Here's four recent books I enjoyed...
1. The Painted Veil (W. Somerset Maugham) – "The verandah was in shadow; and lazily, her heart at ease with satisfied love, she lingered. Their house stood in the Happy Valley, on the side of the hill, for they could not afford to live on the more eligible but expensive Peak. But her abstracted gaze scarcely noticed the blue sea and the crowded shipping in the harbor. She could think only of her lover."
2. Dept. of Speculation (Jenny Offill) – "The wife has begun planning a secret life. In it, she is an art monster. She puts on yoga pants and says she is going to yoga, then pulls off onto a country lane and writes in tiny cramped handwriting on a grocery list. She thinks she should go off her meds maybe so as to write more fluidly. Possibly this is not a good idea. But only possibly."
3. The Member of the Wedding (Carson McCullers) – "In the past year she had grown four inches, or at least that was what she judged. Already the hateful little summer children hollered to her: "Is it cold up there?" And the comments of grown people make Frankie shrivel on her heels. If she reached her height on her eighteenth birthday, she had five and one-sixth growing years ahead of her. Therefore, according to mathematics and unless she could somehow stop herself, she would grow to be over nine feet tall."
4. Ward No. 6 and Other Stories (Anton Chekhov) – "He had read a great deal. He would sit at the club, nervously pulling at his beard and looking through the magazines and books; and from his face one could see that he was not reading, but devouring the pages without giving himself time to digest what he read. It must be supposed that reading was one of his morbid habits, as he fell upon anything that came into his hands with equal avidity, even last year's newspapers and calendars. At home he always read lying down."
Do you have any reading goals for 2016? I'm hoping to read more poetry, and to not feel bad about abandoning a book if I'm not enjoying it... there are too many good books out there to squander time on unexciting ones.