ominogue: 75 in 2012 (month-by-month)
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I wanted to join the LT 75ers group, but I am definitely intimated by the idea of having to constantly keep up with the thread throughout the year. I decided to go half-in and write up a summary at the end of every month instead. Each month I will list the books I have bought and books read, with a sentence or two on each. Here’s January...
Books Bought: 4 (not bad!)
1. The Lost World and Other Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
2. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
3. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
4. The Known World by Edward P. Jones
~ Books added to Mount TBR: 4
Books Read: 11
~ Books read from Mount TBR: 4
1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
This novel was as brilliant as I expected it to be, and a great start to my reading year. I hope to get to some more Dickens throughout the year.
2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
I heard about this book through LT, managed to pick up a copy before Christmas and I'm glad I tackled it so soon after buying (not very usual for me). I found it to be an unexpectedly moving book - it has sparked a curiosity about opera, something I know nothing about.
3. On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry
I love Barry’s work. This is not my favourite of his (The Secret Scripture is), but I highly recommend it none the less. The book is written in Barry's usual beautiful prose. It addresses the ever-present grand theme of Barry’s work – the unwritten history of Ireland. One complaint would be that if I met the main character tomorrow, I have no idea what her personality would be like. It felt a little like her whole life happens *to* her with little participation on her part. Beautiful book nonetheless.
4. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Brilliant book. I love The House of Mirth and have been wanting to read this for years. Unputdownable.
5. The Birth House by Ami McKay
I have had this book recommended to me many times since moving to Canada and it didn’t disappoint. Looking forward to reading McKay’s follow-up in the near future.
6. The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
I have been meaning to read this for a while. I enjoyed it, and Fitzgerald is a great writer, but I never felt caught up in it.
7. Full Circle by Michael Palin
I’m a huge Michael Palin fan, and enjoyed the audio version of this book, narrated by Palin himself. Charming as ever.
8. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
This really wasn’t for me. I wanted to read it based on its legendary status, but I found the narrator conceited and irritating.
9. Up at the Villa by W. Somerset Maugham
This is a very short, interesting novella that can be read in a couple of hours. I recommend this as an introduction to Maugham.
10. On Writing by Stephen King
I have never read any Stephen King before, and though I’d start with this memoir and writing guide. I listened to the book on audio, which was pleasant and informative. Parts of the books are likely to be of interest only to writers, but as a reader (and fan of Stephen King film adaptations), it was a decent, if somewhat forgettable, read.
11. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
One of the best biographies I’ve ever read. Highly recommended, Massie has a wonderful way with words.
All in all, January was a great reading month. Great Expectations and The Age of Innocence were (unsurprisingly) the stand-outs, while The Birth House was the most surprisingly enjoyable. I'm happiest to have read Catherine the Great, instead of leaving it dawdling on my wishlist. Here's hoping February will be as good as the month before...
Welcome! You've got a great selection there. Looks like I need to bump Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman to the top of the List. I'm consistently hearing good things about it.
Thanks for the welcome messages!
Drneutron - I see you are our leader - thank you! And yes, Catherine the Great really is as good as is made out. I'm hoping to tackle some more Massie this year, that was my first.
lkernagh - enjoy Great Expectations! It's difficult to think of a more enjoyable book than that.
Welcome. I was just stopping by to say that I enjoyed Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman as much as you did. Great Expectations is on my tbr this year. Hearing how much you liked it really makes me want to read it. That and Edith Wharton books..thanks for the suggestions. I will be stopping by to see what you come up with.
I definitely will, although as North and South has been sitting on Mount TBR for longer, I feel a strange loyalty to that book to read it first. I'm hoping to read a couple of Gaskells in the early months of this year though, so it shouldn't be too long until I get to it. Having said that, February is, so far, a disappointingly slow reading month for me, I can't seem to get a minute to sit down with my (excellent) book The Secret River. Here's hoping things pick up..
Ok, here we go again, that's February behind us!
Books Read: 7
~ Books added to Mount TBR: 0 (I am so impressed with myself! It was a struggle towards the end of the month, but I am determined to tackle my TBR this year.)
~ Books read from Mount TBR: 3
12. Death Comes to Pemberly by PD James
This wasn’t really for me. I have never read anything by PD James, and I am a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice, so I thought this might be a good introduction. But I was never really interested in the story and I thought about giving up in the middle. I read to the end, but I doubt I’ll even remember what happened in a couple of weeks.
13. The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
What makes an artist? This is a memorable read about life and art. One negative for me was the treatment of women in the novel, which got under my skin and irritated me. However, this is an excellent novel, probably the best Maugham I have read thus far.
14. The Secret River by Kate Grenville
This is a truly excellent read, and one I will be recommending to anyone who will listen. Major thanks to my fellow LTers for recommending this all over the site! It is phenomenal.
15. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
This is a strange, eerie novel. I am a big Ishiguro fan, and The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go are two of my favourite books. This is not nearly as effective as those two, though it certainly makes an impact. I have been thinking a lot about it since I finished it. A haunting tale of memory and regret.
16. Junky by William Burroughs
I am not usually a Beat fan, but this was interesting. I listened to the audiobook - narrated by Burroughs himself - which was very effective.
17. Candide by Voltaire
I’m pretty happy to have finally read this short work – it has been sitting on my TBR for years. This is Voltaire’s great work, a short satire that I found pretty funny and thought provoking.
18. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
I got engaged this month (very exciting!) and I found I couldn’t concentrate on reading for very long. So I treated myself to The Forgotten Garden - a big girly, guilty treat. I’ll definitely read Morton’s other work, preferably on a beach, when I have nothing to do all day but read.
19. Columbine by Dave Cullen
Horrifying and very difficult to read, through well written and researched.
Read The Secret River! You will not regret it.
Enjoy your March Reading!
Love how you're able to put your thoughts about your reads into just a few succinct sentences. It's something I work toward, but can never pull off. I am ever too wordy!
Thanks countrylife (Cindy), I suspect it might be more to do with laziness than anything else!
Books Bought: 0
~ Books added to Mount TBR: 0
Books Read: 7
~ Books read from Mount TBR: 5
This was a really strong reading month! Three months of the year down with 26 books read, 12 books removed from my TBR, and only 3 added. Not bad at all!
20. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
This was a lot of fun. I had seen the HBO series Game of Thrones, so the material wasn’t new, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Fantasy is not usually my thing, and there are certainly parts that made me cringe a little bit, but overall Martin has created a fascinating, intricate and magical world. Naturally enough for a book deals with many characters, some are more interesting than others (I like Jon, Arya and Tyrian), but Martin’s writing and pacing is strong enough to maintain interest throughout. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
21. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Finally! This book has been sitting on my TBR for almost seven years. I have no idea why waited so long (wait, I do: intimidation). This was a great read. I was fascinated by Anna and the society in which she lived. What a masterpiece!
22. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
This is a great collection of short stories. I loved some, and wasn’t keen on others but overall, this is great work by a great author. 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' was the standout for me.
23. All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque
This is a devastating, brilliant book. A must read, no doubt. I have dreaming about it since, and would like to stop now, thank you very much.
24. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
Second one in the series (and second this month)! I enjoyed this more than the first one, as all the material was new to me. I am definitely a fan at this stage.
25. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
This was a lot of fun, though it falls short of my favourite Verne Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It is another madcap adventure, this time set deep in the ocean, with lots of mishaps along the way.
26. Affinity by Sarah Waters
What a treat! I read this in the space of two days and enjoyed it immensely. It was a somewhat slow start, through I was intrigued by the setting from page one. Once it gets going, it really builds up and by the last 60 pages you wouldn’t dream of putting it down! Waters is such an enjoyable author to read, I highly recommend her.
I hope everyone else enjoyed their March reading as much as I did!
Orlaith - struggled to find your thread but at last. Your idea to do summaries on a monthly basis is eminently sensible but please do feel free to delurk from time to time on the threads as your input is interesting. By the way, fascinating mix of reading so far in 2012!
Thanks Paul! Sorry to put you to any effort - I have added a link to this thread on my profile now. I am pretty happy with my reading this year...long may it last!! :)
Stopping by to say thanks for stopping by on my thread. I really love Helen Dunmore. I don't think that you can go wrong with The Siege. It is definitely very interesting and a great read!
I read All Quiet on the Western Front last year - and what a tragic but fascinating read. Ohh ! I'm so glad the you enjoyed The Birth House. I did too and it's Canadian too! :)
Thanks for stopping by! The Birth House was recommended to me by many Canadians when I first moved to Canada over a year ago - I wasn't disappointed, it's a great, enjoyable read. I'm keeping a eye out for a cheap copy of The Virgin Cure... Ami McKay is definitely one to watch.
All Quiet on the Western Front is phenomenal, I can't believe it took me so long to get to it! I think it should be required reading.
Orlaith - All Quiet on the Western Front is indeed a classic and interesting to read from the other side if you know what I mean. Enjoy your weekend finishing it off.
Actually Paul, I finished All Quiet on the Western Front last month and found it fascinating.
I'm currently struggling a little bit with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I can't seem to really get into it at all. But I have read such rave reviews, I feel guilty giving up on it, so I will continue on... Thankfully, I have Without Stopping by Paul Bowles on the go as well, and I am loving every minute of it.
Ooops (blushes profusely)! Your 23rd book as I now clumsily see! I bought The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a couple of months ago and have seen very mixed reviews of it. Anyway I got the "happy weekend" message right!
I agree, Orlaith, All Quiet on the Western Front should be required reading!
Currently I am reading a Canadian authored book, Patient Number 7. It's based on memoirs of a Viennese woman who marries a man who sort of inadvertly marries a man who becomes a Nazi General. I'm finding it interesting, because even though her husband finds himself a Nazi General, in reality, he is scared of the Nazi's himself, and his wife hates them. I wonder just how often that was the case?
I think from what I read , the National Socialist Party ( aka the Nazi Party) initially represented themselves as a goverment that would bring prosperity and offer equality to woman. Not the case! But I can understand how people were duped and also forced into service out of fear.
Thanks Deb, sounds very intriguing, I'll have to keep an eye out for that one! It's certainly nice to read Canadian stuff while living in Canada, though I haven't been great on that front beyond The Birth House, one Mordecai Richler - The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, and a couple of reads by the ever brilliant Margaret Atwood. I do have Michael Crummey's The Wreckage lined up for May in honour of a forthcoming visit to Newfoundland though, looking forward to it (both book and visit)!
Paul, you certainly had the "happy weekend" message right at least! It was a good weekend, I read The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea (creepy and brilliant), while determinedly ignoring The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks...
Orlaith - I haven't read any Mishima yet so that one will be hunted down avidly. Henrietta Lacks has been banished to my teak cupboard behind all the wheezy tomes as I try to forget another rash purchase.
Mishima is fascinating Paul, I recommend a quick read of his Wikipedia page if you are not familiar with his life (or more to the point, death). I am keen to read more of his work - calling it dark or disturbing doesn't even begin to cut it!
Books Bought: 4
1. Oxford by Jan Morris
2. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
3. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima
4. Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Books Read: 14
~ Books read from Mount TBR: 7
27. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
I surprised myself by really enjoying this. I was intrigued by the controversy surrounding the book and the idea of a major division between Western and Asian parenting. I thought it would make a good low-key audiobook listen, but I ended up being more interested than I anticipated. This is definitely worth a read if you are interested in what drives and sustains demanding, overbearing parents.
28. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
My first Gaskell and I’m already a firm fan. While aspects of North and South can be more than a little irritating (e.g. attitudes towards tradesmen and the Irish), it remains a very enjoyable and engrossing read. I found the male protagonist John Thorton rather... pleasing, shall we say! Yummy.
29. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns by Mindy Kahling
Not worth mentioning.
30. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Tomas Hardy
Tess is my first Hardy, and I liked it far more than I was expecting. I must admit to not being a major fan of Hardy’s prose, but I certainly found Tess endearing and was very involved in her tragic story. The scene set in Stonehenge is pure genius.
31. The Colour by Rose Tremain
This was great! Again, Tremain is a first time writer for me (seems to be a trend this month). I loved the world created in this vivid historical fiction concerning a gold rush in New Zealand. A very evocative read, and I raced through it. There is a particularly cringe-worthy sex scene in here, but I can forgive Tremain that when the rest of it is so good! :)
32. Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge
My first Beryl Bainbridge, read in honour of the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. What a pleasure! This is a quick read, and was finished in an evening. Every word is a delight.
33. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
This is a very quick read (for me a single sitting of just over 2 hours). I thought this was an intriguing read, through I was not entirely convinced by the protagonist’s political awakening/ transformation. Also, I would have found the strange format tough going if the book had been any longer, but at just under 200 pages, it works.
34. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
Hmm... this was a mixed bag. I listened to this on audiobook, and my standards are lower in that format, as listening is so much more low key and passive an activity than reading. I realised pretty early into listening to this that I didn’t care (at all) about the memory championships themselves. Having said that, I was very interested in asides concerning the unique memories of master chess players, London cabbies, etc.
35. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
I found this slightly tough going. I thought it brought the violent world of Brighton to life, but it was pretty dark and unrelenting. The protagonist - Pinkie - is very memorable and threatening. Strangely enough, the book has left me extremely keen to visit Brighton.
36. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima
This novella (my first Mishima) made my skin crawl. In a good way! It is a short, startling read, unforgettable. Not exactly a cosy read before bed.
37. Without Stopping: An Autobiography by Paul Bowles
I would recommend this to any fan of Bowles, author of The Sheltering Sky. It reminded me a lot of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, which is a favourite book of mine. Bowles writes about a life full to the brim with travel and culture and vividly describes the cities he has visited – Tangier, Paris and Berlin are particularly well drawn. A famous cast of characters (Gertrude Stein, Truman Capote, Christopher Isherwood, William Burroughs, Salvador Dali, Tennessee Williams – I could go on and on) appear throughout Bowles fascinating life.
38. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
I am honestly shocked at how much I did not like this book! I really had a hard time with each page – I found it extremely dull and preachy. There is not one character I find interesting or sympathetic. I definitely need to re-read my beloved Jane Eyre soon to wipe this one from my memory! A major disappointment.
39. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
This is a very, very, very silly book. I really think it is very daft. I did appreciate the lovely, vivid descriptions of Highgate Cemetery in London which I now can’t wait to visit. But sadly, this isn’t a patch on The Time Traveler’s Wife.
40. The Wreckage by Michael Crummey
This book was a wonderful treat. The story, which begins in 1940, tells of Wish Furey, a young Catholic man who arrives on the remote island of Fogo off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and falls in love with a local girl in a staunchly Protestant town. The relationship between the two, and indeed Furey’s mere presence in the village, causes much consternation among the locals. Circumstances cause him to leave the island abruptly, and the story pans out to tell us of Wish’s wartime experience, and what becomes of him and his love. This book broke my heart! Crummey has a wonderful way with words. I don’t remember being as emotionally involved in a book since reading Lisa Moore’s February a couple of years ago. I must admit I am partial to descriptions of beautiful Newfoundland - I have foolishly agreed to marry a Newfoundlander!
So that's April! One third of the way through 2012, and it’s been pretty good so far. Definite reads set up for May are The Grapes of Wrath and Gillespie and I. Beyond that – who knows?
I've been meaning to try one of Rose Tremain's books. Maybe your review will prompt me to do so. i have to say that I really enjoyed your review of Her Fearful Symmetry. I think I'll avoid it.
> 26 ominogue
I just added The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima to my to read list.
"made my skin crawl. In a good way! It is a short, startling read, unforgettable."
sounds like something I might like!
Thanks for dropping by folks! Sorry for the delayed response, I have been up the walls and haven't picked a book up so far this month - pretty shocking...
For any bookshelf fans out there, I just came across this great article with some fabulous bookcase designs: http://flavorwire.com/287003/30-gorgeous-and-innovative-bookshelves?all=1. A girl can dream!
#27 - Hi Lori, I'll be happy to know that I have spared someone the experience of reading Her Fearful Symmetry. I picked it up based on a glowing review on a book based blog. I am now honestly questioning the sanity of that blogger.
#28 - Cathy, I'm glad to hear you're intrigued. I am keen to pick up some other works by Mishima and see if they can make the same impact.
#29 - Paul, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who had such a hard time with Vilette. It's hard for me to despise a classic - rare though it is - without a little guilt. I'm pretty thrillled with my discovery of Gaskell and am hoping to read Mary Barton soon to cement this new love!
Orlaith -thanks for the reminder that I have run out of space to put my books. Hope you get the reading mojo back soon.
1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
2. Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene
3. Muddling Through in Madagascar by Dervla Murphy
4. In Ethiopia with a Mule by Dervla Murphy
5. The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition by Ernest Hemingway
6. The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
Books Read: 6
This was a pretty weak reading month for me. I read only 6 books, and nothing from my TBR. I couldn’t really seem to get going with reading at all. I have started The Grapes of Wrath for the group read, and while it is brilliant, I don’t seem to be getting anywhere fast. I’m a bit frustrated and am hoping for a better reading June! Whinge aside, I read a couple of great books this month.
41. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum by Katherine Boo
A brilliant piece of intelligent writing about the lengths people will go to to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. This is the type of non-fiction that is so gripping you fly though it like fiction. No happy endings here, Boo writes about real people with real lives and real strengths and weaknesses. I can’t recommend this highly enough!
42. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
I have been wanting to read this for an age, as In Cold Blood is a favourite read of mine. It more than lived up to my expectations. Capote’s New York really comes to life. It’s very easy to understand why he was annoyed by the film of this book, as his Holly was not anywhere to be seen on screen.
43. Elizabeth and her German Garden by Elizabeth Armin
This was interesting, but ultimately not for me. I don’t really have much appreciation for gardens - sadly. I enjoyed Armin’s wit and descriptions, but as short as this was, I would have enjoyed it more if it were shorter again. Oops.
44. The Beach by Alex Garland
A fun, throwaway read. I had seen the film which appears rather tame in comparison to the Lord of the Flies –type direction the novel takes.
45. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Very unsettling! This is a short read that leaves you with a feeling like someone is standing behind you breathing down your neck... I can’t say too much without a spoiler, but this is highly recommended.
46. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
If you loved Wolf Hall, you’ll love this. It didn’t quite match the brilliance of the original for me (particularly the last section of the novel, which I found fell somewhat flat, covering such well-trodden ground) but Mantel’s Cromwell is as compelling a character as ever. I really must keep an eye out for some more of her work, what a major, major talent.
Orlaith, Would have put the Boo book on my humungous hitlist had I not already checked and noticed that Joe recommended it strongly earlier.
Haven't read the three books that Nancy mentions but all are on the straining shelves somewhere.
Atonement and Never Let me Go are two major standouts for me Nancy. I really loved The Time Traveller's Wife, but having read Niffenegger's follow-up Her Fearful Symmetry which I thought was atrociously bad, I think I need a re-read to remind me that I didn't imagine that TTTW was a good book!
Paul, the 'Boo book' (nice name) is great. I must tell you I worry that one day you will just go radio silent on LT and we will never hear from you again - all due to those poor under-pressure shelves finally buckling and unloading their treasures on your head...
I am going to go find my best-of lists on your thread and post them here, so I can find them again in future!
My favourite 12 books of the 21st century:
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
February by Lisa Moore
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
My favourite 12 books of the 1990s:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
American Pastoral by Phillip Roth
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
Northern Lights/ The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Orlaith - A lot of shared favourites in your lists. Makes me confident that those on your lists that I haven't read I am quite sure to like.
My 80s list:
Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood *
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco *
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively *
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro *
The Book of Evidence by John Banville
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Love in the Time of Cholera byMarquez
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
* all time favourites!
Hi Orlaith. I don't think I've posted on your thread before but I wanted to delurk to say I really liked your '00s, '90s and '80s lists.. We share quite a few '80s favourites.
Thanks Heather, I'm finding the lists eye-opening. I was thinking about making a 70s list, an idea that stopped dead in its tracks when I realised that I could think of only three (!) good books that I have read from the 70s - Sula by Toni Morrison, Troubles by J.G. Farell, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre. And I am not a major fan of any of these - I think Sula is an amazing book, though difficult to 'like', and while Tinker, Tailor is a lot of fun, I'm not sure it's a great book.
There won't be any 70s list from me!
I've just found you, Orlaith, we have a wonderful overlap in reading, more than 1 in 3! Also the 75 and Virago groups, two of my absolute favorites here. I try to keep up with the introductory thread but it's all too easy to miss someone. So belated welcome!
I'm have a difficult time making those lists...... I want to do it, but I'm driving myself half mad!
Just back from a fun browse through your threads. Great reading this year! I'm so impressed you finished Infinite Jest -I have been considering it for a long time but I don't think I'm brave enough!
And I loved your lists - we do have many overlapping books. And you have listed several I imagine might make my lists if I could actually take them from the bookshelves and crack them open! Thanks for the inspiration!
Lots of good reading here! We have several books in common on our lists and you have helped me move The Colour up my TBR mountain.
Orlaith I going to do a list for each decade of the last century but a "Booker" style shortlist of 5. Will put up tomorrow.
#46 Thanks Dee! I am keen to read some more Tremain myself, I've barely scratched the surface. I see that you have a couple of her books rated highly in your library, she seems to be a firm favourite here on LT.
# 47 Paul, excellent idea! I can manage that I reckon, though the 70s will remain a write-off. I'll be early scanning other LTers 70s lists for some inspiration. I think I have a short 60s list somewhere...I'm off to find it!
# 48 Never fear Lucy, once I get going, it's hard to shut me up! :)
5 favourites from the 1960s:
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre
A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
And I really must add (even though we have all been sticking to fiction) that A Moveable Feast and In Cold Blood are two of my all-time favourite non-fiction books, both published in the 60s. I would feel guilty without giving them a shout-out!
Some goodies there Orlaith - haven't read the Yates or the Isherwood but the other three may be on my shortlist too.
Orlaith - wishing you a lovely weekend. I note that I now have over 25% of all posts on your thead. Have had a quick check but think this is the highest proportion of posts by a poster on anyone else's thread - a geek just saying.
Haha Paul, I am honoured by your presence on the thread!! I have been even-more-terrible than usual with keeping up with LT this month. I am climbing the walls - I am moving to Delhi for 3 months on Tuesday - and sadly my reading has fallen by the wayside. 4 books in total this month - I am a disgrace! Short reviews later today. :)
Orlaith - Delhi wow! Make sure that you take care with the water and make sure that you get put up in decent accommodation as there is little in-between palatial and seedy. India is a magical, exciting, history laden mess where beggars and street-defecators proliferate but where the sights and sounds ultimately compensate and the food is wonderful.
Me, too, on Delhi wow!. I hope you will share your time there with us, Orlaith! Are you going for work?
Hi all! Greetings from Deli! I am so sorry I haven’t made an appearance on this thread (or on LT generally) for so long. The last six weeks or so have been hectic. In short, I love India. It is not for the faint of heart, but the longer I am here, the more it appeals to me. I am here volunteering my services for a couple of months. I’m working for a human rights NGO, undertaking research on widespread abuses occurring as a result of India’s draconian counterterrorism laws. It is pretty grim stuff. I have only a couple of weeks left with the NGO, and then five weeks of travelling ahead of me. Exciting times!
Ok, so I better try and make up for my glaring absence around here lately! Not that there is very much to write about, my reading has been pathetic over the last two and a half months. Hopefully, I will be able to pick the pace back up later in the year.
Books bought: 2
The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Books Read: 5
47 Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
This was a delight! I really enjoyed this memoir of a young women’s three month solo hike across the Pacific Crest Trail. Every word is a pleasure to read.
48. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I’m glad I finally got around to reading this classic story concerning the bombing of Dresden. Not sure if Vonnegut’s style is for me, but there is no mistaking the genius of this novel.
49. Giving Up the Ghost by Hillary Mantel
Interesting, if a little disappointing. Mantel’s wonderful way with words doesn’t fail her here, but unfortunately, I failed to be really taken in by her life story. I sympathise with her over her long term illness, but I was never really engaged with her story.
50. Be Near Me by Andrew O Hagan
This was a surprise treat. An English priest moves to small-town Scotland and makes one bad decision after another. The sense of doom I had the first part of this book was overwhelming and I had to fly through it for some relief. O Hagan is a subtle, talented writer. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of his work.
51. How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
Funny feminist tract. Moran takes on all aspects of ‘being a woman’, and made me spit out my coffee on the book in the process.
Books bought: 0
Books read: 3
52. Delhi: City of Djinns by William Darymple
This book was the perfect accompaniment to my first explorations of Delhi. I love Darymple ‘s style of writing. I NEED to get my hands on his other books!
53. Then Again by Diane Keaton
Sweet memoir by the famous actress focusing on the life of her mother.
54. African Diary by Bill Bryson
A short piece by Bill Bryson covering a visit to Kenya on behalf of CARE International in the early 2000s. Bill Bryson has never written a word I didn’t want to read, and this is no exception. It just left me wanting more.
#57: I still have not gotten around to reading Slaughterhouse Five. I really need to rectify that omission!
Orlaith - nice to get your update from hectic bustling Delhi. The Dalrymple looks perfect reading for your locale. Where will you be travelling in the five weeks - Malaysia selfishly suggests itself?!
#58 - It comes highly recommended Stasia! Like I say, Vonnegut has an unusual style, but this is an excellent (and quite short) read.
#59 - Hi Paul! Delhi is hectic and bustling indeed. Although I must admit I am having a very lazy quiet Sunday, Just read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls from cover to cover, very well written memoir about growing up in an extremely dysfunctional family unit. My travels will not take me to Malaysia unfortunately, though that sounds lovely! I am sticking to India and will be making my way down the west coast, finishing up with a week or 10 days in the supposedly lovely Kerala.
As a fan of literary memoirs, this list of the Top Ten Literary Memoirs is pretty irresistible: http://www.flavorwire.com/320083/10-of-the-best-literary-memoirs-of-all-time?all....
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Darkness Visible by William Styron
This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
I have read the Hemingway and the Didion. A Moveable Feast is an all time favourite and I will never forget it after moving to a new city and sleeping on a futon on the ground in the height of the summer. The Year of Magical Thinking is beautifully written, but I must admit I didn't feel very connected to it. It might merit another reading, particularly as I have Blue Nights on my to-be-read list.
I have been on the lookout for Homage to Catalonia and The Liar's Club for some time, but others here I had never heard of, such as The Woman's Warrior.
What a luscious list!
I am so impressed that you have read almost all of them! I have yet to have the pleasure of looking at a list of books and thinking 'yup, all done'. Nice work! One literary memoir that I adore which was not featured on the list is Memoir: All Will be Well by John McGahern. An all time favourite, worthy of any list. :)
Orlaith I like the list but cannot but mention the missing Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. The pinnacle of literary memoirs IMO.
I haven't read it Paul, nor do I own a copy, though I have often seen it on sale for half nothing in second hand books stores. I can't explain my reluctance, because I love memoirs. Perhaps because I hate the taste of cider??!!
Books bought: 1
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanef Kureishi
Books read: 3
55. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
A fascinating memoir of an extremely unorthodox and unpredictable childhood. I really couldn't put this down, flew through it in a day. Shocking, and very well written.
56. Annie Dunne by Sebastian Barry
I am an unabashed Barry fan and I have enjoyed everything he has written. I have been meaning to get around to this one for ages. Annie is a single woman in her early 60s who is tasked with the care of two children for a summer. As usual, Barry's work is low key and the beauty lies in his prose. I am completely fascinated with Ireland through his eyes.
57. Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
"Women hold up half the sky". This is a call to arms against the worldwide oppression of women, particularly that taking place in parts of Asia and Africa. This is my area of interest, so I gobbled it up. I don't agree with everything they say, and some of it is downright mistaken, but this really is a book to get the mind turning.
I am about half way through Stacey Schiff's brilliant biography of Cleopatra, and I am in love. She has done a great job. My head is more in 1st century BC Alexandria than in Delhi. Highly recommended!
Coming in eleven days late (oops), here is my reading for September! I am up to 61 now, should have no trouble reaching 75, but reading productivity is definitely down on last year!
58. The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
This will go down as an all time favourite. It is so funny and touching and insightful. I was completely charmed.
59. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacey Schiff
Great biography on a tough subject. Working with very little source material, Schiff reconstructs the life, times and exploits of Cleopatra. I was gripped.
60. A Gate at The Stairs by Lorrie Moore
Ugh, I hated this. I flew through the first third (Moore has a lovely way with words), but when I hit upon the sentence concerning the protagonist's college courses (I don't have a copy of the book with me to quote from now, but they are all daft classes like Intro to Wine Tasting, War Movie Soundtracks, etc), I knew I was going to dislike the rest of the novel. And I was right. I kept going, but my dislike for the protagonist (and almost everyone featured in the novel) intensified, and I was very irritated by the book. Moore is a fine writer, but her characters and content are not for me.
61. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Perfection. I am so happy I have finally read this beautiful book. Winterson is such a talent, and has such a unique and unforgettable voice. I can't wait to pick up her 2011 memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?.
I also had two Bonus Reads (too short to be counted as a read, but well worth noting): a short story by Shirley Jackson, The Lottery, and an essay by Jon Krakauer Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost his Way. I really need to get a hold of some more Shirley Jackson, I love her macabre style.
Ooops Orlaith I bought Lorrie Moore's Collected Stories - it is pretty thick so I hope I like them a bit better than you did her novel.
Paul, I would think that I would like her short stories more than her novels - she would have less room to get all post-modern and self-concious in the stories! I really did fly trough the first third of A Gate at the Stairs with pleasure, before it became very clear that this was a grand attempt at the 'great post-9/11 American novel' (I am not a fan of that trend). It is far too self aware and effortful for my liking. So don't fling the book out the window just yet!:)
Oops, I just realised that I forgot to add one of my books from the September reading month:
62. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
I really enjoyed this, in a big dirty pleasure sort of way. Lots of lovely detail on Victorian England, plus a lot of sex, nudity, mental breakdowns, intrigue and gossip. What more could a girl want? On reading up on the success of the novel today, I discovered that there is a BBC mini-series adaptation of the book just waiting to be devoured. There goes my plans for the day....
#61: That is a terrific list! Thanks for sharing it, Orlaith. I will have to check out the books listed that I have not already read.
Orlaith - I must get round to Michel Faber very soon. The romp Victoriana sounds like great fun. Have a lovely weekend.
A little late (as usual), here are my books for October ...
Books Bought: 5
1. In Xanadu by William Darymple
2. Pure by Andrew Miller
3. The Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
4. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
5. The Group by Mary McCarthy
Books Read: 7
63. In Xanadu by William Darymple
On summer break from Cambridge in the late 1980s, a 22 year old William Darymple followed in the footsteps of Marco Polo, travelling from Jerusalem to Shangdu (Xanadu) in Inner Mongolia, China. This is travel literature at its finest. I fully intend on reading everything Darymple has ever put on paper.
64. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
This book completely and utterly blew me away. I loved Celie and the crowd of people she gathers around her throughout her life. For a book with such dark subject material (such as rape, incest, racism, and sexism), it is surprisingly life-affirming and warm-hearted. This is definitely a deserving Pulitzer prize winner.
65. Pure by Andrew Miller
This is a brilliantly written, enjoyable trip through pre-revolutionary France. Miller is a deft hand at creating a believable world, and the subject of the novel – the removal of bodies from the infamous Les Innocents cemetery - is a real cracker. I won’t be forgetting those late night scenes at the cemetery any time soon. One minor criticism would be the slight distance that Miller keeps from his characters - I never truly cared for them in any personal way, more sat back and watched the ride with curiosity.
66. Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Wow. This novel is compulsively readable and so enjoyable you almost feel guilty. I cracked it open without so much as reading the blurb, with no idea what I was in for. I ended up not being able to put it down. I adored the entire thing start to finish, and don’t want o say too much for fear of spoiling it. I can’t wait to read The Observations!
67. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
This one has sat on my bookshelf for a long time. Doyle is a bit of a hit-and-miss writer for me, though I really enjoyed Oh, Play That Thing and I greatly admire the novel The Woman Who Walked Into Doors for its skill and difficult subject matter. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is a sad, hilarious and all-too-believable story told from the perspective of a ten year old boy growing up in Dublin in the 1960s. This is a keeper.
68. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
This was an extremely enjoyable read. I much preferred it to the other Patchett I read earlier this year, Bel Canto. While I thought Bel Canto was beautifully written and strangely moving, the characters left me a little cold. Not so with this novel, a much warmer, involving tale set in the jungles of the Amazon. I am sucker for any kind of exploration in fiction!
69. Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
I wasn’t too impressed by this. This is my second Barnes (after Arthur and George), and as with A&G, I am left feeling rather underwhelmed. Barnes is a strong writer, and this short novel certainly flows along swiftly (particularly the first half), but his work never touches a nerve with me.
All in all, a brilliant reading month! I am currently situated in Oxford, which is a book lovers dream, both in terms of literary history and also the array of wonderful bookshops selling new and second hand gems. I need to be very restrained!
#61 - Thanks Stasia! I keep meaning to get to them myself. I have a particular hankering after the (not-mentioned) Cider with Rosie which seems to be a frequent favourite among book lovers around here (not least Paul!). I know so little about it, I thought Laurie Lee was a woman until about a week ago. Oops!
So glad you loved The Buddha of Suburbia - not even folks know about it, I think.
Thanks Lucy! I picked my copy up cheap in a little shop at the side of the road in Varanasi, India. The title rang a bell but I didn't know anything about it whatsoever. I can see myself widely recommending it to people in the future, particularly to older teenagers and college students. It has that 'finding yourself' theme that I love in books (when it's done well). I'm just back from a browse through your thread, and am reminded AGAIN that I really want to pick up some Elizabeth Taylor! I am ashamed to say I have never read a word of hers and I hear good things from all quarters.
#74 I very much agree with you when it comes to William Dalrymple. From the Holy Mountain is my favourite out of those I have read.
Uh oh, Paul, doesn't sound as if you liked India too much if you couldn't wait to get out that badly! I loved India, especially how much Indians love books and they are available for cheap almost anywhere. There were train platforms with better book 'shops' than you would see in some Irish cities! As for Khushwant Singh, prior to going to India I read about a third of Delhi, but I had to give up. His obsession with (depressing) sex was too overpowering.
Rhian - thanks for the recommendation. It's definitely next on my Dalrymple wishlist now. I love his books so much I feel the need to space them out, though I really want to gorge!
Here comes the Best Books of 2012 Lists - TBR piles beware!!
So far, this article has resulted in me adding Train Dreams by Denis Johnson to my wishlist, and bumping up Ancient Light by John Banville to start this weekend.
Gotta love lists!
Harriet sounds interesting Rhian, and I have been keen to read some of the much lauded Persephone books. My delight in the 'Best of 2012' book lists has been tempered somewhat by my finishing (and hating) my first choice off the lists - Ancient Light by John Banville. Too overwrought and pretentious by a mile!
Thanks for the list Orlaith - as you may have realised I don't mind the odd list!
This was anything but odd of course but I must say I was enthralled to see so many literary heavyweights rolled out to propound on their favourites and it is interested to note that the writers I most liked generally chose other writers I liked! The other thing apparent from this is what a supremely stellar year this has been for the written word in all its forms and nuances.
Well, as you love lists so much Paul (I'm so selfless!!) - here is my prize winners list. I only checked out prizes that I have paid attention to before.
I have read:
16 Booker Prize winners
10 Pulitzer prize for fiction winners
9 Whitbread/Costa winners
7 National Book Award for Fiction winners
7 James Tait Black Memorial prize winners
6 Commonwealth Writers Prize Overall Winners
5 Orange/Women's Prize winners
5 PEN/Faulkner winners
3 IMPAC Award winners
And finally (and shamefully!), I have read works by only 15 Nobel prize winners!
I do really like Banville's The Book of Evidence when I read it, I think the nature of the story (it's in part a crime novel) leaves less room for his pretentious inclinations to run amuck.
Thanks for that Orlaith - amazingly we have read the same number in total on the awards you selected.
Into the last month of the year already! Managed to hit 75, phew. Reading has really slowed down this year.
Books Bought: 9
1. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft by Claire Tomalin
2. The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
3. The Observations by Jane Harris
4. The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin
5. Burnt Shadows by Kamilia Shamsie
6. The Siege by Helen Dunmore
7. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
8. Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
9. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
Books Read: 7
70. The Outcast by Sadie Jones
This was a real miss for me. It's a pity - it was on my wishlist for this year and I was thrilled to come across it in an Oxfam bookstore for half nothing. I sat down and read it cover to cover in three hours. But not even the single-sitting read (which I tend to find casts books in a favourable light as you suffer no distractions, the author only has to grip you once) saved this from being a messy, erratic read. I enjoyed the first half, and the description of the tragic accident that occurs early in the novel is well written and memorable, but the second half of the book is a disaster. I felt that not even the author knew what was going to happen next. This novel was in desperate need of a decent editor.
71. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft by Claire Tomalin
Brilliant! This is my first Tomalin biography, but it hopefully won't be my last. She tackles her subject competently and warmly, and is sympathetic but not uncritical.
72. The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
This is an excellent, if desperately sad, novel about the aftermath of the civil war in Sierra Leone. I highly recommend this, Forna is a real talent. This one will stay with me for a long time to come.
73. Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
Hmmm, I enjoyed this, but it’s no A Single Man. The book provides an interesting insight into life in Berlin in the early 30s, but it feels quite light. Isherwood always has a lot of style, but there isn't too much substance to this one.
74. The Observations by Jane Harris
This book is a great laugh! It concerns the goings-on in a dilapidated mansion in Scotland in the 1860s, seen through the eyes of a teenage Irish maid, and told to hilarious effect. It didn’t quite match Gillespie and I for me, but it’s great fun, and I flew through it.
75. This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
Wow. Diaz has a remarkably unique voice, I can easily see why he would be awarded the Pulitzer for his writing. Fresh, candid, and funny, this was a memorable read. Don’t read it if you’re easily scandalised! I'm looking forward to reading more of his work.
76. Ancient Light by John Banville
Ugh, Banville really is too pretentious for me, I need to stop trying with him. I rarely like it - The excellent Book of Evidence notwithstanding).
Oh, and exciting news of the day - apparently, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, "2004′s wildly popular fantasy-cum-alternative history set during the Napoleonic Wars", is to be adapted into a six-part miniseries for the BBC!!
Congrats on your 75! I've just hit my 75 last night as well! I had Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell on my book shelf for ever it seems, but I've always been put off by the length.
Thanks Rhian! I do think Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is longer than it needs to be, but it is really enjoyable nonetheless. My sister gave me a lovely gift of the book in three volumes, and I ended up reading it like a trilogy and not all in immediate succession, which was no doubt a bit strange, but it worked for me!
I know I don't usually update until the end of the month, but I'm an LT kind of mood, so...
77. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Well, colour me charmed. I was very happy to come across a lovely little second hand copy of this in a book stall in Shrewsbury. It can be read in an hour and a a half, and remembered fondly for a lifetime.
78. The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
I must say that I also really liked this, though as a follow up to 84 Charing Cross Road it is pretty weak. The beloved characters from 84 hardly make an appearance and with the closure of Marks & Co., the bookshop is a thing of the past as well. But if you can view it as a stand-alone memoir about the magic of London, then I think it is pretty strong and enjoyable. It helps that I am headed to London in a week (not for the first time), and this little book has made me feel excited and very lucky!
Some great reading as always Orlaith and I love your summarised reviews. Recent purchases have a few standouts too - I loved the Colm Toibin in particular.
Congratulations for safely passing 75!
Congratulations on reading 75 books! I'm glad you enjoyed the Jane Harris books so much - I discovered her this year and devoured both of them :-)
#90 I saw that too! I'm looking forward to it but I also want Susanna Clarke to write her next book...
#95 84, Charing Cross Road is such a lovely book isn't it? I agree Duchess of Bloomsbury Street doesn't quite produce the same feeling.
#96 - Thanks Paul! Glad to hear you liked the Toibin so much. I truly love Brooklyn, have a healthy admiration for The Master, and was underwhelmed by The Blackwater Lightship. I was wondering where this would one would fit into that! I am glad to have passed 75, though I was at about 100 this time last year. Hmmmm. I must be slowing down in my old age. Having a look back on this years vs last years reading, my only 700+ page book last year was The Woman in White, but this year has seen me through some big hitters, such as Anna Karenina, The Crimson Petal and the White, and the almost-finished Team of Rivals. Excused, excuses!
#97 - Thanks Heather! Jane Harris is definitely a safe bet for me - I'm looking forward to some new work from her. And Susanna Clarke too! It's difficult prioritising a (hopefully excellent) tv adaptation over a new novel. New novel all the way! Apparently JS&MN took her ten years to write, and that was published in 2004, so maybe we can except another in a couple of years....
79. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
I just ate this up. I am not a thriller reader, but if they were all like this, I would hardly read anything else! I wish I hadn't seen the 1999 film version (which I loved), because I found the novel excruciatingly suspenseful despite knowing the plot, I can't imagine coming at it with fresh eyes! On a somewhat related note, I am now dying to get to Italy for a holiday!
Must read more Highsmith, Orlaith. Nice to see you over 100 posts already - can put you on my stats lists now!
To the oft absent lady with the most beautiful name in the entire group. Orlaith, Happy New Year - make sure you come back in 2013!
Thanks very much Paul! Happy New Year greetings to you from Ireland! Late as ever! :)
December Reading - better late than never!
Books Acquired: 4
1. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
2. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
3. Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis
4. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Books Read: 7
77. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
78. The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
79. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
80. The Siege by Helen Dunmore
My first Dunmore, and probably not my last. This was a book I had heard raved about here on LT, and while I thought it was very well written, and told an important story, it wasn’t particularly memorable for me. A strong read, but not a stand out.
81. Team of Rivals by Dorris Kearns Goodwin
This one was a bit of a mixed bag. I rapidly flew through, and really enjoyed, the first third of the book, in which the author sets out a vast canvas portraying the various political positions in America in the lead up to the election of Lincoln and the Civil War. I loved learning about the different groups like the Know-Nothing Party (great name!) and the personalities of Lincoln’s rivals for the role of President. Unfortunately, Kearns Goodwin manages to get too bogged down in detail as the book goes on, and thus the momentum of the narrative is lost along the way. By the final one third, I was as close to skimming as I get. I might have left it unfinished if not for the helpful group read. It’s a real pity. I feel like this one needed a good editor to come in and make some bold cuts.
82. The Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser
Glaeser and I have vastly different politics (he leans a good deal further to the right than I), but despite many (pretty major) disagreements, I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the positive impact of cities on the world. This book is choc-a-block full of interesting stories about the great cities of the world, with a focus on the inventions that arose as a result of great minds living in (sometimes very) close quarters with each other.
83. Jack Maggs by Peter Carey
Thanks to Paul for the recommendation on this one! Thoroughly enjoyable and well suited to read at Christmas time. A perfect finish to a year which began with a re-read of Great Expectations.
I thought I would do a little analysis of my book buying/reading for the year. Here goes...
Only 83 books read this year, a big drop down from the 111 read in 2011.
Books bought in 2012: 32, half of which I managed to read this year. So only 16 added to Mount TBR this year, which amazes me.
3. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
4. Oxford by Jan Morris
8. Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene
9. Muddling Through in Madagascar by Dervla Murphy
10. In Ethiopia with a Mule by Dervla Murphy
11. The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition by Ernest Hemingway
12. The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
13. The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
14. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
17. The Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
19. The Group by Mary McCarthy
23. The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin
24. Burnt Shadows by Kamilia Shamsie
26. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
31. Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis
32. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Many first time authors for me this year, including my first Tolstoy, which was a real success. Other first time authors tackled that will definitely be read again include Elizabeth Gaskell, Paul Bowles, Kate Grenville, William Dalrymple, and Jane Harris .
Happy New Year Everybody!!
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.