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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

September - the month of shelf cleaning

Well, I wish my home library looked more like that.

Even with only a fraction of those books, I have more books that I haven't read than those I have. I buy or receive more books a month than I could possible read in two months (at least). And, I know this all too well. And no, I do nothing to fix that (It doesn't really need fixing, snigger).

Last month, while I was boxing all the books, I found I kept needing more boxes to put all the books in. At one point, when I get a larger box and feel relieved that maybe now all the books will be in, bam! there's still another stack hiding in another part of my apartment, yet to be packed. Believe me, after spending hours at that, I finally realized that I did have more books than I needed, and that wasn't a good thing, well, for the books that is, because one unread book is one more mystery yet to be unraveled. At that point itself, this idea was forming in my head, to read only books on my shelf (as on the last day of August) this month. It's a tough nut to resist, especially with all the wonderful new books flitting into my wishlist every day. And I am including review books as well into this list, only because I own them, I find it difficult to pick a review book when a book I bought is sitting next to it, and also because I have to read a few this month anyways.

Disclaimer: The above mission statement for September does not abstain me from buying new books. (Just thought I should mention that... ya know...)

I already started with The Passage by Justin Cronin (which, by the way is really engrossing), and I have several more titles planned for this month, such as Finny by Justin Kramon, Stealing Lumby by Gail Fraser, Russell Wiley is out to Lunch by Richard Hine, How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson, and Todos Santos by Deborah Clearman. It's the long weekend, and what better to do during the next three days than read and get drunk on books! Nothing gives a better kick than a book in the hands.

On another note, I'm also reading James Joyce's Ulysses this month. The read-along already started last week at Michelle's blog, Literarily Speaking, but I kind of forgot about it, so my posts will be a week and a half late. I'm not setting it into stone because I seriously think I am crazy to attempt that book. While I was splitting it into sections, I read a few passages hither and tither, and my neurons went helter-skelter at not understanding anything. We'll see how that goes - for the first time after high school, I'm going to need a Cliff's note or an equivalent.

So that's how my September looks. Is anyone doing something challenging this month?


Carina said…
I'm also going to be doing something similar, trying to get through as many of my unread but owned books as possible this month. :-) They've been piling up like mad! I swear they're having babies!
Lisa said…
I think my stacks of books waiting to be read are starting to effect my ability to enjoy the book I'm actually reading at any given time. I just keep wondering, while I'm reading, if another book might be even better.
The1stdaughter said…
Nothing terribly challenging besides the norm, but I completely understand where you're coming from. It's terrible! It's just like Carina said, it's like they're having babies! My husband is really the one getting tired of it, he loves to read, but keeps reminding me that we live here and the books don't "live here". LOL. What's a girl to do? So many books and so many wished for! Ugh. It's a never ending battle.
Ha. When I finally unpacked my books a couple of months ago (we moved in 3 YEARS ago!), I have about 170 books I own but not read. So I told myself I'd finish what I'd borrowed from the library and won't borrow anymore for a while unless they are books I'd already reserved.

That lasted maybe a week :p

I still haven't read of the books I own. I keep borrowing books and putting mores on reserve...
Oh my god I want that home library!! I've given up trying to reduce my TBR pile, I just keeps growing and I just keep loving it.
bermudaonion said…
I quit making resolutions like that because I'm never strong enough to keep them once I make them. I do need to do something about my TBR pile, though.

I did take a big bag of books to a local hospital recently and plan to go through some more and do it again soon. Of course, all of those were books I've already read.
Amanda said…
I've been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning off my shelves for the last few months, and I'm so glad that my read to unread ratio has drastically turned around!
Tales of Whimsy said…
I feel ya :) moving really helps you assess :) Good luck!
Athira said…
Carina, lol - you got me laughing hard at that having babies phrase! Hilarious, girl! But that's so possible. I look away and there, more books have sprouted in my shelf. I swear I don't know how that happens.

Lisa, I have that same feeling as well. Considering that I don't read too fast, I feel that I should slow down in my book acquisition. Since that's hard to do, I end up thinking of another book while I read some other title.

Danielle, sigh, it sure is a never-ending battle. It's an addiction that I hope doesn't come to be taught in schools to students along with alcohol and drugs, lol.

Christa, at least you tried! :) I hope I can also say that by the end of this month - maybe even more. 170 books... that too after opening the boxes 3 years later... that would alternately give me a heart attack and a whoop!
Athira said…
mummazappa, I love to let my library grow too. My ultimate desire is to have my own home library. But I wish I at least read those books, rather than just stocking them up.

Kathy, that is so awesome of you to do - I am looking at ways to donate books to Asia, I wanted to do that before I moved, but didn't have time to check out the details. I should have that worked out soon.

Amanda, that's great! That's more or less what I want to target! I hope I get there too.

Juju, I agree - nothing better than moving to put things into perspective. :)
That's so funny; just today I was staring at the unread book shelves that I have and was thinking that I should promise myself that I will only read those books. But, they are about 95% adult lit and I love to read YA. So, I decided I would alternate one from my shelves and then one from my school library. Good luck with whittling down your shelves
Ash said…
I'm trying to not buy a lot of books right now, but I did go to the store yesterday with my grandma and bought a book on a whim. Sigh... I'm trying to save money so I've been hitting up the library a lot more.
Athira said…
Helen, I'm glad that you are also doing this. More motivation for me. :) This is really a serious problem that I love. :)

Ash, I hear ya! I'm trying to hold back on buying books too. If I add more to my collection, I'll either have to give away some of them, or buy a new bookcase.