, so if this was in her style, it definitely was my kind of book. Then I hopped over to my library’s website, typed in the title, and discovered that We Have Always Lived in the Castle wasn’t “in the style of Shirley Jackson” – it’s written by Shirley Jackson.

Sigh. Did I ever feel stupid for making that comment. (Do you ever make commenting blunders like this, by the way? Just asking. Would love some company on this one …)

The SummoningAnd after reading so many really good reviews online, I also put in a request for The Summoning a while back; it’s the first book in Kelley Armstrong’s YA paranormal series.

There was a bit of a wait for this one, but at long last, it’s my turn – but it also means this is yet another book I’ll have to read within the next few weeks, because I’m pretty sure there’s still a wait list for this one.

See my growing reading dilemma?

Little BrotherAnd it doesn’t quite stop there. When I dashed into the library to pick up my holds, I saw Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, and couldn’t resist getting it after I read the synopsis:

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

I know that I shouldn’t do things like this; I should be disciplined enough to be able to pop into the library to pick up an armload of holds without looking around at the shelves to see if something else will catch my eye.

But I’m not disciplined at all when it comes to books and reading.

So there you go. So many reading temptations. But yes, I’m going to finish The Likeness first. I know it’s going to be good – I’m at page 110 and those hooks are finally starting to sink into me.

At least I know it’s going to be a pretty good reading month this month, right?

What about you? Is there a book you absolutely must finish right now, for whatever reason? Are you oh, so tempted by other books like I am, or do you possess the iron will and discipline that I lack?

27 thoughts on “Reading Temptations

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Like you, I’m tempted by lots of books. I try to finish one book before moving to the next, but right now, oddly enough, I’m in the middle of two books at the same time, and swich betwteen them (one’s an Ebook and one’s the old-fashioned kind : ) ). When a book is that compelling, it’s hard to resist : ). Your temptations sound like great reads, so I can see why they are calling so loudly : ).
    .-= Margot Kinberg´s last blog ..The Devil’s in the Details =-.

    1. Belle

      You’d think I’d be used to this kind of thing by now, Margot – I rarely have only one book on the go.

      Maybe that’s the problem. Now I feel like I’m on a deadline to finish The Likeness before it has to go back to the library, so I feel like I must commit to one book for now!

      Now that you mention it, I have a few ebooks waiting for me too …

  2. Dorte H

    Yes, I make stupid blunders!

    One day I didn´t read a post properly (happens far too often, I am afraid). I thought the blogger was writing about her own childhood and asked her in the comment: “did you really do that?” But the post was about a male writer´s childhood.

    And when I do something like that in English, I always feel everybody will think ´stupid foreigner, doesn´t she know better?´
    .-= Dorte H´s last blog ..C for Christie, Cleeves, Craig. =-.

    1. Belle

      I’m glad you’ve experienced the comment blunder thing, too, Dorte – I don’t feel so alone now!

      Although, if it’s any consolation, there’s absolutely no way anyone would be able to tell from your comments that English isn’t your primary language. So really, they’re thinking the same thoughts about you as they’re thinking about me and my comment blunders :)

    1. Belle

      I have it here next to me and the cover is just so creepy and enticing. I hate it when covers are creepy and enticing all at once.

      Not to mention, it’s such a slim little slip of a book. It’s telling me right now, “I’ll be a quick one, I promise. And you’ll love me. Don’t forget, Softdrink says I’m awesome, so you see, don’t you, that I really should be what you’re reading tonight …”

    1. Belle

      I wouldn’t mind getting you in the same boat as me. Maybe I should take a look at your TBR and throw in some tempting words via email?

  3. Bernadette in Australia

    I think having a large TBR pile is a bad thing. It’s been relatively recent for me (maybe 18 months or so). Before that I would only ever have 1-2 books to read at any one time so I feel like I gave each one more time. These days I have 100+ TBRs and I sometimes feel that if a book hasn’t grabbed my by page 3 I’m looking over at the shelves listening for those little squeaky noises.
    .-= Bernadette in Australia´s last blog ..Homage or Heresy? =-.

    1. Belle

      I do that too! I’ll read a book and often if it hasn’t grabbed me by about the tenth page, I’m just so tempted to put it down. That’s one really good thing about reading reviews on other blogs – I’ve been encouraged to keep going and sometimes it’s been a good thing (other times, it’s just meant I put the book away forever at page 50 instead of 10, though).

      It’s one reason why I’m loving my library so much. At least it doesn’t cost me anything to discover a book doesn’t grab me the way I’d like.

  4. Dara

    I always check out a bunch of books from the library that look interesting and then never have the time to get to them. Or, I start reading them and they don’t quite catch my interest like I thought it would…

    But I’ve found I’ve become an incredibly picky reader, especially since college. Still, I always have at least a dozen books out at a time and maybe read three or four of them 😛 You’d think I’d learn…
    .-= Dara´s last blog ..If I Wasn’t Geeky Enough Already… =-.

    1. Belle

      I think there must be some sort of library gene thing in readers and writers, because I’m exactly the same way. I have to return so many books unread, and this is with renewing them the maximum number of renewals permitted! I’m like a book glutton, I’m afraid … Plus, I really like having the choice. I’m not necessarily a picky reader, but I’m a very moody reader!

    1. Belle

      Oh, me too! To think, before I started blogging I actually went through these awful “dry spells” because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read. That’s not about to happen again anytime soon, I’m afraid.

  5. Literary Feline

    My books make the same noises. In fact, whenever I venture into the TBR room, I swear some of them even reach out with their pages and try to prevent me from leaving. It’s especially bad right now because there are several books I wish I could be reading right now. It can be very distracting and unfair to the book I actually am reading (I haven’t been hooked yet, but I’m not far into it yet), but since I have a book tour coming up, I really do need to finish it sometime soon.

    (And yes, I make commenting blunders now and then. It’s so embarrassing!)
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..TGIF: Wishlists & a Nearly Endless List of Questions for My Dear Readers =-.

  6. Jenners

    We must read the same blog because I just added “We Have Always Lived In a Castle” to my Paperback Swap list so I must have read about it somewhere. I didn’t write it down either!!! Two forgetful bloggers!

    And I hear you … when I’m reading a book out of obligation (review copy) that just isn’t doing it for me, I often hear my tempting books calling out to me. I then read one once I’m done my “medicine” for a little treat.

    And I think I need to check out The Woods. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.
    .-= Jenners´s last blog ..3rd Quarter Wrap-Up =-.

  7. T. Anne

    Sounds like you’ve amassed quite a list of some really good reads! I remember reading ‘The Lottery” way back when. It still gives me the chills. I’m a chicken that way lol.
    .-= T. Anne´s last blog ..NANOWRIMO =-.

  8. Audrey

    Sounds like you need to stop blogging and stop doing other things and get on doing nothing but reading.
    I don’t tend to read more than one book at a a time. Right now I’m reading the third in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, and it is fantastic. I don’t think I could read another book at the same time as it even if I wanted to.
    Good luck getting all of your books finished.
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..Very long rant about The Man Booker Prize =-.

  9. Ann-Kat

    Will the temptations never end?!? I’m in exactly the same boat and as I was looking at my pile, I wondered how in the world I let it happen.

    Regarding Wait Until Twilight, the same exact thing happened to me–I read the first chapter online and I was ready to go…but by the time the book arrived, I was already engrossed in another tale and I put it aside. Now, it’s sitting on the TBR shelf haunting me, begging me to read it, and I want to…I really do, but there are some other books yelling at me too. :)

    Oh, what are we girls to do?

    By the way, if you do read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, please let me know how you like it. The cover looks just creepy enough to satisfy me, but you know that covers can sometimes be deceiving.
    .-= Ann-Kat´s last blog ..Giveaway: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick =-.

  10. Lauren

    I’m reading Little Brother for my grad class next week! I’m really excited because, like you said, the synopsis is so grabbing. And when I’m in a library, I’m not disciplined either. There’s so much to choose from!

  11. Nikki

    Usually I don’t like to tell myself what I have to read next because then it reminds me of my college days being forced to read certain books, but this month all my library holds showed up at once, with only three weeks to read them, so suddenly I have about six books I have to plough through quickly–and want to, because they’re all so good! Fall is such a great season for books.
    .-= Nikki´s last blog ..Graphic Novel Adaptations =-.

  12. Stephanie

    I am kind of stuck on what to read next because I have so many choices too. One contender is Wait Until Twilight, which I’ve had for review for a month or two. Looks good! I really want to read The Likeness too.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.


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