englishrose60's 999 Challenge
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I hope that the categories I have chosen will not only afford me some good reading but that my tbr pile will
be reduced by 81 books.
1. Crime Fiction. COMPLETED
2. Autobiography, biography, diaries and letters. COMPLETED
3. Literary Criticism and essays. COMPLETED
4. Orange Prize Shortlist/Winners. COMPLETED
5. Orange Prize Longlist. COMPLETED
6. Pulitzer Prize Winners. COMPLETED
7. Colourful Stories. COMPLETED
8. Iris Murdoch COMPLETED
9. Other books. COMPLETED
1. Crime Fiction COMPLETED
1. A Crime in the Neighbourhood by Suzanne Berne 02/01/2009
2. The Remedy by Michelle Lovric 30/01/2009
3. Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman 06/03/2009
4. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett 07/04/2009
5. The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney 03/05/2009
6. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve 05/05/2009
7. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt 16/05/2009
8. The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh 17/05/2009
9. While I Was Gone by Sue Miller 19/05/2009
2. Autobiography, biography, diaries and letters. COMPLETED
1. Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman 05/01/2009
2. Wild Swans by Jung Chang 08/02/2009
3. An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum 12/03/2009
4. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain 10/04/2009
5. Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain 05/08/2009
6. Testament of Friendship by Vera Brittain 02/08/2009
7. Virginia Woolf: A Biography Vol 1 by Quentin Bell 07/08/2009
8. Virginia Woolf: A Biography Vol 2 by Quentin Bell 09/08/2009
9. 800 Years of Women's Letters by Olga Kenyon 06/08/2009
3. Literary Criticism and essays. COMPLETED
1. Nation and Novel by Patrick Parrinder 01/01/2009
2. Six Women Novelists by Merryn Williams 15/02/2009
3. Women and Fiction by Patricia Stubbs 17/03/2009
4. Writing for their Lives by Gillian Hanscombe 14/04/2009
5. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf 10/08/2009
6. The Common Reader 1 by Virginia Woolf 09/08/2009
7. The Common Reader 2 by Virginia Woolf 11/08/2009
8. Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf 12/08/2009
9. Death of the Moth and Other Essays by Virginia Woolf 13/08/2009
4. Orange Prize Shortlist/Winners. COMPLETED
1. Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk 08/01/2009
2. Old Filth by Jane Gardam 18/02/2009
3. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo 19/03/2009
4. The Observations by Jane Harris 17/04/2009
5. Fault Lines by Nancy Huston 21/05/2009
6. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss 30/05/2009
7. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka 01/06/2009
8. Homestead by Rosina Lippi 03/06/2009
9. Liars and Saints by Maile Malloy 04/06/2009
5. Orange Prize Longlist. COMPLETED
1. Harbor by Lorraine Adams 11/01/2009
2. Disobedience by Naomi Alderman 22/02/2009
3. What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin 27/03/2009
4. Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund 26/04/2009
5. The Zigzag Way by Anita Desai 07/06/2009
6. Keeping Up with Magda by Isla Dewar 08/06/2009
7. Dot in the Universe by Lucy Ellmann June 2009
8. Fish, Blood and Bone by Leslie Forbes 05/06/2009
9. House Gun by Nadime Gordimer June 2009
6. Pulitzer Prize Winners. COMPLETED
1. One of Ours by Willa Cather 13/01/2009
2. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee 26/02/2009
3. Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie 31/03/2009
4. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 10/07/2009
5. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson June 2009
6. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley June 2009
7. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler 06/07/2009
8. Beloved by Toni Morrison June 2009
9. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker 10/07/2009
7. Colourful Stories COMPLETED
1. Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel 20/01/2009
2. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 02/03/2009
3. A Sin of Colour by Sunetra Gupta 01/04/2009
4. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris June 2009
5. White Teeth by Zadie Smith June 2009
6. The Colour by Rose Tremain June 2009
7. The Scarlett Feather by Maeve Binchy June 2009
8. Black and Blue by Anne Quindlen June 2009
9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg 08/07/2009
8. Iris Murdoch COMPLETED
1. Bruno's Dream 17/01/2009
2. Under the Net 04/03/2009
3. A Fairly Honourable Defeat 05/04/2009
4. The Bell 13/07/2009
5. An Accidental Man 18/07/2009
6. A Severed Head 15/07/2009
7. The Black Prince 22/07/2009
8. The Italian Girl 23/07/2009
9. The Sacred and Profane Love Machine 25/07/2009
9. Other Books. (COMPLETED)
1. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque 16/01/2009
2. Old Goriot by Honore de Blazac 15/01/2009
3. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson 31/03/2009
4. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende 12/02.2009
5. The Leopard by Guiseppe di Lampedusa 16/02/2009
6. The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende 22/02/2009
7. Keepers of the House by Lisa St Aubin de Teran 27/02/2009
8. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov 27/03/2009
9. Body Snatcher by Juan Carlos Onetti 08/03/2009
The Orange Prize is an annual award for the best full-length novel by a female author of any nationality, written in English and published in the UK in the preceding year.
Colourful: I was stuck for a category so I borrowed this idea from someone else.
Hello Englishrose, it's good to see you here.
This year's 888 is the first time I have done a reading hallenge and it is really helping me to focus on what I really want to read.
I'm curious about the meaning of your "Author" category ... ?
Greetings FleurFisher - I've been scrambling all over my tbr pile this year trying to decide what to read next. This challenge brings some order to my chaotic reading.
'Author' category enables me to read books by one particular author - haven't decided who that will be yet, but I have my eye on Maeve Binchy.
Good idea. Have you read the Forsyte saga? That has nine volumes!
I thought you might have. I picked up the full set in orange Penguin TV tie-in edition for just £4 at the weekend, and it just stuck me that the nine volumes would fit this challenge very nicely.
What a bargain and they will indeed fit the challenge very well.
Nice to see a familiar face here. I'm still pondering my categories--I may do something based on the Mann Booker shortlists. Anyway, have fun compiling your lists and I'll hopefully start on mine in the next few days.
Nice to see you here too RidgewayGirl and I look forward to seeing your categories and books. I had fun choosing mine, hope you do too.
Elizabeth Berg has written about 30 books and they're quite good in my opinion; it's light reading, but not frivolous. You might want to consider her for your author category.
And my chosen author for Category 8 is Iris Murdoch because I am participating in a group read of her books and choosing her will reduce my reading load a bit and also and more importantly I like her work.
englishrose60, I'm envious of your Vera Brittain tear in autobiography and also the non-fiction Virginia Woolf in your list. We often seem to forget Woolf's fabulous essays in favour of her novels. I'll be interested to watch your progress. Good luck!
Thanks cocoafiend. I am so looking forward to reading these books next year. Good luck with your challenge too.
thanks! I feel I've bitten off more than I can chew, but it's worth a try!
ER60 - can I suggest The Bell for Iris Murdoch. Good luck with your challenge - I have joined for 2009.
Good to see you taking the challenge. I had a look at your lists and there are some interesting books there. I shall be reading The Bell for my Iris Murdoch category - thanks for the recommendation and good luck.
I was trying to decide whether I could keep track of other lists on 999 challenge as well as 50-Book, then saw lots of favorites in your categories so guess I'll HAVE to! (a smile and a sigh!)
My reading plan for January is:
A Crime in the Neighbourhood by Suzanne Berne - READ
Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman - READ
Nation and Novel by Patrick Parrinder - READ
Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk - READ
Harbor by Lorraine Adams - READ
One of Ours by Willa Cather - READ
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel - READ
Bruno's Dream by Iris Murdoch - READ
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - READ
Lark Rise to Candleford READING
Old Goriot by Balzac READ
Good Luck with the Challenge everybody.
Hi chine, have starred your thread so I can see which Pulitzers you decide to read. Why could you not get through Gilead before? I shall be reading it in May if you want to join me, maybe we can get through it together :-))
I keep starting Gilead and it's slow reading. Then I start reading something else and get away from it. My hubbie gave it to me so I'm determined to finish it. If I haven't started it again by May and I'm not reading too many other books, I'd be happy to join you.
One of the girls in my book club is reading all the Pulitzers. She's been going along at the rate of about one a month, sometimes more. She'll announce which one she's planning on reading next and if others are interested, she'll set a whole book discussion date. I dunno if your list is set in stone or if you just want to check it out. We welcome new readers. Over on Reading Group Guides on the message board, head into online book discussions then into fiction. Her name is MaryZorro and the threads usually have Pulitzer in the title. I'm bookgirl there.
Sorry - forgot to say thank you chine for pointingh me in that direction! Thank you :-))
I stumbled on Tenderness of Wolves earlier this year and took a chance with it based solely on the Good Book Guide's review. It was a terrific read! I am looking forward to your review of it.
Thanks for the recommendation Xena - I am looking forward to reading this book.
I loved Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation, especially the first half.
Wow! What a lot of woman authors and prize nominees! I've enjoyed a few on your lists and look forward to your reviews.
Thanks Merry. I have been concentrating on women writers for the last few years - but am reading manbooks again now to broaden my experience!
Hello englishrose - you *do* have some eyecatching and very varied books lined up! Virginia through to Maeve via Iris!
Did you know that The Tenderness of Wolves was serialised on Womens' Hour? It was excellent and inspired me to read it. Gilead seems to be creating some discussion here. My view was that it was wonderful so I really look forward to hearing your view. I reviewed them both on LT earlier this year.
Oh fleur and englishrose - I too watched the Forsyte Saga (when i was very young of course) - my darling Mum loved it and so did I - I dreamed of being Fleur! (methinks that is not where you got your name though - am I right fleur?)
Did you catch the Vera Brittain BBC programme? It was excellent, if a little tragic. It may still be on the iplayer site if you missed it.
I too am going to star your thread and keep track of your reads. DO you review I wonder?
I missed both those programmes you mention. I don't do proper reviews; I usually say whether or not I enjoyed the book. Most people on LT are so much more learned than I am so I enjoy reading other people's reviews.
I am so looking forward to starting the challenge - roll on Jan 1st. I shall star you too Julie.
#47 & 48
Hi Julie and Valerie!
I read The Tenderness of Wolves after hearing some of it on Woman's hour too. The programme also introduced me to Barbara Pym after serializing Jane and Prudence. Isn't Woman's Hour wonderful, (especially when it's Jenni Murray presenting)?!
Valerie, I feel a bit intimidated about reviewing too, because the quality of the reviews here is so good. I'll probably give a bit of an overview on each book I read on my thread. I'll see how confident I'm feeling!
Edited to remove a silly question, to which I worked out the answer myself!
I agree with regards to Woman's Hour - the only problem is that as I work I only catch it occasionally. When the serial is really excellent like the Pym and Tenderness I catch up on the replays on the BBC site. Ooooops, going back I see I made a terrilble typo in my original post - sorry.
I also know what you mean about reviews as I felt the same before I began writing them. My view is that they are like an aide memoir for me and that I want to, somehow, mark the investment of time I have given a book. Happy reading in 2009!
Thank you Soupdragon and Julie for your comments about reviewing - I shall do my best!
I think I should start listening to Woman's Hour again - I used to but other things got in the way. Good luck to you both with the challenge!
I am also a great fan of Woman's Hour via podcast - I like Jenny Murray's way of keeping the interviewees on topic.
It's New Year here - so happy New Year and good luck to you all with the challenge - I am off the commence reading The Tin Flute- a 1947 prizewinner.
Just wanted to say that I absolutely adored The Little Friend- definitely one of my favorite books.
After watching the New Year celebrations in London on TV I started my first book of the challenge, A Crime in the Neighbourhood by Suzanne Berne.
Patricia, I agree Jenny Murray does her job very well.
#53 thanks for reco for The Little Friend
Happy New Year to everyone and Good Luck to you all in the Challenge.
I am starring each book as I start reading it and shall date each book finished.
That was quick Valerie! I was just dropping in to say that I have a spare copy of Iris Murdoch's Severed Head and noticed that you were reading it. Would you like it? If so please pm me your address and I will get it off to you.
Julie, thats very kind of you but I already have a copy of Severed Head but thank you for the thought. In fact I already have all the books for my challenge.
You are very welcome Valerie!
Did A Crime in The Neighbourhood feature in the Orange long list? How did you rate your first book I wonder.
ETA - silly me, just looked up the book and found out the answer - sorry! BTW - I had a little look at your 999 tagged books in your library and also found the answer to my other question!! Your organisation is very impressive.
Julie, According to my list A Crime in the Neighborhood won the Orange Prize in 1999. I thought it was very good and rated it 4 stars.
Talking about silly, I just answered your question, then I saw your edit! Senile moment! LOL!
2. Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman - an interesting read about a young Jewish girl's search for identity after emigrating from Poland to Canada.
Now, that you've read it, did you find the first 2/3's much better than the last 1/3? I loved the first part taking place in Poland, so that positively colored the whole book for me.
Yes I have to agree Parts 1 and 2 were much more interesting than her philosophical musings in Part 3.
However, I was pleased that eventually she was able to assimilate her Polish and New World identities.
I haven't been on for a bit but I just wanted to say thanks for checking out the RGG book clubs. Feel free to lurk about for a bit, even if you don't want to post. =)
I must say that as I've been reading through people's categories and book list, I'm becoming interested in reading some of the Orange Prize books. It's an idea for whatever they come up with for the challenge in 2010.
Chrine, I have read several of the books on the Orange Prize lists and have not been disappointed so far.
3. Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk - I quite enjoyed this book about a day in the lives of a group of suburban women - a lot of what was said about being a wife and a mother was spot on.
4. Harbor by Lorraine Adams - an interesting read about Algerian imigrants, legal and illegal, living in Boston, USA.
Hello Valerie, just called in to say great progress and thnaks for your views and info on your books!
5. One of Ours by Willa Cather - loved this book about a young man growing up in Nebraska and going to France to fight in WWI. Recommended. Pulitzer winner category.
6. Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac - Good story about the residents of a undown boarding house, but I did not like any of the characters.
7. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - harrowing account of life in the trenches during WWI as told by Paul, a young German soldier. Shows the brutality and the futility of war.
8. Bruno's Dream by Iris Murdoch - story of Bruno, an old dying man and the lives of his carers and family. If you like Murdoch then you will enjoy this. I did.
You have read a couple of *big* books here. I am hoping to read All Quiet - it will be one from my parent's library but sadly I cannot put my hands on it at the moment. You are motoring through your books.
9. Nation and Novel by Patrick Parrinder - I would recommend this book which is an history of the 'English' novel from its roots to the present day. I enjoyed it very much and found it thought provoking as to the maning of 'Englishness'. One I shall definitely reread.
You are certainly zooming through some interesting books.
Nation and Novel has been added to my wishlist!
Fleur, I shall probably slow down a bit after January because I shall have other things to take up my time.
10. Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel - Enjoyed this story about Alison, a medium and her business partner, Colette. Amusing and entertaining dark comedy.
I couldn't make my mind up about Beyond Black when I read it. I was interested and intrigued at first but then I just lost interest towards the end. I think my expectations may have been too high as I've loved everything else I've read by Hilary Mantel.
That's funny because it was the opposite for me. Was not at all sure when I started but became more interested and about halfway through had to read on to find out what the outcome was going to be.
Interesting! It was a few years ago when I read it, but I seem to remember losing interest when the emphasis shifted to a different character, the assistant I think. I found her really difficult to understand.
It sounds like between the two of us, we loved it!
11. The Remedy by Michelle Lovric for my Crime Category. Enjoyable story about am actress (spy) and a purveyor of quack medicines taking place in Venice and London during the 18th Century. Murder, love and intrigue made for a good read.
12. Wild Swans by Jung Chang for my biography category. This was an absolutely riveting book to read. Not just the story of three generations of women but a story of a whole nation.
The suffering they endured is heart-rending. A must read for anyone interested in China.
I can only agree with you on your last two titles - you are building up an excellent list!
I have Wild Swans on my TBR shelf. I will try to read it for my memoir category this year. I've picked it up before and then the size of it has put me off!
Bruce and I rather liked Wild Swans and have recomended it to other people. I think it is the only book that I have read about China.
Wild Swans is definitely worth the effort. It really opened my eyes to China's troubled history. You're setting a cracking reading pace!
I am a fast reader, but I do try to take more time now to fully appreciate the writing, and some books just can't be read quickly.
13. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende for Category 9 (Other books). As usual from Allende this is a great story set in Venezuela.
I've only read one from Allende - House of Spirits - but I absolutely loved it. She is one of those authors that I really want to read more of, but haven't actually done so yet.
15. The Leopard by Guiseppe di Lampedusa. Read this for a group read and it is v. good. Set in Sicily, it tells the story of the Lampedusa family during the reunification of Italy.
Can you cast any light on who the six women novelists were miss rose?! With only one copy on LibraryThing I fear it may be be little use adding it to my wishlist!
Fleur. It would be a pleasure. Didn't have time when I posted before.
The six women novelists are:
Flora Macdonald Mayor
Dorothy L. Sayers
Williams discusses the literary achievements of each one and how they coped in a post-Victorian society with its changing attitudes towards women.
Thank you. That's an interesting selection and I am definitely intrigued now!
Fleur I found it very interesting and will definitely be rereading bits when I encounter these authors in the future.
16. Old Filth by Jane Gardam. I put all my other reading aside to finish this novel. It's the story of a Raj orphan from his birth in Malaya to his old age in England. Lots of interesting characters, a mystery about his childhood, and his mermories make this a most engrossing book. Recommended.
17. Disobedience by Naomi Alderman. This was an interesting story about a young woman who rebelled against her Orthodox Jewish upbringing. On her father's (a much respected rabbi) death she returns to London from New York to attend his funeral.
She reassesses the decisions she has made about her life.
19. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. First time I have read the book although I have watched the DVD many times. Loved it.
20. Keepers of the House by Lisa St Aubin de Teran. Decline of a family and its fortune in a valley in Venezuela.
21. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Wow! Now I see what all those good comments and recommendations were about. An astounding novel about the Biafran War from the viewpoint of the Ibo people. This one will stay in my thoughts for some time.
Half of a Yellow Sun is an amazing book, isn't it? It really got under my skin too.
Hello Soupdragon. Yes and although I was very aware of the starvation taking place in Biafra at the time I had not realized the part taken by the US, Britain and Russia in support of Nigeria.
22. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch. Her first published novel and one of my favourites.
Ooh, I've been wanting to read some Iris Murdoch but I don't really know where to start. Advice?
All her books can be read individually, or you could read them chronologically. Whatever you decide I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.
23. Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman. Quite good but I could have done without the Angel.
24. Body Snatcher by Juan Carlos Onetti. It took me a while to get used to the different narrators within this novel. At first I thought I would give up on it, but I persevered and soon became intrigued by the story and needed to know what the outcome was going to be. Set in a town in Uruguay, Larsen (Body Snatcher) eventually sets up a bordello nearby which is frowned on by some of the citizens and the church. Meanwhile, recently widowed Juilita, who may be mad, has an affair with the seventeen year old Jorge, her brother-in-law. A difficult read, but glad I read it.
I shall read the sequel to this book next. It is called The Shipyard, ('Allegorical, reflecting the decay and breakdown of Uruguyan society and modern urban life' - from back cover).
25. An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum.
I found this book containing the diary and letters of a young Jewish woman in Holland during the holocaust very moving, especially her letters to her friends.
I have heard great things about that book. It's definitely on my wishlist!
26. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo. I was charmed by this book. The way in which people from another culture see us I found very interesting and enlightening. Good storyline too.
Thanks for your comments soffitta. I shall look out for more of Guo's books.
I enjoyed A Concise Chinese-English dictionary for Lovers very much and found Village of Stone to be an affecting read.
I was less keen on 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth. This is her first novel and while she has a distinct voice it's all a bit meandering and lacking in something! She's seems to have developed with each new book though... which bodes well for the one that's just come out- UFO in her Eyes.
Thanks for visiting soupdragon. I shall put Village of Stone on my books to get list.
I'm excited about the good recs for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, as I have it on my tbr list!!
27, What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin. Was not too sure when I first started reading this because of her frequent use of Indian words I did not know. I am glad I did not give up. This is an amazing story, told from a Sikh point of view, of the collapse of the British Raj and India's struggle for independence after WWII, and the formation of East and West Pakistan. There is a good mix of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh characters. The main characters being Satya and Roop, the two wives of a Sikh who is enamoured of the English way of living. His view gradually changes as India becomes an independent state, abandoned by Britain after partition.
There are many levels to this book, not only a history of India but also the position of women in a patriarchical society. Highly recommended.
28. Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie. Anglophiles and anglophobes abound in this witty novel about Americans visiting the UK. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very amusing bunch of characters.
29. A Sin of Colour by Sunetra Gupta. A story of three generations, their loves and losses, and the family home 'Mandalay' in Calcutta.
London and New York are also featured in this novel. Enjoyed this and would like to read more by this author.
Aaack! Now I have yet another book - Foreign Affairs - to add to my wishlist. LT is deadly! I'm an American who lived in England for a couple of years, so I'm sure I would get the humor from both sides.
Yes I am sure that as you have lived here in England this book will tickle your fancy. It is very humorous.
Oops! Got me funny bone mixed up in that last sentence.
30. A Fairly Honourable Defeat by Iris Murdoch. A very enjoyable story from one of my favourite authors about good and evil and the consequences of keeping secrets from those we love.
31. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Thoroughly enjoyed this book set in South America, about a group of people who are taken hostage while attending a birthday party. The house is under seige by the government forces and a Swiss Red Cross worker mediates between them and the kidnappers. The story of what goes on in the house over the next few months and how the people inside relate to each other is fascinating and full of suspense. Recommended.
Glad you liked Bel Canto. I read it last year and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
This was my first book by Ann Patchett. I will keep my eyes open for more by her but I have so many on my tbr planet that I am having to curb my enthusiasm a little bit.
32. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. I have wanted to read this book for years but have just got round to doing so. I am so glad that I have. Although 661 pages I flew through this autobiography of her life from 1900 to 1925. Her experiences at Oxford University and as an auxillary nurse during WWI and her subsequent re-entry to university life were a pleasure to read. Her story is both heart-rending and inspiring. I am now looking forward to her Testament of Friendship and Testament of Experience.
33. Writing for Their Lives by Gillian Hanscombe. An interesting analysis of modernist women writers, 1910-1940. Includes much biographical material and how these women struggled to have their work produced, published and accepted. They formed a network supporting each other in New York, London and Paris. Their avant-garde lifestyle mirrored their avant-garde writing. I found this book very informative and I shall at some stage in the future study their work in more depth.
This sounds a fascinating book around a subject I have been pondering recently as a number of my reads have fallen into that period. Couldn't help noticing that you have snagged A Fine of Two Hundred Francs by Elsa Triolet. She will fall into that category as well. I have also recently read a Dorothy Canfield - an American who also wrote at the time of which you are speaking. Just off to explore more of the Gillian Hanscombe book.
So I picked up a copy of Foreign Affairs from bookmooch, and it's copyright 1984. I had to laugh because the picture on the cover of a man and a woman is reminiscent of a Harlequin romance. Not exactly the way you picture a cover for a Pulitzer Prize winning book. At least I won't look pretentious reading it! :-)
Well, you know that old adage 'you can't judge a book by its cover'. Is the cover illustration of a man in raincoat passing by a lighted window through which can be seen a lady reading a book. If so then mine is the same. I rather like it - could be the colours used!
34. The Observations by Jane Harris. A debut novel which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. A very entertaining novel set in Scotland during the nineteenth century. Bessie, fifteen years old, fleeing from Glasgow and her mother who has coerced her into a life of prostitution becomes the maid of Arabella Reid. Arabella is writing a book called 'The Observations' which is about the lives of female servants. Each of Bessie's predecessors have kept a diary of their activities, thoughts and feelings for Arabella to use and Bessie does the same. The main story is told by Bessie who is an engaging character, although her language can be a bit colourful. The plot and characters are well drawn. Although the ending is not what I expected I enjoyed reading this modern take on the Victorian novel.
#143 - No, mine has a man and woman (looking a bit middle-aged) embracing with a lamppost behind them and Big Ben/Parliament off in the distance. The couple is off to the right of the book, which is what reminds me so much of the Harlequin romance. There is, however, no ample bosom on display, so that's good!
Not very appropriate - Big Ben is in London and the story is set in Scotland. I agree displayed bosoms we can do without!
35. Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. I enjoyed this amazing story of Una who became the wife of Captain Ahab. I particularly liked the part when she lived in the lighthouse, and the way she incorporated historical characters into the story.
Although I have seen the film Moby Dick I have not read that book. Shame on me!
And how did you find the Wolves - I read it last year. Did you hear it serialised on Women's Hour I wonder?
The Tenderness of Wolves is on my TBR for this challenge. What did you think of it?
I'm curious about this book. I didn't take to it and dropped it quickly, but I've heard a lot of good reports and so I'm wondering if I should try again.
The Tenderness of Wolves was slow going. I see she has written and directed movies. While I was reading this I thought it would make a good movie, and I think that is the way she has written it. Does not make for a great read, although I thought the plot was good and some of the characters were interesting.
37. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. I very much enjoyed the story about the 19th century Norwegians living isolated and lonely lives. The desolate imagery of the islands was very good. Like some others who have read this I found it harder to relate to the modern day people on the boat. Apart from that I enjoyed this novel.
I've read other Anita Shreve books, but I put The Weight of Water down. It didn't grab me right away, and even for her it was depressing. Have you read any of her other books? I liked Wedding in December and The Pilot's Wife and just got Testimony this past Christmas, although I have yet to read it.
I also enjoyed The Weight of Water. Shreve managed to protray such melancholy, I couldn't help but be affected by it. (I quite liked the movie too)
#155. I have one other book by Anita Shreve - Resistance
which I have not read yet.
#156. Have not seen the movie. Do you know if it is available on DVD?
I'm so glad when my "starred" threaders have read books I've already read (e.g., Ahab's Wife, The Weight of Water) or are not that excited about the book (The Tenderness of Wolves) because my "Books to Look at" list is getting waaaay too long! ;-) What did you think about Hoffman's book, Lost in Translation? I really enjoyed reading about her life in Poland and then in Canada, but not so interested once she was in college.
Bonnie. I enjoyed Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman, especially about her life in Poland and the changes she encountered when she moved to Canada.
Bonnie, I enjoyed Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation.
I enjoyed all of it, especially the first part about her life in Poland. It must be very difficult for anyone starting a new life in a strange country particularly when the language is different.
38. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. This seemed to take forever to read which was not just due to its 555 pages. Although the plot was quite good I could not relate to or like any of the characters except little Harriet. I put the book down many times through sheer boredom. Other parts made me think 'well, its not so bad' and so I struggled on to the end. The pace picked up in the final chapers but the ending was a let down.
39. The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh. Enjoyed this muder mystery apart from the graphic details of homosexual sex which I could have done without.
39. The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh. Enjoyed this muder mystery apart from the graphic details of homosexual sex which I could have done without.
41. Fault Lines by Nancy Huston. Liked the way the story was told over the four generations of children, although I had to remember sometimes that it was a child speaking, not an adult. Before reading this book I did not know that this had happened to children and to the horrifying extent that it did.
#41 - Yikes! I have Fault Lines high on my TBR list. I don't know much about it, and now I really don't know what to expect. Horrifying and children is not a combination I'm a fan of, but you've really got me interested now!
The book itself is not an horiffic read. What I meant is the fact that so many children were snatched from their homes in Eastern Europe to be adopted by Nazi families.
42. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was very funny but the hilarity of the situation was interspersed with the tragic events which happened in the Ukraine under Stalin's regime. A very good read.
It was very funny but the hilarity of the situation was interspersed with the tragic events which happened in the Ukraine under Stalin's regime.
I've read reviews of A Short History of Tractors... before, but never felt that tempted to put it on my list of books to look at. Funny how one sentence can make that much difference, but yours did--on it goes!
43. Homestead by Rosina Lippi. Quite enjoyable but a bit confusing sorting out the family connections.
#172 Bonnie I hope my words prove to have been worth your reading this book.
44. Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy. Enjoyed this more than the previous book I read. Its about a Catholic family and filled with lies and deceit, and love, mainly for good reasons, which are revealed to the family eventually.
46. The Zigzag Way by Anita Desai. A delightful story about a young man who travels to Mexico to find out more about his Cornish grandfather's life in the tin mines there.
47. Keeping Up with Magda by Isla Dewar. Very funny and poignant at the same time. Enjoyed this story very much.
48. Dot in the Universe by Lucy Ellman
49. The House Gun by Nadine Gordimer
50. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
51.Beloved by Toni Morrison
52. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
53. Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy
54. Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
55. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
56. The Colour by Rose Tremain
57. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
VictoriaPl - I enjoyed Five Quarters of the Orange very much. It was a darker story than Chocolat about collaborators in France during the war.
bonniebooks - The Colour - another enjoyable book by Rose Tremain. My favourites from my June reading were The Colour, Five Quarters of the Orange and Beloved.
59. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. This is one of my all time favourite stories.
60. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I was thoroughly absorbed by this heart-rending story of Celie and Nettie, two sisters who were separated by circumstances. Highly recommended.
You're reading some real classics. Have you seen the movies based on the last three books?
62. The Bell by Iris Murdoch. Read this years ago and enjoyed it even more second time around.
64. An Accidental Man by Iris Murdoch. I thought this was one of her best. Three more to go in this category.
65. The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch. I found the first half of the book a bit laborious, but the remainder made up for that.
66. The Italian Girl by Iris Murdoch. A quick and easy read this time.
67. The Sacred and Profane Love Machine by Iris Murdoch. Another good novel by this author. Only two categories to complete now.
Missed posting four books along the way. Will add them here.
68. Women and Fiction by Patricia Stubbs
69. History of Love by Nicole Krauss
70. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
71. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
10 more to go: 5 in category 2 - Biography etc.
and 5 in category 3 - Literary criticism etc.
Should finish by end of September.
Wow, you are really powerhousing through this challenge! I'm impressed - I still have 26 books to go!
ladyc, Thanks for your comments. I am retired so I have plenty of time to read. Just as well because I have over 500 on my tbr pile, and I keep adding to it, because of recommendations by LT members! I'm sure you'll get through your challenge too.
Yes, that TBR pile, the mountain that can only grow and never shrink despite our best endeavors.
I loved The History of Love. The voice of the main character, and the character himself, was so captivating. What did you think of him?
bonnie - I agree with you. Liked this book a lot and gave it 4 stars.
Less than ten books to go - how exciting! I'm not too far behind you.
74. 800 Years of Women's Letters by Olga Kenyon. An interesting and absorbing anthology of letters written by women, from the 12th to 20th Centuries.
75. Virginia Woolf: A Biography 1882-1912 v.1 by Quentin Bell. Very good.
I like the thought of being able to read the letters of women from so long ago. Thanks for bringing the collection to my attention.
76. Virginia Woolf: A Biography 1912-1941 v.2 by Quentin Bell. Recommended for anyone interested in the life and works of Virginia Woolf.
Only 5 more books to go - all by Virginia Woolf - essays.
77. The Common Reader 1 by Virginia Woolf. Spent a very pleasant Sunday reading these essays.
78. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. Very good. Especially liked the Judith Shakespeare bit.
79. The Common Reader 2. Another great collection of essays by Woolf.
80. Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf. VW reasons why she should or not give a guinea to each of three requests: one for world peace; one for female education; and one to open the professions to women. It was very interesting to follow her thoughts through to their conclusions. Not an easy read but worth the effort.
81. The Death of the Moth and Other Essays by Virginia Woolf. Excellent.
CHALLENGE COMPLETED. HOORAY.
Congratulations! And you did it reading a very challenging collection of books! Enjoy your freedom to read randomly.
Thank you all. I can now read whatever I like. Want to catch up on my global reading so have started Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges which is quite challenging so I think I shall read something lighter in tandem, maybe some chick-lit.
Good luck to all of you still doing the challenge. I shall lurk.
Wow, what an impressive list of books you've read this year. And to read all those Virginia Woolfs in a row . . . I adore VW, but I need a breather after even one of her works. Well done!
Thanks Nickelini. I really enjoyed reading VW's essays.
I shall probably have a re-read in a year or two. I liked most of the books I have read for this challenge. Looking forward to 1010 - I will be reading some less challenging books e.g Wodehouse and Agatha Christie.
er60 - Congratulations!! an impressive achievement to finish your challenge!!
Yaaaay! A lot of terrific books in your categories too! Happy continued reading!
Thanks bonnie. My reading for the rest of this year can be found on my 100 book challenge thread.
Would you post on the "I completed the challenge" thread, so your impressive list will be included there?
Very impressive, englishrose! Which books read for this challenge that have really stuck in your mind? What are your gems of the 81?
I have read so many good books this year that I can not choose a favourite but I did particularly enjoy the biography category and the works or Woolf and Vera Brittain.
Congratulations! I'm so impressed that you did it before 9/9. I will undoubtedly still be working on it until the last possible moment of 2009!
Woo hoo for you! Great list of books, and you gave me some ideas too! See you over at 1010 next year.
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