Project 24: The Latest Temptations

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Shelving my books in my new flat is revealing to me quite how many I’ve got that I haven’t read. I mean, I was already aware of this, but it brings it home (er, literally) to have them all around me, pressing themselves onto me (again, sometimes literally) to be read. And that’s why I’m only buying 24 books this year. But it turns out that the book-buying part of me isn’t that easy to appease. However many hundreds of books I have unread, there are plenty that I’m having to force myself not to buy.

I realised that when a couple of you revealed that the Katherine Mansfield graphic memoir I talked about last weekend is, in fact, available in the UK. Now, I really want to read it – and to own it. But maybe not definitely enough to make it one of my 24 books – not least because I’m trying not to buy any more until I go to Canada, so that I can have a bit of a splurge there.

But it’s not just Mansfield and Me. Here are some of the other books I’ve got my eye keenly on, but not quite keenly enough to buy during 2017. In any other year, they’d be on my shelves already…

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestoro and Tom Bissell

I love the so-bad-it’s-good film The Room, and have been to live screenings a couple of times. Tommy himself was interviewed at one of them. And when I found out that there was a book about the making of the film coming out – written by one of the hapless stars, no less – I was super excited. Somehow that excitement didn’t quite make me remember to buy it. Now it’s been out for several years, but I really need to read it before the film adaptation comes out later in the year…

The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller

I remember Victoria/litlove writing a fairly lukewarm review of this book when it came out, which is pretty much the only reason that I didn’t run out and buy it. It is, after all, a book about reading. And – being addicted to the podcast Backlisted – I realise it is high time that I try it for myself. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, and all that (though I should find a vegetarian-friendly version of that).

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing wrote a fascinating book about the River Ouse (the one in Sussex) and Virginia Woolf and all manner of things – To The River – so I was intrigued to see that she’d written something called The Lonely City. She certainly seems to choose unusual and interesting topics for her books, and if this one is half as good as To The River then I think I’ll love it.

The Bankrupt Bookseller Speaks Again by William Darling

This one gets a couple of mentions in Shaun Bythell’s The Diary of a Bookseller – approving mentions – and it came as a surprise to me because I didn’t realise that The Private Papers of a Bankrupt Bookseller (which I wrote about a while ago) had a sequel.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

These two slim books are barely books at all – essays, perhaps? – or at least that’s what I’m telling myself while trying to justify nabbing them for my bookshelves… but I haven’t managed to convince myself yet.

11 thoughts on “Project 24: The Latest Temptations

  • September 20, 2017 at 10:11 pm
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    The Lonely City is fascinating, informative and quite moving – simply an irresistible mix of memoir and biography and essay. Strongly recommend it.

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  • September 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm
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    I really recommend The Lonely City – it’s a fascinating and moving mix of essay, memoir, biography – utterly irresistible.

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  • September 21, 2017 at 11:44 am
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    Books are hideously tempting, aren’t they? Which is why I couldn’t limit myself, because I’d just instantly want to go out and buy a ton! I’m interested in reading Olivia Laing so if you do get than one I shall be keen to hear what you think!

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  • September 21, 2017 at 1:27 pm
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    I enjoyed A Year of Living Dangerously very much. I read it before I discovered the Backlisted podcast, which is one of my favorites.

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  • September 21, 2017 at 7:35 pm
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    I think your will power is much stronger than mine. I reached my 24-book limit back in June, and of course then I decided that books bought on vacation wouldn’t count. Let’s see if I can restrain myself for the rest of the year. (I doubt it.)

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  • September 22, 2017 at 8:03 am
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    Ali and I have both reviewed A Year of Reading Dangerously and really liked it (in fact I read it in her presence on a train!) so I’d go for that one. How lovely to be shelving your books one last time (for now) in your Own Home!

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  • September 22, 2017 at 6:57 pm
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    I got a copy of A Year of Reading Dangerously for my birthday this year. I haven’t read it yet. The inscription page says “Beware of spoilers” so I am a little worried now!

    I tried to adopt Project 24 in 2017 but am now at 26 incoming books. However, if I manage to maintain 26 by the end of the year, (fingers crossed) I am still going to call this a win for me since that is well below what would normally acquire left to my own devices.

    P.S. the Adichie pamphlets don’t count! You can read them in an hour. :D

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  • September 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm
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    It looks like January could be an expensive book buying month!

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  • September 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm
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    I read Andy Miller’s Year of Reading Dangerously some time ago, and commented on it here: http://omnireader.blogspot.co.uk/2014/. Like you. I’m a sucker for books about reading, and have recently finished Damian Barr’s The Art of Reading, who I think comes to similar conclusions as Andy Miller.

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  • September 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm
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    The Olivia Laing sounds interesting, thanks!

    I tried not to buy any new books at the beginning of the year and only read from the TBR shelf. Turns out, I’m terrible at feeling forced into reading books, and I ended up reading nothing and being miserable. I hope your 24 project is a lot more successful!

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