Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in potential, pages of it in fact.  Drowning in books that I haven't opened because my head was turned by something else, or that I've abandoned because what lay within its pages wasn't as instantly addictive as I had hoped.  Below are just a few of the contenders for my next read, concluding with my current read, which I am determined to make it through.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi-  I am a sucker for Fairy Tales.  They cut through the bullshit and get right to the core of things.  Some people are good, some are evil, some beautiful people are clothed in the mask of beasts, dead people can talk to you through trees, and when you are nice to the world it will be nice to you back when you least expect it and most need it.  It's a brutal, but hopeful world where good triumphs in the end even if a few fingers or heels get cut off, or children are sold into indebted servitude, it will turn out right.  So when I heard that this latest novel by Helen Oyeyemi was a re-telling of the Snow White story which takes place in mid-twentieth century America?  I bit.  It digs deep into our feelings of race and beauty and what it means to be "good"?  Yes please.  One of the protagonists (in the role equivalent to the Evil Queen) is a Hitchcockian blonde?  All right already!!  And yet, in it's first fifteen pages as I lay drowsily in bed, it did not hook me.  And so, on the pile it goes, to sit until I have more resolve.

Not Without You by Harriet Evans-  A young woman in the forties becomes a major film star, and in the present day, a rising star who idolizes her begins to unravel the mysteries she left behind.  It's been likened to the films of Douglas Sirk in book form. 

A Stranger In A Strange Land, 1984, One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Slaughter-house Five, In Cold Blood-  These books I picked up in a surge of desire to read some of the great works that I've always wanted to dip my feet into and understand.  And yet, I haven't yet.  There's always something newer, and shiner, and less stalwart and true that attracts me before I truly give these a shot.  And yet, I own them, they sit in my home, so they are one step closer to being read by me.  Sometimes I wish you could soak books up like sunlight, just hold them close and absorb their wisdom.

Dorothy Must Die by some chick I'll probably end up resenting-  How much easier it is to cannabilize on a masterpiece than to write one from scratch.  I say "cannibalize" because this writer literally takes the heroes of the story and turns them into villains.  Dorothy, the Tinman, The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion?  They turned out to be real assholes and are enslaving all of Oz.  Glinda?  Grade-A bitch.  Who's the true heroine?  The character this chick dreamt up using as a template the very heroine she shits upon in print.  And still, I have to give it a shot even though this has already been done to death and I wasn't too pleased with the results of previous efforts.

You Must Remember This by Robert Wagner and some ghost writer-  An appreciation of the Hollywood way of life back in its golden age.  I checked it out from the library as part of research for a current project I'm working on, or projects I'm hoping to work on.  As fascinated as I am with Hollywood in its hey-day, it helps to know what the day to day life was like, even if it is a rose tinted semblance of it.

The Trip To Echo Spring by Olivia Lang-  The relationship between writers and alcohol is one that hasn't really been written about in depth, and it's something I've always been intrigued by.  In part, because I had fantasies that a couple shots would release my genius, and set me on a course of  typing that Kerouac would envy and that would lead to sleepless nights and pages full of heartbreaking wonder.  This is also the reason I've sometimes wanted to get my hands on Benzedrine.  Yes I know it's a terrible drug, and led to a life of sometimes Hell for one of my heroines, and yet, those writers in the the thirties and forties got A LOT of shit done!!!  Anyway, this book focuses on a couple of my favorites (Tennessee Williams and F.Scott Fitzgerald) one that I'm curious to know more about (Hemingway) and a few I really know nothing more than the superficial (Raymond Carver, John Cheever).  It's part group bio and part travelogue and it's not been cohesive enough, so far, to keep my attention.  I recently abandoned it to read my latest book...

10% Happier by Dan Harris-  My current book.  I'm nearly a hundred pages in and I'm hooked.  I don't recall ever having seen Harris on television, but his story of neuroses tamed through meditation, and his search for productivity without the hair pulling is readable and relatable.  Hopefully the answers he finds will prove applicable.

Joe Hartman