Leuntje's reading in 2010
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In 2008 and 2009 I posted in the 50 books challenge, but now, I don't want to worry about numbers anymore. I just want to read; as many or as few books that come along in 2010.
The threads of 2008 and 2009 can be found here:
The first book I read this year was a re-read. I'm writing a paper on this book.
1. The castle of crossed destinies - Calvino
I liked the concept of the book: travellers are under a curse, so that they can't speak. By pointing out images on tarot cards they tell their stories. The narrator translates for us, readers, the images into stories. But we can also construct our own stories with the same images, because the images are printed in the novel.
However, after the first three stories I got the idea. After that, the other stories got annoying. Also the narrator worked on my nerves: he was over-interpretating.
2. Sexing the cherry - J. Winterson
A woman, a giant - or not?- lives in the 17th century in Londen - or not?. She lives with her adoptive son Jordan. Fantasies and memories about the 17th century are mixed with those of the 20th century. This novel is like sexing a cherry: putting a tree upon another tree.
Funny, witty and stories like fairy tales.
I like this kind of novels.
3. Dr. Zhivago - Pasternak
I thought this was a romance, but it wasn't really. It's a novel about the Russian history and its influence on the characters in the novel. How do they survive? It's also about their thoughts on life, poetry and family.
Difficult to keep track with all the Russian names, as in any Russian novel.
4. Disgrace - Coetzee
The first book in a very long time that kept me from sleeping. (Because I wanted to read it instead of sleeping.)
A professor gets fired because he's slept with a student. He goes to see his daughter on a farm in South-Africa. There stands something between them, a curtain he calls it himself, that makes them not understand each other. The difference in age makes that they've different norms according to which they interact with others, black and white.
>4 Leuntje: That's why the book has an invaluable list of the names at the beginning! :-)
Avaland: Yes, I know. But not all names are mentioned there and most of the times I'm too lazy too search for a nickname in the long list of patronymics, surnames, first names and nick names.
6. The book thief - Zusak
A book that will stay for a long time with me. The narration absorbed me and made me feel sad.
7. Our ancestors - Calvino
Three novels in one book. Fantastic elements in a historical setting.
8. Montaillou - Le Roy Ladurie
Research about a small French village in the 14th century. The inhabitants of this village are searching for the right religion: catholicism of catharism? Further, Le Roy Ladurie shows us how the people lived there. What did they life for; what did they do for a living; how were the relationships between the different groups in the village etc. ?
Science of history at its best.
i spent a week in the Languedoc region last summer and was intrigued by the story of the Cathars, especially after visiting Carcassone. i've been in the lookout since for a good book on the subject. Montaillou seems to be it.
10. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo. The abridged version.
In the abridged version only the events are told. The endless critique on the miserable circumstances in Paris isn't there. This was an ok introduction to the real novel.
11. Oeroeg - Hella Haasse
A friendship between a Dutch and an Indonesion boy is doomed.
Wow! The friction between the Dutch boy and the Indonesian one is so beautifully written down; it's beneath the skin.
13. The monk - Lewis
Very funny and actual book (think about the scandals with German catholic priests).
14. The kreuzersonata - Tolstoy
A passenger in a train tells about his marriage.
18. Sonny Boy - Annejet van der Zijl
A love history of a Surinam man and a Dutch woman. Just as they've found their luck, the Second World War breaks out. They hide Jews and get caught.
20. Sleuteloog - Hella Haasse
Dutch novel about a woman's youth in Indonesia.
25. Nights at the circus - Carter
I loved the use of language in the novel.
28. The hours - Cunningham
One of the greatest novel I've read this year.
36. Sublieme historische ervaring - Ankersmit
Re-read to understand it better and make it sink in.
37. Godenslaap - Erwin Mortier
Poetic narrative of a woman thinking of her youth during the First World War.
40. The nation's cause - Elisabeth Marsland
About poetry and the First World War.
44. De koperen tuin - Vestdijk
Was a bit disappointed by the novel. Mainly because I didn't get the stuff about classical music.
64. De zonderlinge geschiedenis van Dr. Jekyll en Mr. Hyde - Stevenson
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