What we're reading

Karen, Rita, Ku and Prem occasionally muse on books they have just read

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Lists of books

Read, Might Read, Won't Read

I'm a sucker for lists and found these on someone's blog. I've sorted them to make the list fit me, rather than me fit the list. So I deleted almost all the ones I hadn't read and sorted others into lists, adding books I felt were missing from the original list!

Thoroughly enjoyed (no particular order and for a variety of reasons)
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials series - Philip Pullman
The Life of Pi-Yann Martel
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien (before the movies!!)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Narnia series C.S. Lewis - don't know how many times I've read this
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Dune (the whole series - Frank Herbert
Dragon series - Anne McCaffrey
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
A Fine Balance, Family Matters - Rohinton Mistry
Jazz, - Toni Morrison
The reader - Bernand Shlink
The Shipping News - E. Annie Proulx
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
A Wizard of Earthsea series - Ursula K. LeGuin
The Dark is Rising series - Susan Cooper
Little Women series - Louisa May Alcott
Mother tongue - Bill Bryson - nice dip-into book
The Stone Diaries, Larry's Party, Unless - Carol Shields
Ann Patchett
Possession - A.S. Byatt

There are so many more to put in here - often the names blur, unless I see them to jolt my memory. Should go and look on my bookshelf, but haven't...

Never finished
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Accordion Crimes - E. Annie Proulx
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyesvki

Books/movies/TV
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--Douglas Adams - don't think I've read it but enjoyed the TV series and the more recent movie

Ho-hum/yawn
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake
A prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving - He is random, in my opinion. Most recently was Widow for a year - again OK.
Must read again sometime (dim dark reading in the past)
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Brighton Rock - Graham Greene - definitely need to revisit Graham Greene
Continuum from OK - Good
All the Harry Potter books - J. K. Rowling - and yes I will read the next one and see the movie
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
On Beauty, White Teeth - Zadie Smith
The Moor's Last Sigh - Salman Rushdie
Small Island - Andrea Levy
Disgrace - JM Coetzee
Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Mistress of Spices - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Taft Ann Patchett
Must get round to reading
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Schriver
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Time Traveller's Wife

This has been our latest bookclub read, and probably doesn't measure up to some of the books that we've read over the years in terms of quality.

However, I really enjoyed the underlying love story, and found the time travel mechanism worked for me. I have talked to several people who felt that it was terribly confusing - and I did have to concentrate fiercely on the ages given for Henry and Clare at the beginning of each chapter. I thought the two voices worked successfully and that the aging process also worked, given that there was lots of jumping to and fro - maybe it was so confused that I didn't notice particularly! Friendships set up, especially Henry's friends, were quite real. Clare's less so. Alba's embraces time travelling because she has Henry (and herself) to support her and teach her about it, whereas Henry fears it more.

Nicely worked out plot overall, although I thought the final visit of Henry to Clare (aged 81) was a bit hohum. However, I liked the final denouement in terms of how Henry finally dies - vivid and distressing! I also liked the situation of the novel in NOW time, but the fact that it went back twenty-thirty years probably made it work well for middle age readers...like me!

Great read - found it difficult to put down. And it came along just when I was thinking that I would like a book that I wanted to read in one sitting rather than digest slowly.