I have the same problem with my reading list as I do with my New Year’s Resolutions: other interests and priorities eventually have their say. Of the six titles on my 2015 reading list, I managed to read only two, having substituted three other books that were not on the list. Arguably, Dice World, and Pieces of Eight were more compelling to me (and easier to read) than Sleepwalkers, the much-heralded backstory of World War I that I had pledged to finish this year.
I did not even tiptoe past the frontispieces of Racisms by Francisco Bethencourt or The People, Yes by Carl Sandburg, both of which were on my 2015 list. And Octavia Butler’s 746-page Lilith’s Brood remains in little danger of being polished off any time soon, as I got bogged down a quarter-of-the-way through and have not yet been inspired to mount an offensive to conquer the rest.
What books will I finish in 2016? Arguably by Hitchens will be the first. I’m also interested in Piketty’s treatise on wealth inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. I have been waiting for it to appear in a more-affordable paperback edition. After those, I will either return to the unread titles on my end-table or pursue whatever new writings inspire me. (Who knows, your suggestion may be my inspiration.)
For better or worse, mine is a one-person book club. Its rules are pretty loose and I don’t get blowback from other members about my picks. It’s just like Oprah, give or take three billion dollars and sixty million fans.