2010 reading plan...so far

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2010

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2010 reading plan...so far

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Edited: Dec 30, 2010, 3:01am

The bulk of my reading at the moment are the classics and theology/spirituality:

1. Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
2. Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne
3. The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
4. The Call by Os Guinness
5. Døden, sorgen, håbet by Flemming Kofod-Svendsen
6. The Fishermen by Hans Kirk
7. Persuasion by Jane Austen
8. How to read Proverbs by Trember Longman

09. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
10. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan
11. The Life and Diary of David Brainerd
12. Letters to Children by C. S. Lewis.

13. Day by Elie Wiesel

14. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
15. Prayer by Philip Yancey
16. Bleak House by Charles Dickins
17. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
18. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
19. Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief by Roger Lundin

20. The Double by Dostoevsky.
21. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
22. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster.
23. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
24. Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse.
25. Playing for Pizza by John Grisham.
26. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling.
27. The Story of a Soul by Saint Therese of Lisieux.

28. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
29. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
30. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
31. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
32. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
33. The Poet by Michael Connelly
34. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
35. The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren
36. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
37. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

38. The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein
39. Emma by Jane Austen
40. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
41. Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis

42. The Princess and Curdie by George Macdonald
43. Kidnapped by R. L. Stevenson

Mar 19, 2010, 6:12am

Welcome to the group! It looks like you have already read some good books this year.

I will be curious to see what you think of the David Brainerd book you are currently reading.

Mar 19, 2010, 6:49am

I'm almost finished with David Brainerds journal - I read a biography years ago about his life as a missionary among the indians which impressed me. But reading his journal gives you an insight into his spiritual struggles.

He suffered from a deep depression and a bad health - the way he (and I guess other puritans in that period of history) expressed their faith is so strange and peculiar to me. His total commitment but also deep emotional heights and lows and excessive introspection. I don't know quite what to make of it.

well, it's good sometimes to go directly to the source - and read the journals of people in history.

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

Mar 19, 2010, 7:07am

#3: I knew about his bad health - he was pretty young when he died - but I did not realize that he suffered from depression.

I agree with you about going directly to the source.

Mar 19, 2010, 12:53pm


Edited: Mar 21, 2010, 5:32am

Book 1: January

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

Listened to this as an audiobook. Narrated by David Horowitch. Very well read. I liked the style of writing - almost regretting I didn't have the book in my hand to underline certain ironic or beautiful passages. It is very subtle, the observations into the human soul, it's thoughts, aspirations, hopes and fears. Almost like a thriller of the soul.


Mar 21, 2010, 5:31am

Book 2: January

Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne.

These meditations and prayers of John Donne are a difficult read - but worth the effort - most of us try to deny the reality of death by almost any means - here is a man struggling to accept death - struggling to find peace while life is slipping away - drawing out important spiritual lessons in the midst of suffering.


Book 3: January

The Great Divorce (Den store Skilsmisse) by C. S. Lewis.

Read this book in danish. Few can stir the imagination as C. S. Lewis. Here he is at his best drawing for us images of heaven and hell to ponder upon.


Book 4: January

The Call by Os Guinness.

I found this book very uneven and unfocused - despite it's theme about a focused life. He tries to cover to much in his short chapters - I do not really like Guinness' style of writing.


Edited: Mar 21, 2010, 6:41am

Book 5: January

Døden, sorgen, håbet (Death, sorrow, hope) by Flemming Kofod-Svendsen. (There's a mistake adding this book from the Danish Royal Library - it has been mixed with a swedish crimi!!)

Kofod-Svendsen lost his son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren in the tsunami in Asia in 2004. In this book he reflects on his suffering. The God of the Bible is never far away in these writings of a priest and former danish politician. Kofod-Svendsen was an important voice in the danish media after the tsunami - as a well known person he stood forward and told about his bereavement and trust in God in a very personal and honest way.


Book 6: January

Fiskerne (The Fishermen) by Hans Kirk.

A danish classic written in 1928. A rather bleak and stern look into the lives of a little christian fishing community. Popular also because of a danish tv-series based on the novel. The fellowship of christians are strict in their views - considering so many things worldly - trying to withdraw for any worldly influence - a lot of them judgmental, yet sincere in their beliefs, narrowminded, yet faithfull to God - so many paradoxes.


Book 7: January

Persuasion by Jane Austen.

Listened to this audiobook narrated by Nadia May. The novel doesn't have the humor and wit of Pride and Prejudice - but I really like the heroine in Persuasion - this secluded soul with few kindred spirits - her bloom has gone, her emotions guarded, the future is bleak - and in steps Captain Wentworth.....the rest is history.


Book 8: January

How to read Proverbs by Trember Longman III.

The book of Proverbs in the Bible has always intrigued me. I think the author does a good job explaining how these many sayings and statements should be understood as wisdom literature in the Bible.


Edited: Mar 21, 2010, 8:14am

Book 9: March

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

Oh, boy, what a literary giant. What a writer, what a story. It was a long journey - and I liked the one Pierre took the most. The way Tolstoy describes his inner turmoil, attempts of finding peace and meaning - and the the grace of God that transform him. (That being said....Anna Karenina is still my favorite Tolstoy-novel)


Edited: Mar 21, 2010, 8:14am

Book 10: March

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan. (the version I read was an abridged danish version - I like the cover).

The author of Pilgrims Progress invites us into his own heart - his very disturbing struggle of faith - for many years he had symptoms of what we today would call OCD - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder - thoughts that almost drove him mad. Blasphemous thoughts. I was surprised reading this account of the violence of his inner turmoil. Yet, how determined he was to reach that state of resting in Gods grace. And he did. How different our individual experience of God.


Mar 21, 2010, 8:30am

You have done a lot of great reading this year!

Mar 21, 2010, 8:44am

Welcome to the group. :)

It's been years since I read Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners - I think I ought to re-read that one. I have The Great Divorce in my TBR pile: you've reminded me that I must read it soon.

And I agree with you about Donne's Devotions upon Emergent Occasions: very profound, and his prose is beautiful.

Mar 21, 2010, 10:13am

I'm skittering around threads and I found yours and am slowing down to say hello. I've just been thinking about Donne's poems lately, haven't read this, and so must find.

The Edith Wharton book I'm always pushing is Summer.


Mar 21, 2010, 10:40am

>12 catherinestead: CatyM - Hi - you consume a lot of books :) - made me want to ask you about of a lot of books but that'll come later - I was just looking at your list of current reading - and I saw John Donnes sermons....I have been thinking of buying John Donnes sermons lately. Curious to see your comment/review when you are finished.

Wasn't it John Donnes sermons that Helene Hanff read with pleasure? At least I think it was in the movie - haven't read her book :)

>13 sibylline: Lucy - hi there - I thought the Devotions would be a good introduction to Donne (plus reading about his life in Yanceys Soul Survivor made me want to read something by Donne. I haven't read his poems yet.

Mar 21, 2010, 12:17pm

#14 Now I shall have to get myself in gear and get on with the Donne sermons: despite the fact that my volume only has a small selection of his sermons, I have been neglecting them. I recall them being tough going but very worthwhile.

Helene Hanff definitely mentions Donne. I know there's a letter where she mentions dramatising some events from his life for TV, and working in 'no man is an island' because that's the only bit that her audience would recognise. I don't remember a reference to the sermons, but I expect you're right. :)

I started reading Donne through his poems: I discovered them through reading Dorothy L. Sayers, and I love them.

Mar 22, 2010, 12:14am

Helene Hanff wanted the complete works of Donne after someone had bought her a book that had the 'selected' works of William Blake and Donne in one volume.

Mar 22, 2010, 7:37am

Oh, yes, Stasia, you're right. If I can forget that, it's obviously time for me to re-read the book!

Mar 22, 2010, 7:47am

#17: The good news is that it is a quick read, Caty. I cannot tell you how many times I have read it now.

Mar 28, 2010, 2:12pm

Book 11: March

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

Quotes from Brainerds entries in 1742:

Sep 2: My soul seemed to launch quite into the eternal world and to be as it were separated from this lower world...
Sep. 4: Much out of health, exceedingly depressed in my soul, and at an awful distance from God…..
Sep. 7: Had some relish of divine things in the morning. Afterwards felt more barren and melancholy....
Sep. 10: Longed with intense desire after God; my whole soul seemed impatient to be conformed to Him...
Oct. 18: My life is a constant mixture of consolations and conflicts, and will be so till I arrive at the world of spirits....

One cannot help to be impressed by the intensity of emotions in David Brainerds spiritual journal. Here he writes down his communion with God - struggles with depression and a bad health - his longing for heaven - his sense of the vanity of the world. Later in the book there are fascinating accounts of his experiences preaching to the indians and revivals among some of the tribes.

This edition - edited by Jonathan Edwards - are however very, very detailed and it seems to drag on and on with almost the same entries for a long time. I got a little impatient at the end I must confess.

In the end I read this Diary with ambivalent feelings. Impressed with his devotional life - and yet where is his humor and wit - if he had some of that? It is soooooo serious all the time. Theres a time to cry and a time to laugh...He didn't seem to enjoy this world at all - the nature, poetry, music, literature or anything. Things that could have relieved his depressed soul. I felt sorry for him in the end. He seemed to lack an enjoyment and wonder of Gods creation. Yet - no doubt - God used this man to spread the the good news of the Gospel.

Mar 28, 2010, 2:20pm

The How to Read Proverbs book looks really interesting--I have put it on my wishlist. One of my favorite Bible verses is from Proverbs: "In the multitude of words, there wanteth not sin, but he that refraineth his lips is wise."

Mar 28, 2010, 3:05pm

True, true...then let me be brief :) Longmans book is short - yet he takes on some of the difficult aspects of proverbs - like in ch. 5: Are Proverbs always true? Interesting question!! By the way...can see, that you are reading Anna Karenina - enjoy it - it's one of my favorite books.

Mar 28, 2010, 3:17pm

I am enjoying Anna Karenina. I had started it a few years ago and put it down for some reason, and I picked it up again this year because of the 75-book challenge group read. Now I'm not sure what made me put it down the first time--it's so good!

Mar 28, 2010, 3:58pm

An interesting set of reading. I'm in the middle of War and Peace right now (just finished Book 9). I was reading The Age of Innocence a few months ago but lost my copy on the train and haven't gotten around to replacing it. At this point, I should probably just grab a copy from Gutenberg for the Kindle. The Great Divorce was an old favorite and Persuasion got read last year.

I'm marking this thread. ;-)

Mar 28, 2010, 5:31pm

just one question,and i hope I won't disturb anyone here...
when do you guys have so much time for reading?ain't you going to school or something...?
i don't mean being rude,just asking...

Mar 28, 2010, 6:57pm

>23 TadAD: TadAD - I know about loosing books while reading on a train - or an airplane!! Who's reading those forgotten books, I wonder?

I can see you read a lot of science fiction - I haven't read much in that genre - but I like Ender's Game and Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy but I guess that is in the light genre of sci-fi. I'm trying to find another book in that area of sci-fi....

Mar 28, 2010, 7:32pm

>24 wholiviapart: wholiviapart - no school for me anymore...I'm working...I guess if you love to read you will find time to read during the week. Reading in stead of watching tv all the time. Isn't it all about priorities?

Edited: Mar 29, 2010, 5:32am

Book 12: March

Letters to Children by C. S. Lewis.

Here are the beginning of the first letter in the book.

July 16th. 1944

My dear Sarah - Thank you very much for sending me the pictures of the Fairy King and Queen at tea (or is it breakfast?) in their palace and all the cats (what a lot of cats they have! And a separate table for them. How sensible!) I liked them very much. It must be nice for them (I mean the King and Queen) having so many currants in their cake. We don't get many now, do we? I am getting quite good friends with an old Rabbit who lives in the Wood at Magdalen College. I pick leaves off the trees for him because he can't reach up to the branches and he eats them out of my hand. One day he stood up on his hind legs and put his front paws against me, he was so greedy....

I was in need of some light reading last week - and this book had been on my shelf for several years - I picked it down and started to read - and there was a smile on my face. What a delightful reading, so funny, witty and also a sting in the heart a couple of times where C. S. Lewis explains to the children that his wife is very sick and that his busy visiting her in the hospital.

Some of the children wrote back again and again and you sense the beginning of a beautiful friendship between this old professor and the young Narnian-readers. Most of the letters is about the children's questions about the Narnia-books - Lewis explains the similarities and differences between Aslan and Christ - but Lewis also writes about other of his favorite books (he read Pride and Prejudice several times with pleasure) - about opera, the wet and cold english weather - about how he talks to the squirrels - and his constant praise of the childrens drawings, stories and poems and other things they send to him. Also some insightful literary critisism of one of the girls poems and stories - which seems to help her a lot.

I guess you have to be a Lewis-reader or at least a Narnian-reader to really appreciate these letters. So much of his personality shines through here. Reading about Lewis I find it interesting to know he spent so much time writing to different persons - also sending money to several of his readers to help them in their need. The book contains a brief account of Lewis and his brother Warnies childhood. Have decided to re-read the Lewis-book Letters to an American Lady which I enjoyed several years ago.

Mar 29, 2010, 5:33am

#27: I have never read that one by Lewis. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I will see if I can locate a copy.

Mar 29, 2010, 10:12am

>25 ctpress:: I can see you read a lot of science fiction

It's more "used to read a lot" of science fiction. I still pick up some occasionally, but it's a pretty small percentage of my reading now. Part of that is simply my tastes have broadened and part of it is that much less is being written right now that I think is much good.

Apr 26, 2010, 5:30am

Book 13: April

Day by Elie Wiesel

A strong - but very sad - ending of Wiesels trilogy (Night, Dawn, Day). A Holocaust-survivor reflects about his life as he is in the hospital trying to recover from a car-accident that nearly killed him. Three persons try to help him - a doctor, his fiance/lover/friend and a hungarian painter. And we get glimpses of his past experiences/memories/dreams. He reflects about life and death, the distant silent God, his inability to love, his desire to die, the emptiness of life - his soul died in the nazi-camps - is it at all possible for him to return to life and to love again? The question is a hard one, and by the end of the book there is mostly despair - the tears in the end...a lament? A turning point?

Apr 26, 2010, 5:31am

#30: The only one of the three I have read is Night. I really must read the other two.

Apr 26, 2010, 7:47pm

Oh wow, I had no idea there were two others! I've also only read Night, and recently. I will certainly need to get a hold of the others.

Edited: Apr 27, 2010, 3:29am

#31 and 32 - Dawn and Day is worth reading - but they are works of fiction - and are not as Night an autobiographical story. Which I didn't knew when I was reading Dawn - but I guess the two last in the trilogy depicts Wiesels state of mind after the Holocaust - and maybe also some of his own experiences. Both books are very short and the writing so sparse and weighted that you stop often and think over sentences and the prose.

Apr 27, 2010, 3:25am

My local library does not have either Dawn or Day so it may be a while before I can get hold of them unfortunately.

Edited: May 19, 2010, 5:27am

Book 14: May

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

"Read" this as an audiobook - very well read - however I was bored through most of the book. There's a lot of symbolism in it about a woman's emancipation. But there's no one to like in this short novel. At the time we reach the tragic ending, I really couldn't care less for this women who do not love her husband, her children, her father, her friends - but only herself.

Book 15: May

Prayer by Philip Yancey

As always Yancey is inspiring to read. He deals with all the questions, difficulties and doubts we have while directing out thoughts upwards. Refreshing that Yancey does not force an easy answer but is willing to live with the paradoxes and mysteries of faith. In Yancey I have a kindred spirit who is not a spiritual giant of prayer but a fellow strugglerer.

May 19, 2010, 3:52pm

You remind me that I have Yancey's What's So Amazing About Grace? here to read. I better get to it.

May 19, 2010, 5:58pm

Actually I'm reading What's So Amazing About Grace? at the moment. Based on the beginning of the book - yes, you better get to it :)

May 20, 2010, 2:01am

Now I just have to find where I put it!

May 20, 2010, 11:26pm

I really enjoy Yancey's writing, but I haven't read enough of it. Something to do in the future!

Edited: May 27, 2010, 6:23am

Book 16: May

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Another long Dickens-novel with a lot of characters and plots and twists - There are many wonderful scenes, both funny and suspenseful - and I liked the journey of the heroine Esther - and of course Ada and Richard and Caddy - and the tragic Lady Deadlock and Rosa and............well a lot more....My favorites are still David Copperfield and Great Expectations.

Book 17: May

Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

The mixture of christianity and political activism in USA is disturbing to me. I do not really know what to make of it.

I think most of the time the gospel in Claibornes book is reduced to a set of ethical and moral views - or political acitivity. Claibornes story is in many ways inspiring and challenging - but it is unfortunately mixed with his own unhelpful critique of mega-churches and middle class christians and his naive political message - throwing money on the streets on Wall Street? What is that all about?

Claiborne make little attempt to understand the ambiguity of modern political involvement. He clearly do not pay attention the difficulties of raising children while working full time and trying to meet ends in the working place, at home and in the church (it's so easy being single and free).

So the book is a frustrating read - both underlining wonderful passages and a making lot of question marks.

May 27, 2010, 6:25am

I read Bleak House last year and liked it, but Esther was a bit too much of a ninny for me.

I think I will skip the Claiborne book.

May 27, 2010, 6:50am

Esther is so self-effacing that she would be perfectly happy with either Jarndyce or Woodcourt.......

...and I have decided to drop Claibornes other book "Jesus for president" - don't think I would enjoy that one.

Edited: May 27, 2010, 6:56am

#42: Dropping the other Claiborne book sounds like a good decision to me. I do not think I would enjoy either of his books.

Edited for clarification.

Edited: May 29, 2010, 2:18pm

Book 18: Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Happy that someone at librarything recommended this book. After Jude the Obscure I was a little reluctant to continue with Hardy. But what a wonderful read. Hardys style of writing evokes quite a special feeling in me - he wants to take one outside in the english countryside and make it the background for all the action.

Now I'm reading Tess....

Book 19: Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief by Roger Lundin

Lundins fine scholarly biography focuses specially on Dickinsons faith - her struggles to come to terms with the God of the Bible. The book is a great help if one wants to get more "inside the head" of this great poet.

Quote: "If God the Father was often her foe, then God the Son was her trustworthy friend. The Trinitarian theological heritage of western Massachusetts provide her with significant resources for the nuanced complexity of God's character....The depth of Jesus' passion and the breadth of his empathy drew the poet of Amherst to this "man of sorrows".

May 29, 2010, 11:27pm

#44: Thanks for the recommendation of the Lundin book. The local college library has a copy of it, so I am hoping to be able to read it soon.

May 29, 2010, 11:33pm

You are reading some very interesting books. Emily Dickinson is one of my favorite poets.

I read Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne and didn't like it at all. I thought the author was too pompous and self serving (the same things he processes to hate about organized religion.)

Edited: Aug 4, 2010, 3:36am

Book 20: The Double by Dostoevsky.

This is one of Dostoevsky's shorter works of fiction - and I believe only his second book. I was gripped by the tale in the beginning, where Golyadkin begins to find out something is in deed very weird - that someone like him is trying to take over his life - but must confess it was very difficult to follow the increasing insanity of our tragic hero. A book that anticipates his greater work of fiction.

Book 21: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.

I really enjoyed listening to the stories of Mowgli - as a kid I only watched the Disney movie.

Aug 4, 2010, 5:00am

Book 22:Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster.

I loved Room With a View and Howards End. My expectations were high but the book did not come close to the other two masterpieces. In the midst of all the british prudishness it left me cold for some reason.

Book 23: The Practice of the Presence of God
by Brother Lawrence.

A very short devotional classic that reminds one of the importance of having God in your thoughts during your normal daily activities. That we have a tendency to break up our lives in sacred and secular activities - but God is a constant presence and should be recognised in everything we do - There is a lot to ponder upon in these concise reflections.

Aug 4, 2010, 12:34pm

#47: I will have to look for The Double. That one interests me. Thanks for the mention.

Edited: Aug 9, 2010, 12:06pm

Book 24: Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse.

This was my second Wodehouse - the first being a collection of his short stories. It is great fun and enjoyable to read. I guess this must be the beginning of the Jeeves-stories as he hires him in the first story. The first four-five stories were great, then I thought it was a bit of the same again and again with a friend in need of desperate help - and Wooster and Jeeves trying to sort things out.

I would have liked a little more variety in the stories - the best stories is when Wooster himself is getting into trouble.

Book 25: Playing for Pizza by John Grisham.

No lawyers in this novel - but a washed out football player who finds a second chance - in Italy. Not high drama or suspence but just a humorous, laid-back story about realizing what you truly love and care for. After reading it you want to go to Italy and taste parmesan, antipasti and chilled white wine. I'm happy I have followed american football a little bit - because there's a lot of technical stuff I wouldn't know about as an european - we play real football, you know....Translate: Soccer.

Edited: Aug 9, 2010, 1:01pm

Book 26: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J. K. Rowling.

I'm back reading Harry Potter again. I don't know why I stopped after book 2 a few years ago. It's so much fun. My plan is to read all seven before the last movie hit the theatre. I'm in a hurry.

Book 27: The Story of a Soul
by Saint Therese of Lisieux

This autobiography by Saint Therese of Lisieux is worth reading if you want an honest insight to the life in a very strict monastery - this nun tells her story from the funny memories of childhood where her dream of becoming a nun is already formed - to her youth where she is so determined in her pursuit of this call that nothing can stop her - not even the pope :) - well it is a hard life with many dissapointments where she is struggling all the time with her emotions and feelings of envy or lack of love for her fellow sisters - she is very hard on herself - too hard.

On every page shines her deep devotion and piety - so focused on doing the will of God.

As a protestant I have problems with the hole idea of seclusion in a monastery - the giving up of things which in my view is only detrimental to ones spirituality. Silence, not being able to speak to eachother - and all the self-inflicting rules she tries to impose on herself. There's an unhealthy element to this calling that I just cannot understand.

But it is a strong and honest autobiography of a very determined little woman.

Aug 9, 2010, 6:17pm

You have had some nice recent reads. Congratulations to making it 1/3 of the way through the challenge!

Aug 10, 2010, 3:24pm

Yes, I was thinking about that. One third - but only five month left....well, the Challenge has made me read a lot this year so it has been for the good.

But 75? Then I must choose smaller works than a 700 page long Harry Potter book, which I'm delving into right now (Goblet of Fire)!!

Aug 10, 2010, 5:45pm

The Story of a Soul has been lurking somewhere in the depths of my computer for a couple of years, ever since I downloaded it from Project Gutenberg. Thank you for reminding me that I ought to get round to reading it. (And for reminding me that I ought to get back to The Double, which I wandered away from a few months ago.)

The Practice of the Presence of God and Carry On, Jeeves are favourites of mine: I'm glad you enjoyed them. I agree with you that Wodehouse can be very more-of-the-same-again sometimes: I find that I can't read lots of his short stories back to back, but individually I love them.

Aug 10, 2010, 11:26pm

#53: We are pretty much unconcerned about the numbers around here, so do not worry about the 75 over much. Just enjoy the group (and the reads.)

Aug 12, 2010, 4:54am

#54 - Yes, you are right. It's best to enjoy the Wodehouse stories separately. I did the mistake of reading through four or five of them in one day - but they are best digested one by one in between reading other things. It's definitely not my last Wodehouse.

#55 - Good - I have already dropped reaching the 75 - it was a long shot to begin with.....but maybe if I brake a leg or otherwise are confined to my bed the next three months there is a slight possibility :) Wel, I enjoy the group and the way it keeps me on my reading-toes!

Aug 12, 2010, 12:27pm

Hi, ctpress!
I happened upon your thread today and wanted to pop in to say how much I enjoyed reading it. You have read many terrific books, and I love your reviews of them.

Aug 12, 2010, 2:06pm

# 57 - Thank you, billiejean. I've been reading your thread just now and see that it's almost time to congratulate you on reaching the 75!!!

I see you read sci-fi and fantasy and that's an area I want to explore more. Perhaps Dune will be my next one - or The Once and Future King which looks interesting too.

Aug 12, 2010, 3:33pm

I have been trying to read more sci-fi and fantasy because that is what my girls mainly read. I especially love to read the classics. Both Dune and The Once and Future King are terrific reads. I hope you like them if you read them. Right now I am reading Middlemarch by George Eliot and Red and Black by Stendhal. I have had the Stendhal book hanging around for about 25 years!!! So it is time to read it.

Edited: Sep 16, 2010, 10:27am

Book 28: The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

Heard this as an audiobook. A very dark tale, but with a dry sense of humor - at least in the beginning of the novel. Then it descends into madness and terror. One would think that invisibility gives you the upper hand in many situations - however here we have a frightened, freezing and vulnerable man who cannot get shelter, food and sleep. And then he gets very angry!!

I like the way Wells presents the novel from different points of view. We are drawn into the tale by guessing who this strange man is - and then The Invisible Man steps unto the scene and tell his own story. How he experience everything. Then you get more sympathy for the guy.

Book 29: Tess of the d'Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy

Poor Tess. I'm ready for the tragedy. I know it's coming. After all it's Thomas Hardy and he doesn't repeat Far From Madding Crow. Yet, with what force you experience Tess' downfall. So many sins committed against her - and no wonder she doesn't want to have anything to do with God after being presented with such a distorted view of Christianity. From the strict hypocritical father of Angel, Alec's insincere conversion - and Angel himself with his judgmental attitude.

"Justice was done, and the President of the Immortals had ended his sport with Tess…”

Sep 16, 2010, 2:36pm

Two books that I have been wanting to read. Thanks for the terrific reviews! :)

Sep 16, 2010, 6:03pm

Thank you, BJ. And congrats on reaching the 75 - ending with a Carré - quite a treat.

I'll get there - someday, some year, somehow :)

Sep 17, 2010, 1:57am

You have chosen a great selection of books to read and that is the most important thing, I think. :)

I have a John le Carre book around the house that I might read sometime soon. It is another reread, but I love those old spy books. I haven't read them in a long time, either. I never did finish Red and Black. I need to devote some time to it, so that I will be immersed in the story. I am still pretty close to the beginning.

Edited: Sep 29, 2010, 6:48pm

Book 30: Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

This book has a solid place in the history of literature. I was entertained but not very engaged emotionally in the fate of the characters - and one should be when it is so long and epic a tale. It is a very clever plot with some nice surprises in the end - but also absurd with its many coincidences - it reads more like a farce or satire - and feels like a stage play (reminded me of some of the stories by Chaucer). Fielding comments and elaborates on the story and the characters all the time - and it gets a little annoying after a while - just tell the story!!

What can one say about Tom Jones? A heart of gold - yet so easily tempted by women. Heroic and courageous - yet so unstable. I liked Mr. Allworthy - and also Sophia - her concluding remarks on Jones' character really says it all.

Sep 29, 2010, 10:59pm

#64: One of the classics I have never managed to get around to reading! One of these days I will.

Edited: Sep 30, 2010, 6:52am

Book 31: Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

My first Verne - and what an entertaining and humorous action-adventure-tale. OK, Jules Verne does not flesh out the characters so well - they are stereotypes - and the different cultures he describes are not very nuanced. But I can overlook that, because he's such a good storyteller. Here we have it all. A damsel in distress, gunfight on a train and several other events and accidents that try to slow down the punctual Phileas Fogg.

I knew the surprise-ending - but enjoyed it anyway.

Book 32: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

The fourth Harry Potter is the best one I've read in the series. A lot of things going on here. The plot thickens and the pace is very good despite it's length. And there are plenty of laughs as well.

Book 33: The Poet by Michael Connelly

I do not read many books in this genre, but must admit it took me by surprise. Jack McEvoy, a journalist based in Denver, tries to find out more about his twin brothers suicide, the brother is a cop - and it leads him to a FBI investigation and a serial killer - the villain is creepy and intelligent and a memorable character. The conflict between McEvoy and the FBI-investigation (of course a female agent and love interest) is very funny.

There are also some very nice twists and turns to round it up.

Sep 30, 2010, 6:54am

#65 - It had been on my shelve for many years. Finally I took it down - as I plan to read more from that period - Clarissa, Pamela, Waverley etc.

Sep 30, 2010, 7:05am

#66: I enjoy both Jules Verne - I love his Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - and Michael Connelly, especially his Harry Bosch series.

Sep 30, 2010, 7:15am

#68: This is definitely not my last Verne - and I want to read more of Michael Connelly. I have to look into the Harry Bosch series.

Sep 30, 2010, 8:16am

>66 ctpress:: Around the World is probably my favorite Verne. I have a beautiful edition given to me by a girlfriend during college days and have read it over and over. It's one of the few books where I loved the movie almost as much—of course, I'm a Niven fan, so no surprise.

I've read three or four others and would agree with Stasia that Twenty Thousand Leagues is great. I have Five Weeks in a Balloon sitting on the pile awaiting me getting to it.

Oh well, nothing of significance to say...just dropping by to say hello.

Sep 30, 2010, 11:59am

# 70 - Well, hello, nice of you to drop by. My next Verne will be Journey to the Centre of the Earth as I have already. I look forward to Twenty Thousand Leagues...

When I read a good classic I love to "reread" it as a movie :) I'll check the Niven-version. Yeah, he IS a great actor.

Edited: Oct 3, 2010, 11:19am

Book 34: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

This visionary and imaginative story held me in suspense from page one. A gloomy and dystopian view of the future. Forget 1984 or 2000-whatever. Here we are in the future with a capital F. In the year 802,700 - and later in the novel in the words of Buzz Lightyear: To infinity and beyond.

I kept thinking of the teletubbies when The Time Traveller described the upper-class Elois. I had a hard time imagining the Morlocks - but creepy creatures they were no doubt.

I liked the way he slowly discovers the horrifying truth. That the happy-care-free-dreamlike existence with no work, no illness is not what it seems. I was reminded of the soma in Brave New World.

Book 35: The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren

A wonderful story of brotherly love and self-sacrifice, by swedish children-story-author Astrid Lindgren - it has all the elements of a fantasy, with a dark evil lord, a heroic people who stands against the dictator, a dragon, a dungeon, a traitor.

It can be disturbing for some children as the novel opens with the death of two boys - that end up in this heavenlike land Nangiyala. So there's a lot of questions the children might ask about heaven here!!!!

I'm not so sure about the ending. In a way I like it as it holds on to the christian idea of heaven (at least in some part, I think) - but it's also a disturbing and somehow unsatisfying ending....

Edited: Oct 3, 2010, 6:25pm

Book 36: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Audiobook - wery well read - interesting to listen to Black Beautys reflections as he is sold to different owners that treat him sometimes good, sometimes very horrible. There's some really good moral lessons on how to connect to horses. And a humorous defense on resting on the Lords Day - Sunday :)

Book 37: Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Here we are presented with the russian people - and russian temperament - in all its variety. All the different people our main character visits and presents his remarkable idea. To buy dead souls. We are left to guess what's going on here. I liked the beginning of the tale - but the revelation in the end and it's conclusion is not very surprising or rewarding. Not a book I will read again.

Oct 4, 2010, 12:51am

It has been a long time since I read Dead Souls. I need to read it again just to refresh my memory!

Nov 19, 2010, 1:39pm

Book 38: The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

My first Heinlein. I thought it was an odd tale in the beginning but slowly it got better and better - always with a dry sense of humour. The ending was perfect. Want to read more of him. Any suggestions?

Book 39: Emma by Jane Austen

This was a reread - because I wanted it fresh in my mind before I saw the new BBC adaptation of the book. I liked the book better this second time. And I liked the BBC-adaptation very much. More of the conversations from the book finds its way into the the tv-series and there is time to develop many of the characters that have been almost left out in the movie-adaptations. (Emma played by Romola Garai).

Nov 19, 2010, 11:47pm

I am going to be reading Austen's six major novels next year. I cannot wait to get started! I will also have to check out the BBC adaptations. Thanks for the mention.

Nov 20, 2010, 1:08am

#76 - I have read two Austen this year and was thinking about the same thing - reading the rest next year. I always love to make reading plans - although they seldom are completed entirely :)

Nov 20, 2010, 1:09am

#77: I always love to make reading plans - although they seldom are completed entirely

That sounds like a very familiar problem to me!

Nov 20, 2010, 8:13am

Re: The Brothers Lionheart: I didn't realize Astrid Lindgren wrote anything other than the Pippi books. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one.

Edited: Nov 23, 2010, 12:10pm

#79 - yes she wrote a lot of children stories - perhaps not so many have been translated into english. But the next Lindgren I'm going to read has - Ronia, the Robber's Daughter.

Edited: Nov 23, 2010, 4:25pm

Book 40: Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Very entertaining fantasy. The crazy professor, his young frightened assistant and a taciturn Icelander. The three embark on a suicide mission with very little preparation. I like the way Verne sets off: Pack your bags, we are going to the center of the earth tomorrow. No, nonsense adventure.

Book 41: Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis

The first book in Lewis' sci-fi trilogy. It starts out very promising - but after he lands on Mars - the pace slows down and Ransom have long conversations with the inhabitans on Mars - Lewis seems more interested in the allegory than in concentrating on the story itself. I don't know if I should continue the trilogy or stop here.

Nov 23, 2010, 2:26pm

#81: I enjoy the Verne books. I am glad to see you enjoyed that one!

I would say that if you did not particularly care for the first book in the Lewis trilogy, you are unlikely to like the others. I do like the series, but it is not for everyone.

Nov 23, 2010, 4:28pm

# 82 - Yeah, I was afraid of that answer. I'll give it a rest, maybe return to Lewis' sci-fi another time.

Nov 23, 2010, 4:45pm

Probably a wise idea. Who knows? When you come back to the books after an interval, you might enjoy them more.

Dec 5, 2010, 8:25am

I really loved The Brothers Lionheart but my favourite Astrid Lindgren as a child was All About the Bullerby Children, actually originally published in the UK English translations as 3 books, 2 in the US with a different title. I've lost my original copy and paid about £12 for a replacement.... sigh.

Dec 24, 2010, 4:55am

# 85 - I haven't read All Abouth the Bullerby Children, although I have seen the movie version. Thanks for mentioning it. I will read more Lindgren next year.

Dec 24, 2010, 5:10am

Carsten, the new group for 2011 is up and running. I do hope you will join us again: http://www.librarything.com/groups/75booksin20111

Dec 24, 2010, 5:23am

Sure. I'm looking forward to it. I have enjoyed this group very much - and have already made a list of books I want to read in 2011. Looks to be a promising new year - bookwise... :)

Dec 24, 2010, 5:32am

I am glad you will be back!

Edited: Dec 24, 2010, 5:37am

Hi there - just popping into 75 in 2010 challenge threads that I haven't visited yet. I plan on reading more classic fiction for my 2011 challenge and seeing some interesting books in your thread.

Re #75/book 38 - I enjoyed Heinlein's short story collection The Menace from Earth and I'm not usually one for short stories.

This also made me think of the classic sci fi short story The Star by Arthur C. Clarke - It is sort of festive. Merry Christmas, Kirsty

Dec 24, 2010, 6:02am

# 90 - Thanks for the suggestions. I have plans for reading some more sci-fi next year, but don't know which to choose. I like Heinleins humour so I will look them up.

Merry Christmas.

Dec 30, 2010, 2:57am

Book 42: The Princess and Curdie by George Macdonald

I enjoyed George Macdonalds fairy tale The Princess and the Goblin - this is the follow up - it's darker, less fun, more allegorical - Macdonalds prose is very beautiful and his stories are always filled with good moral insights and wisdom. But the story was not as strong as the "Goblin".

Book 43: Kidnapped by R. L. Stevenson

I enjoy Robert Louis Stevensen a lot. This one is a good adventure story - however it's not up there with Treasure Island - but still worth reading - I'm planning to read the follow up Catriona in 2011.

Dec 30, 2010, 8:29am

#92: I have one of MacDonald's books marked to read in 2011, At the Back of the North Wind. Have you read that one, Carsten?

Dec 30, 2010, 9:54am

My parents used to read those old George MacDonald books out loud to my brother and I during 'family reading time' after dinner. I have very fond memories of them, even though I don't really recall what happens in either of the stories. I'd love to re-read them sometime.

Dec 30, 2010, 10:13am

# 93 - No, but it's going to be my next Macdonald. That and The Lost Princess are two "Macdonalds" I hope to read in 2011.

Dec 30, 2010, 11:14pm

#95: You will probably be getting to it before I do then. I will be interested in seeing what you think of it.

Jan 3, 2011, 6:56pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jan 3, 2011, 7:26pm

Here's my thread for 75 book challenge for 2011