I am not really doing all that well on my resolution to read the books that I owned before the start of the year. So I figured, I would pick a few books off my shelves and read the first chapter to see which one I want to read. I have seen this tag around and always wanted to try it.
I chose mostly fiction because I am currently reading a whole lot of genre fiction and need to diversify again. I also picked books that I am in theory super excited about, mostly by authors whose work I have enjoyed before. I am for some reason not that good to actually pick up a favourite author’s other works.
Book 1: number9dream by David Mitchell (on my shelf for 1 1/2 years)
Why I own it: Because I love David Mitchell and want to read all his books; this is one of two of his novels I haven’t read.
Thoughts after one chapter: That was a long chapter that should have been annoying: mixing dream sequences with Michtell’s trademark unpleasant young men does not sound appealing. But somehow it is and by the end of these 40 pages I a) want to know more and b) feel really sorry for Eiji.
Book 2: The Clocks In This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks (on my shelf for 6 months)
Why I own it: It was nominated for the Costa First Novel Award and I love that title.
Thoughts after one chapter: I don’t know. I found it clumsy in its foreshadowing and maybe a bit too vague (and I do enjoy vagueness in my fiction). This does not quite grab me yet.
Book 3: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (on my shelf for 1 1/2 years)
Why I own it: It’s Roxane Gay.
Thoughts after one chapter: That book starts with a bang. I am not sure I can deal with this much darkness at the moment but on the other hand I love the way Roxane Gay’s language flows.
Book 4: Arcadia by Lauren Groff (on my shelf for over 1 1/2 years)
Why I own it: I loved Fates and Furies when I read it a few years ago and bought this one and then never got around to reading it. Story of my life. I did recently read her new short story collection Florida and enjoyed that as well, so now I really want to read everything Lauren Groff has written.
Thoughts after one chapter: Very interesting. I love Lauren Groff’s straightforward prose and I do want to see where this goes. (This does not have chapters, so I read 15 pages.)
Book 5: The Book Of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch (on my shelf for 6 months)
Thoughts after one chapter: I love this. Lidia Yuknavitch is a hero. This first chapter gives a dizzying insight into the book to come and I am so here for this weird dystopian tale.
So, yes, this was a success. I am excited for all these books (except maybe the Xan Brooks which is just straight up weird and somehow not hooking me at all). I will be reading the David Mitchell first and then Lidia Yuknavitch’s book (second only because I am currently already reading a few sci-fi-ish books).
Have your read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Which one would you have chosen?