This morning, I started the Winter's Respite Read-a-thon hosted by True Book Addict. I've been looking forward to this because, unlike the read-a-thon I did in early January, this one is a full seven days. I like the idea of a week-long challenge: I get myself into a rhythm of reading for longer periods each day, and can feel like I've made real progress as a result of the challenge. It's an opportunity to push through some big books that I've started from my Mount TBR challenge list.
I'm starting with two books: Richard J. Evans' The Third Reich at War, the last book in his three-volume history of the Third Reich; and Anatoli Rybakov's Fear, the second book in his "Children of the Arbat" trilogy. I've read the first two books in the Evans series, and the first in the "Arbat"trilogy--all three books were outstanding, and I'm eager to read these two this week.
I started both earlier in January, but last week I was slowed in my progress and lost steam. Evans' book is 760 pages, Rybakov's is 686 pages. So far, I've read 220 in Evans, and 97 in Rybakov, so I've got my work cut out for me if I hope to finish them this week--about 1,100 pages in all.
I've also been reading through a collection of short stories, Autobiography of a Corpse, for a review. The author, Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, was an early 20th-century Ukrainian writer who was born in Kyiv and educated at Kyiv University. (Kyiv University is now Taras Shevchenko University, and we lived two blocks away from it during our 10 months in Kyiv.) I'd like to finish that this week as well (200 pages), so that I can finish the review and send it off.
My family can't sort out why I read so much about grim topics, particularly Soviet history and fiction. I think it keeps unpleasant things in my life in perspective. Nevertheless, I'm thinking that I need to fit in something lighter (relatively speaking)--a Le Carre or Philip Kerr novel, perhaps.
I'll be posting periodically about my progress throughout the week.