Just the other day, my friend who I am reading with asked me why I wanted to create a list. We both read a ton on our own and she was curious why I needed the motivation of a list, when frankly, I would read with or without it. I talked about loving my memories of summer reading lists along with reading books I might otherwise not read.
What I didn’t anticipate though was the beauty of a list to make me finish a book I might have abandoned. It has only been within the past few years that I would even consider abandoning a book. For a long, long time I would read anything I started but not anymore. Time is precious and if a book is truly not holding my attention, I will stop reading.
The Paris Wife is such a book. Without my summer reading list, I would have stopped reading. While I found the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife interesting from the start, I quickly became irritated by the all the facts the author stuck into the tale. It reminded me of a child completing the homework assignment where she has to include all her spelling words in a paragraph. The author clearly had done oodles of research and there were times when I felt her writing was stilted by all the facts she included.
Now that I am done reading, however, I am hooked. I want to learn more about Hadley and Ernest and I truly do want to go back and read some of the Hemingway books I struggled through in my youth. I feel like I know the characters now and would appreciate the writing in a whole new way.
I will hopefully take the lesson of finishing the book I started over with me to my Hemingway pile…