April 2012, Which 1001 book are you reading?
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I've just started Testament of Youth. The intro had me snivelling slightly on the bus this morning. This does not bode well for the rest of the book.
Was also distracted by the teenagers sitting next to me dissing Jodi Piccoult. :)
wow... and you were still near the beginning. Get the tissues ready deary...
#2> Damn. I haven't quite got the energy for a weepfest. Still, I shall persevere. This has been on my shelves for far too long.
Still reading The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati, not really making progress. Too many other non-1001 books are distracting me.
A question: has anybody here read Memoirs of my Nervous Illness by Daniel Paul Schreber? It's on the 2008 list. I downloaded the free Kindle (German) version, read the first 5% and already feel like my brain is crumbling. If someone has read it, could you give me an advice how to make it through it without lasting damage? Is there something that makes it a worthy 1001 except for the obvious and complete madness? I know I could abandon it, but I have that personal challenge of reading all the German entries, so I don't want to give up too easily.
let's see... just started The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle and enjoying it immensely. Also back into Woolf with Mrs Dalloway and enjoying that too.
But, I've STILL got Gargantua and Pantagruel staring at me from atop the toilet cistern. I just don't crap as much as I used to it seems....
I've just started Howards End.
I read The Corrections a few weeks ago. I'm not sure why I left it so long. It's been on my shelves for years. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I agree about liking the way Franzen uses symbols in his writing. I think I was expecting something denser and more difficult to relate to – I'm just trying to figure out why I left it so long. But it was actually a very accessible book.
Still working on Les Miserables. Long way to go on it as only 7% in per the stats on my Kindle.
I'm listening to The Devil and Miss Prym on audiobooks. It's OK, not brilliant, and short. I was thinking of launching into The Mysteries of Udolpho next. It too is available on audio, although that might take me longer than 2 months to listen. Still, I'd be listening during the group read. I decided to give The Corrections a miss and leave a big chunk of time for Udolpho.
I haven't decided what to start next in real book form. Something that's unlike either The Devil or Udolpho...
> 11 The Golden Notebook had moments of brilliance- I remember mulling over some quotes for a few days- but on the whole, I don't remember much about it, which means I must have pushed my way through just to check it off.
The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, on the other hand, is one that I remember vividly!
I'm considering picking up The Corrections and joining the group read. However, I have 4 or 5 anthologies and non-fiction books on the go right now, and if I add a chunkster to the pile, I'll never finish any of them! (or so it will feel)
I thought I was nearing the end of Adventures of Peregrine Pickle and then I realized I was only on Volume 1...grr. Not that it isn't an entertaining read, but does there really need to be 2 volumes of this chap's adventures?
I thought I would squeeze in a quick read before starting The Corrections for the April read, but silly me thinking that Molloy would be a breeze. It is okay, but not very engaging.
I'm still reading The Glass Bead Game. I think I'm about halfway through now, and it's going well. It reads almost like a biography.
5- Sorry, I haven't read that one. I think you can see what members have it by going onto its workpage. At any rate, I hope that you get through it without having your brain fall into pieces!
I am reading Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac. It is a LONG (680 pages) and DENSE (one paragraph was over 2+ pages). But, I see why Balzac is on the 2010 list with 3 books. If you let yourself go, the prose is poetic.
So, I am lining up a series of shorter novels to pair with this undertaking. In keeping with the French, I am starting Rameau's Nephew by Denis Diderot. A short (100 page) novel. I learned from the appendix that Johann Wolfgang Goethe did the first translation of this novel and wrote extensively about it.
For those pursuing Virginia Wolff I heartily recommend another of the 1001, The Hours by Michael Cunningham, if you haven't already read it. He weaves Virginia Wolff's life and imagines her thoughts throughout his novel.
If you're looking for something darkly comic and easy to read, I would suggest Muriel Spark's Memento Mori. The characters are all over seventy years of age with failing memories and bodies. Each receives an anonymous phone call saying "Remember you must die". I'd recommend it for readers over 50.
I've just finished The Quiet American which was great.
Just starting The Sea, the Sea which is my first Iris Murdoch.
I just started Madame Bovary, finally! It has been on my shelf forever!
I'm reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I expected it to be a much denser read than it actually is; I'm tearing right through it. It is great.
I am reading Diary of a Nobody. I never knew the "Adrian Mole Diaries" I loved so much since my childhood were influenced by this book, but it's obvious.
Just started the epic tome Kristin Lavransdatter. Has anyone else read this?
#27: Yes, I've read it. It took me 2 years to get through it, because I didn't like it at all. Don't know why but it really bored me. But I really shouldn't say this while you are in the upstart. Some people do say that it's one up the greatest love stories of the 20th century. Better believe them instead ;)
I've moved onto Suite Francaise - brilliant but I think I need to give the war books a rest after this. I'm starting to get more and more upset.
I need to find something light heart and frivolous next - not sure the 1001 list is the place to find that??
@chrissybob: Have you read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day yet? It's about as lighthearted and frivolous as they come.
> 30 I would recommend Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris as the epitome of light hearted and frivolous, probably why it was only on the 2006 list. But I read it after Schindler's List, and a few other heavy ones, and it was precisely what I was craving.
I finished The Thirty-Nine Steps this morning. While enjoyable and a quick read, it didn't live up to the expectations of it being a thrilling mystery.
#30> chrissybob, I'd also recommend Cold Comfort Farm as a good light hearted read from the 1001 list. I think there's a thread somewhere about the less "serious" reads on the list... Ahah, found it, it's "uplifting" books. Some are still serious, some are frothy: http://www.librarything.com/topic/22752
Working my way slowly through Testament of Youth. Beautifully written, it deserves close attention.
> 41 Don't do as I did, then. I have just finished The Buddenbrooks - a 660 pages long read. Though it was pretty interesting following a wealthy family's way almost to extinction. Now I really need a short one. Has anyone any suggestion?
@#42: A Modest Proposal by Swift is about as short as they come!
@#41: you're in for a treat with Gone. It's about as epic as the film is.
@#39 & #36: novelistic wonderment awaits you too
@arukiyomi, I agree with all your comments, but I was not a fan of The Reader. I do seem to be in a minority there, however. :)
I started The Handmaid's Tale a couple of days ago. It's a book that has really drawn me into the plot, but after I finish it, I've got to get away from totalitarian states for a while. The last five books I've read, a mix of fiction and nonfiction and none on the 1001, have been set in them.
On the printed page I'm reading The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa. A cool book that I'd never have picked up without the 1001 list. I'm enjoying this one.
On the other hand, The Mysteries of Udolpho -- you are kidding me! It's next month's book discussion so I got it on Books on Tape and started listening yesterday. Wow. It's so.... 18th century. Really different from the 19th-century novels I'm used to, in terms of its values and its narrative voice and its lazy descriptive style. I wonder if I will get through its entire enormous length. Does reading Book I (at about 600 pages) count as finishing it?
# 52 I read Wide Sargossa Sea before Jane Eyre, so reading the latter led me to re-read the former. Got much more out of it second time round.
#57 Chamberk did or do you remember actually like Catcher in the Rye ? Maybe its because I have teenagers but I found the main character whining and the book just left me asking Why is this book such a big deal????
>59 MikeMonkey: I read Catcher in the Rye in high school and LOVED it. I haven't reread it and, frankly, I'm a little afraid to. I credit a fantastic English teacher and the right alignment of planets for this being a favorite book for me. This did not happen with The Great Gatsby and I hate that one.
Read Cuckoo's Nest when I was a teenager. Loved it, and it scared me. Better than the movie only because of course you get more in the book but Nicholson did a great job in the movie.
I didn't like Catcher. Maybe if I'd read it for English.. I did have a great teacher. Maybe would have helped..
The movie follows the book but with a few exceptions which made me wish the movie had included them. It's not like the film was long enough to include it all.. I did enjoy the book very much. However, the sequel, written in the '90s I think, can't hold a candle to it.
I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark today which I liked better than her Girls of Slender Means. Still my favorite Spark remains a non-1001 one, Memento Mori.
I am now officially reading the horrible Memoirs of my Nervous Illness by Daniel Paul Schreber, I am 20% in (Kindle). It still makes my brain and nerves hurt, but given the title this might be the intention. I'm sure it's on the list because someone on Boxall's team wanted to be original.
Memento Mori was on some edition of the 1001 list. But Miss Jean Brodie is her masterpiece, in my opinion.
@ Deern: annamorphic is right. It was on the original 2006 list and was removed to make way for books in the 2008 edition.
Anyway, after cramming in nearly 500 pages yesterday, I should have completed the epic Kristin Lavransdatter by this evening. Wow... what a saga!
#69/70: that's interesting, thanks for the info.
And then it was removed to add something as splendid and worldshaking as Memoirs of my Nervous Illness! I read 5% of that one today and feel the urgent need to cry silently into my teacup. *sigh*
Edit: started Tarzan of the Apes today as a bit of a contrast read.
I just finished Lost Illusions and Rameau's Nephew. Last month I completed Nana. I hadn't planned on a French emersion, but it turned out well. Balzac (1713-1784) preceded Diderot (1799-1850) and both preceded Zola (1840-1902) -- authors of the three novels respectively. Yet, they all painted a similar picture of the foibles of French governance, culture, art, and theatre.
I just started Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion. OMG. What a GREAT SHORT read. Why some of the chapters are only 1 page with a LOT of WHITE space. In one afternoon, I'm nearly half way through. Nana and Lost Illusion total 600 plus, DENSE pages!
@livrecache: My overall reaction was 'meh'. I didn't love it or hate it... it just seemed an average, ho-hum story to me. (I was surprised because I loved The Great Gatsby... maybe it was just a case of my expectations being too high. )
Started The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark for the 75 Books Challenge Take It or Leave It Challenge #24 to read a book by Muriel Spark. LOVING IT! I read this one a hundred years ago after seeing the movie and loved then and am loving it now. Again, great writing, sad situation.
Also reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for the 12 12 Challenge Group read for April. Didn't care for it at first but now that the Christians have arrived and commenced their missionary work I am finding it much more compelling.
I started The Children's Book by AS Byatt. It weighs a ton, but I love the writing style.
Now I've started Catcher in the Rye. In the beginning it's very much turned towards young male readers. Maybe it will change, but I really understand if female readers loathe it. I will continue the reading tomorrow!
Finished Things Fall Apart. Liked it. Full review here:
#73 Thanks for the tip on the Didion - I was looking for something short to fit in before May (when I start Grapes of Wrath) and this is so far really quite good.
I picked up Measuring the world at the library and 100 pages in, it's fascinating.
I loved that one! It is fascinating.
Right now, I'm reading Birdsong, largely because I'm also watching the PBS version and I'm feeling guilty for watching the movie before reading the book.
#73, jasmeyer -- at your suggestion I'm now reading Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. It's a wonderful follow-up to The Big Sleep as another totally Los Angeles book (with Nevada thrown in for good measure) -- just steeped in a particular atmosphere, culture, landscape, and waste. Here there is no Philip Marlowe to give the book charm, of course. It is not an "enjoyable" book but it's smart and engrossing.
Both of these books worked well as complete counterweights to The Mysteries of Udolpho on which I will have more to say when the Group Read starts. I am about 100 pages into that one, out of 700 total, whereas I'll probably finish Play It As It Lays in a couple of days.
Squeezing in a 1001 book before the month ends: The Third Man, by Graham Greene. Although I've read Greene before and like him well enough, I don't know why this is a 1001 book.
Just finished The Master and Margarita. Russian magical realism and satire. I thought it was very good.
Will not finish The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie before the end of April so did not manage to complete the TIOLI challenge I was aiming for. I do hope, though, to finish it in the next few days
I've finished The Catcher in the Rye now. Don't really know what to think of it. Sometimes it was quite touching, but at other times it was not.
I'm out of control again - too many books on the go and starting group read of Grapes of Wrath tomorrow. Ooops.
Wait, isn't our group read The Mysteries of Udolpho in May?? Have I been enduring the Books on Tape version for naught?
Annamorphic, I am so tempted to write, "No, I've never heard of that book even being on the list." But instead, I started a new post for the May group read. You may have the distinction of providing the first commentary.
#94> There's a group read of Grapes of Wrath happening over in the 75 Books group (as part of the Steinbeckathon this year). I'll be reading it (I hope!) at some stage next month.
I doubt I'll get around to The Mysteries of Udolpho (which is the "1001" book group read for May) as I'm still going (slowly) through Testament of Youth. It's great, but library books that need to be read and returned keep on getting in the way.
And I have resisted buying a copy, in my usual "but I might find time..." habit. Bad habit that one, it's why Mt TBR is threatening to topple and crush me!
Mysteries would be a step too far for me too I think - it's far too large to run concurrently with Clarissa!
With my April reading:
Play It As It Lays
I bring my totals to:
107 authors and 146 books
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