1001 Books to read before you die: Bekka's progress

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1001 Books to read before you die: Bekka's progress

1BekkaJo
Out 9, 2017, 2:51am

New thread - new 400?

I'm not going to recap all the books I've read to date because quite frankly none of us had the time (too much left to read!). So here's a quick breakdown by period - of and I'm going off a combo of all versions of the list. 1305 books here I come!

pre 1700 - 7/27 (26% of age range read)
1700-1799 - 28/48 (58% of age range read)
1800-1899 - 86/187 (46% of age range read)
1900-1999 - 253/923 (27% of age range read)
2000+ - 26/120 (22% of age range read)

2BekkaJo
Out 16, 2017, 3:00am

#401 Amok - Stefan Zweig

Very short 1,001 (60 pages). The copy I finally found hadn't been out of the library (it was in reserve stock) since 1993.

Beautifully written - and deeply disturbing. There is a proper cascade to it - it really does 'run amuck', from a slow start escalating to the climax within few pages. Thumbs up for craftsmanship.

3BekkaJo
Out 20, 2017, 8:37am

I've got to stop reading the really short ones...

#402 A Sentimental Journey - Sterne

Better than Tristram Shandy. But then pretty much everything is better than Shandy. Parts of this I thought were rather good and, unless I was mistaken, some excellent double-entendres. Felt like it needed a good edit though.

#403 The House on the Borderland - Hodgson

Another that could do with an edit. Interesting little horror narrative - but the interminable time passing/end of the world section. Sheesh!

4BekkaJo
Nov 7, 2017, 7:08am

#404 The Devil to Pay in the Backlands - Joao Guimaraes Rosa

A 1,001 that I have had on the go for a very long time. I’ve been dipping in on and off for ages and always enjoyed it – just found I kept putting it down, found it hard to give large amounts of time to.

But the last 200 pages or so I’ve read in a big rush, a wonderful, often confusing deluge.

The story is a narration of the life of Riobaldo who becomes a jagunco in the Brazilian sertao. There are so many factors to this for me, but one of the main themes to me is love – and I can say little more without spoilers. One of my favourite lines from the novel is;
'I speak with twisted words. I narrate my life, which I did not understand'

These ones are good too;

'When you sleep, you turn into all kinds of things: you become stone, you become flowers.'

'Sad is the life of a jagungo, you will say. It makes me laugh. Don’t tell me that. Because of a false idea, we get the notion that ‘Life” is a continuous something. Each day is a day by itself'

There are lots of good lines! Only problem with this one is it is really hard to get hold of.

5BekkaJo
Nov 13, 2017, 3:40am

#405 The Wonderful O - James Thurber

A short children's 1001 that I had to order from the US to get hold of. Definitely something wonderful about it.

6BekkaJo
Nov 27, 2017, 10:08am

#406 Some Experiences of an Irish R.M - Somerville

Amusing stories. Laugh out loud in places. But not really 1,001 worthy imo.

7BekkaJo
Dez 5, 2017, 8:52am

#407 The Drunkard - Zola

Holy moley. I'm never drinking again...

8BekkaJo
Dez 18, 2017, 10:29am

#408 Aithiopika – Heliodorus

Slightly wearing tale of two much thwarted lovers and their trials and tribulations. Some great patches, some swathes of not great. And a whole bunch of slightly similar names that sometimes confused me.

9annamorphic
Dez 19, 2017, 9:58am

>4 BekkaJo: catching up with your thread and so glad that somebody else has now read The Devil to Pay in the Backlands. I read it for our group challenge and loved it although indeed it is quite confusing, especially at the beginning!

10BekkaJo
Dez 19, 2017, 10:04am

I remember you finishing it - when I was still in the first third... it's taken me till now to finish! So glad I did though, it is wonderful.

11BekkaJo
Dez 28, 2017, 11:23am

#408 Things fall apart - Chinua Achebe

Wonderfully written 1,001 - language and story both stunning.

12BekkaJo
Jan 7, 2018, 1:56pm

#409 London Fields - Martin Amis

Finally finished this. Took me ages as I kept dipping in a little at a time. Which, in retrospect, is not how to read this. I ended up reading the last 200 pages or so over the last few days - and boy it speeds up towards the end. As you work towards the murder (not a spoiler, this starts by introducing the murderer and murderee) it intentionally ramps up.

So don't do what I did and try and read the end of it whilst sitting on a step on the kitchen floor and making dinner.

Interesting reading this along with Democracy - they both feature a narrator who is part of the narrative, who interacts with the characters. Very different books though! The one is set in the late 90s in a dirty underbelly London and follows the movements towards the murder of Nicola Six, the other set in early to mid 70s in Honolulu and Vietnam (amongst other places), dealing with parts of the life of Inez Victor, touching on love, loss and family, against a background of the end of the Vietnam war.

#410 Democracy - Joan Didion

See above!

I had only read one Didion before this and really didn't like it. This, however was a different story. I thoroughly enjoyed this - it had moments of complete beauty. One particular line stays with me, as Inez flies south and into the oncoming dawn - that this is what she hopes death is like, dawn all the way.

Very glad I read this.

13BekkaJo
Jan 12, 2018, 5:38am

#411 The Last World - Christoph Ransmayr

Finished it, finally, several months after the Group Read...

This is a strange, unsettling novel. It is set in an inconsistent time period and tells the story of Cotta, who travels to a town called Tomi to search for the poet Naso (Ovid), who had settled there in exile from Rome.

The characters in Tomi are linked to characters of the same name from Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Not for everyone - I found it a real struggle at times. Over sections are vivid and surreal, sometimes with a nightmarish quality to them. His language is startling and evocative - so I'm still not sure why this didn't hold my attention more.

14BekkaJo
Jan 16, 2018, 3:58am

#412 In the forest - Edna O'Brien

Excellently written, vivid and chilling. The narrative is written from multiple view points, dealing with a young Irish man who has been in institutions from a young age and who returns to Ireland from a recent stint in prison. Nastiness ensues. It's a nature v nurture, Catholicism v well, everything else, sort of book.

Turns out it was based upon some real events, which makes it doubley creepy.

15Yells
Jan 16, 2018, 10:51am

Yup! Chilling, creepy and all the rest. Reading this one led me to read more of her stuff.

16BekkaJo
Jan 22, 2018, 3:12am

>15 Yells: I do have August is a wicked month lined up - last one of hers on the list I have left to read, though I'll probably finish off the Country Girls trilogy at some point.

17BekkaJo
Jan 22, 2018, 3:13am

#413 The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum - Heinrich Boll (1,001)

Excellent little novel. Starting and ending with the murder of a journalist by Katherina, it is wonderfully written, crisp clean and yet compelling. It plays with elements of a police transcript but it is no way cold.

I got this out of my library reserve stock, so I'm going back in today to return it and to tell them they need to get a copy back in main circulation.

18BekkaJo
Jan 30, 2018, 7:58am

#414 The Last of the Mohicans - Cooper (1,001)

Finally! Honestly I nearly lost it half way through this - such a slow go in the middle section. And the first section. And most of the last section.

The ending shocked me though - having got to my advanced years (stop guffawing) and not seen the film etc. Genuinely miffed by it.

That didn't really make sense - at some point I'll spend the time learning how to do the spoilery hidden thing.

Either way, it was a 1,001 that I'm very glad to have finished and be done with.

19Henrik_Madsen
Jan 30, 2018, 2:45pm

>18 BekkaJo: I read the Illustrated Classic version when I was a kid and loved it. Maybe thirty comic book pages is exactly what the story needs?

20BekkaJo
Jan 31, 2018, 2:30am

Anything would have helped :)

21lilisin
Editado: Jan 31, 2018, 2:35am

>18 BekkaJo:

And this is why I'll never read the book and instead just continue to love the movie. Such a beautiful film with a gorgeous soundtrack.

22BekkaJo
Fev 3, 2018, 8:58am

>21 lilisin: I think I ruined the film for myself. I just don't want to watch it now!

#415 Adam Bede - Eliot

What can I say - I loved it. Started slow but a reasonable enough read. Then one chapter in the middle which was just interminable. Then increasing in pace and emotion and just... wonderful.

Of all the characters, I do feel so sorry for Seth. Poor dude - he's a better man than I would have been in the same situation, always second and the 'lesser'. As a younger sibling I'm possibly feeling that one a bit more than intended.

23BekkaJo
Fev 8, 2018, 1:34pm

#416 Embers - Sandor Marai

Now the beginning of this grabbed me and I loved it, something wonderful about the writing. The tale of an old general who receives a visit from a long estranged friend. But... I sort of lost it after the first third. The bulk of the novel is the old general talking - and, whilst the language is still wonderful, he paled on me after a while. That said, well worth a read - a beautiful exploration of love and human nature.

24Yells
Fev 8, 2018, 5:49pm

Embers got a rare 4 1/2 stars from me. I absolutely loved it (and can't really think of why I held back a 1/2 star).

25BekkaJo
Fev 9, 2018, 4:17am

I think it was more of a 3 1/2 for me - Really struggled through the second half. Still maintain it's worth a read though :)

#417 Pierre and Jean - Guy de Maupassant

Delicately written short novel about two brothers and the breakdown of their relationship - the breakdown speeding up as the younger brother receives a surprise inheritance. For a short novel it deals exceedingly well with really big issues - jealousy, wealth and position, family - and a couple of others that I can't note without spoilers.

26ellascott
Fev 9, 2018, 4:25am

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27frahealee
Editado: Fev 9, 2018, 2:22pm

>18 BekkaJo: Mind if I rock the boat? My experience with The Last of the Mohicans was different from those noted above. Firstly, I have seen the film and read the book. Borrowed a dvd from my local library and liked it well enough to read the book (free Kobo download). It did not take me very long to get through it, and I'm not sure if that is due to the movie, or because of my love of setting. People and plot always line up behind place, the geography is a priority, which made the book appealing. I know that's not normal, or should not even be admitted, but you'll forgive me when I explain that I worked in the Tourism industry for over a decade, before starting my family. I gave up my passport years ago, since the landscape of Canada will take me a lifetime to explore. Also, I view a book like a stage, it must have the props in place before the characters step out to begin the story.

Back to the book. I preferred the book to the movie, because the movie changed the ending. The critical moment with Wes Studi's character is not the same as in the book. This ruined the movie for me in that respect, but the cinematography left me wide-eyed and panting.

I respect everyone's opinion here, concerning The Last of The Mohicans (1992), the book and the movie, but was inspired to lend my two cents worth. I didn't realize it was on the 1001 list until reading this. Good to know. It's there for a reason. Also, it takes place not far from my home, which maybe makes it more personal. Or perhaps I just liked seeing our short story queen, Alice Munro, noted as a character. =)

28BekkaJo
Fev 9, 2018, 2:22pm

>27 frahealee: All cents welcome! I know my views aren't everyone's (thankfully!) - and I do think that the one thing I take from the book is the sense of place. I'd love to one day visit some of his locations - it was more the characters and his style that I fell out with.

But honestly, never worry about book related opinion - I struggled with this novel but can understand why people appreciate it.

29frahealee
Editado: Fev 9, 2018, 2:50pm

>28 BekkaJo: Thank you for that. I did struggle with the historical fiction aspect. Dates just aren't my thing, but I do like learning as I go. Since reading Mohicans, I picked up the dvd for Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (2007) which rips at your guts, but had also just read Into the Heart of the Country which was nominated for a CanLit 2011 Giller prize. It also deals with injustices with a fierce description of the land and of the events that erupt on it. This is what makes history appealing to me, otherwise I couldn't bear it. To peel back the layers on the Indigenous community and absorb as much as possible, cannot be a bad thing. I think it's more than just a phase for me.

Your book list on this thread is fascinating. I am learning a lot !

30BekkaJo
Fev 9, 2018, 2:36pm

>29 frahealee: I'm glad :) There are a lot of the 1,001 list that I've struggled with - or disliked. A couple I've downright hated (Tarka the otter stays with me in a bad way) but a lot of them have been wonderful revelations - things I wouldn't have picked up normally which I have found a wonderful surprise.

My favourites are the ones I start off hating and end up loving - Love in the time of cholera for example. I struggled through the first half, left it for a while then adored it when I finished it.

31BekkaJo
Fev 20, 2018, 6:05am

#418 Fools of Fortune - William Trevor (1,001) (IAC)

Intriguing and beautifully crafted. Still left with a note of confusion and intrigue - and not entirely sure about the last section and whether it was real or not.

32BekkaJo
Mar 5, 2018, 3:49am

#419 Therese Racquin - Zola
My second Zola - and I really do enjoy his writing. Unremittingly bleak and condemning of the human condition, but so well done. Moral of the story? Don't kill!

33BekkaJo
Mar 12, 2018, 4:19am

#420 Fantomas - Alain & Souvestre

Well that was a great detective novel - really entertaining read, loved watching how it all slotted together. Very much of the Sherlock/Poirot style.

34BekkaJo
Mar 26, 2018, 2:58am

#421 Cause for Alarm - Eric Ambler

See this is why I like challenges - and the 1001 in particular. I would never have read this otherwise. A spy-ish novel set before the second world war, written in a simple style to which you find yourself drawn in before you realise. Thoroughly enjoyed it and may have to dig some more Ambler out of my libraries reserve stock, where they all seem to have been sent.

35BekkaJo
Abr 10, 2018, 7:55am

#422 Seize the Day - Saul Bellow

Awfully good, traumatic and upsetting, watching the break down of the main character and that eternal search for the root of it all.

36BekkaJo
Abr 11, 2018, 3:01am

#423 The Temptation of St.Anthony - Flaubert

Well that is a weird weird book! Sort of psychotropic hallucination freakishness.

37BekkaJo
Abr 17, 2018, 8:47am

#424 The Secret Agent - Conrad (1,001)

I'm not a great Conrad fan. Or I haven't been. That said he is starting to grow on me. Maybe...

The first half of this I found a trudge. The last sixth or so was quite good. I'm going round in circles and making no effort to précis and/or explain.

38BekkaJo
Maio 8, 2018, 11:11am

#425 Aaron's Rod - D.H Lawrence (1,001)

Some wonderful phrases, some interesting ideas, some interminable swathes of discussion and a long description of the statue of David in Florence in which he uses the word 'white' about 20 times.

I'm on the fence.

39BekkaJo
Maio 11, 2018, 8:37am

#426 The Idiot - Dostoevsky

I pretty much always enjoy classic Russian literature and this was no exception. Well, baring a few interminably long sections... Hippolyte's dream sequence for example felt like it took an eternity.

40BekkaJo
Editado: Jun 4, 2018, 9:04am

#427 Murder must advertise - Sayers

Fun murder mystery but not sure why it's on the 1,001 list...

#428 Murphy - Beckett

Finally finished this off - it took me an awfully long time considering it's only 200 pages long. I think I ended up rather enjoying the second half but I'm not entirely sure...

41BekkaJo
Jun 6, 2018, 10:26am

#429 The Underdogs - Azuela

A short novel showing the effect of the Mexican revolution on a group of men (and I guess women as they are pulled in) who, almost by accident, become embroiled into the fighting. It traces the effect on the men and the way they slowly sink.

Interesting, in some places lyrical, but not really a patch on Devil to pay in the backlands when it comes to the sertao.

42BekkaJo
Editado: Jun 11, 2018, 2:33am

Just had to remove that as the book wasn't a 1,001 - it's on the Guardian 1000 list. D'oh!

43BekkaJo
Jun 13, 2018, 3:24am

#430 The Gathering - Annie Enright

I don't feel it lived up to it's promise in the end. There is definitely something to it - but the last quarter for me goes a bit woolly.

I did, however, find some of it genuinely affecting. Family relationships, marital relationships - all of them are difficult.

I also enjoyed the discourse on memory, about how memory of seeing things happen to others become part of your own memories and you can end up believing it happened to you.

44BekkaJo
Jun 20, 2018, 9:31am

#431 Shirley - Charlotte Bronte (1,001)

Slow slow start to this novel - but I ended up loving it. The characters finally clicked with me about halfway through.

45BekkaJo
Jun 21, 2018, 6:52am

#432 In a Glass Darkly - Le Fanu

Five gothic stories - really enjoyed these.

46BekkaJo
Jul 22, 2018, 12:46pm

#433 The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Barbery

Loved it. Traumatised by the end though.

#434 The Siege of Krishnapur - Farrell

Finally finished this off! It's a slow burn to say the least. Only really got into it in the last third which I really enjoyed.

47BekkaJo
Editado: Ago 28, 2018, 2:52am

Poop = another one that wasn't an 1,001...

48BekkaJo
Out 10, 2018, 8:01am

#435 Gosta Berling's Saga

Long - good in places

49BekkaJo
Out 15, 2018, 3:33am

#436Saturday night and Sunday Morning - Sillitoe

Enjoyed his writing, found the characters both intriguing and repulsive. Still not sure about the protagonists final choice - i.e does he or doesn't he!

50BekkaJo
Dez 19, 2018, 3:04am

#437 The Devil's Pool - George Sand (1,001)

Short 1,001. I liked this tbh - apart from the prologue and epilogue which I could have easily done without... Not sure it should be on the 1,001 list though.

#438 Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell (1,001)

I don't read a lot of crime novels. But I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

51BekkaJo
Dez 19, 2018, 3:05am

Well I'm not going to make it to 450 this year which I had hoped to do. Darn.

Might make 440 if I get a move on.

52BekkaJo
Editado: Jan 8, 2019, 5:50am

Happy new Year all!

#439 The Home and the world - Tagore

Lyrical and terrifying. Wonderful in places but I liked two of the narrative voices much more than the third.

#440 The Temple of my familiar - Alice Walker

This is amazing. I mean, I got lost a few times with the interweaving characters. And some sections I preferred to others. But the interconnections, the power of her writing, the power of her characters...wonderful.

53BekkaJo
Fev 12, 2019, 1:20pm

#441 We Yevgeny Zamyatin

One of the inspirations for 1984 and well worth a read. Honestly - it's really good. I mean, if you like dystopian future novels etc. Fab imagery too.

And made amusing to me because we are currently struggling with a government overhaul, and have been re-branded as OneGov. This book is governed by OneState. Made me chuckle. Albeit a bit bitterly...

#442 Hallucinating Foucault - Patricia Duncker

Loved this. I think it was the tactile nature of it. Feeling the heat, the paranoia, the textures of it all.

55BekkaJo
Set 20, 2019, 3:08am

Haven't updated for a while! Unfortunately very few 1,001s to update :(

#445 Seasons of Migration to the North - Salih

Beautifully written and deeply disturbing.

#446 The ragged trousered philanthropists

Often painfully funny - far too on point, and still very relevant today.

#447 Tender is the night

#448 A Kestrel for a Knave

Obviously I'd heard about the book - but I did not know about it past the boy and his bird - I did not see the ending coming!

#449 Shikasta - Lessing

Well, finally! Overall I'm afraid that was an interminable slog.

#450 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Wonderful, loved it. Put me off wine for a bit though (okay so it didn't but it should have done).

56BekkaJo
Out 13, 2019, 1:11pm

#451 Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto

#452 The Dumas Club - Arturo Perez-Reverte

57BekkaJo
Out 28, 2019, 10:32am

#453 Black Box - Amos Oz

58BekkaJo
Dez 6, 2019, 2:42am

#454 The Story of O Pauline Reage

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. *shudder*

#455 A Prayer for Owen Meany - Irving

FINALLY! This has been on my TBR for over ten years. I know the first line by heart (because it appears on my e-reader under the title on my TBR list). It's one of my remaining BBC 100 books. And was it worth it?

A hundred pages ago I would have said no. But in the end? Yes I think it was. It might not be the most enjoyable thing I've ever read, but it will definitely stay with me.

59Helenliz
Dez 7, 2019, 7:37am

>58 BekkaJo: I read The Story of O and wished I hadn't. That was one book I could easily have died without reading.

I borrowed it from the library, which had several copies, all of which seemed to be in the prison library and were found to be unfit to lend. Just to add to the yuck level...

60BekkaJo
Dez 9, 2019, 2:36am

*shudder*

That is telling isn't it!! I still have my copy (thankfully only a 10p copy). But I don't know what to do with it! It may be the second book in my life that I throw in the bin because I don't think anyone else should have to read it...

61JayneCM
Dez 10, 2019, 12:40am

>59 Helenliz: >60 BekkaJo: Sounds like I will be leaving this one until last! I only just managed to make myself read Lolita this year but The Story of O doesn't sound like it has any redeeming qualities. At least Lolita had beautiful writing.

62Yells
Dez 11, 2019, 7:29pm

The Story of O was awful and yup, nothing redeeming in there. Blood and Guts in High School was another truly awful book. I actually chucked both out after reading and I never do that.

As disturbing as Lolita was, the writing was beautiful and I found myself loving it (and then hating that I loved it). You have to be a fantastic author to make people love that subject matter.

63BekkaJo
Dez 12, 2019, 11:43am

Agreed - Lolita was at least redeeming in it's writing and the disturbing realism of the characters. O...nope.

Not looking forward to Blood and Guts now! At least I've finished all the Marquis de Sade stuff.

64Helenliz
Dez 12, 2019, 4:39pm

>62 Yells: that's it to me, it leaves you with mixed feelings; you admire it but feel you shouldn't be enjoying it. Anyone who can tie a person up in knots like that with just words on a page can write with a capital R.

65puckers
Dez 12, 2019, 5:25pm

I gave Lolita 4.5 stars purely because I couldn't give five stars based on the subject matter; Blood and Guts in High School I gave one star to and can't remember what that was for! I have The Story of O coming up soon - the cringe-worthy 1970s cover is enough to make me think it will be an unproductive read.

66Yells
Dez 12, 2019, 7:51pm

>65 puckers: Lolita got a 4-star (for much the same reason - amazing book, horrible subject), Blood and Guts in High School got 1/2 star because that was the lowest I could give. The Story of O got a 2-star because even though I hated it, it actually had a storyline and I could sort of see why it was controversial enough to make the list.

>63 BekkaJo: I just have Justine left but I'm in no hurry. His stuff just seems to be a laundry list of the most horrible things that people can do to each other.

67BekkaJo
Dez 19, 2019, 2:41am

>66 Yells: Justine at least has more story line than 100 days - which definitely falls into that category.

#456 No one writes to the Colonel - Marquez

His writing is excellent as always - but I always struggle with the short story format. I just get into a story and then feel cheated when it finishes.

#457 Euphues: the anatomy of wit - Lyly

I was incredibly happy when I suddenly finished this - not realising that there were two volumes in my ebook. Which tells you how much I enjoyed this...

68BekkaJo
Jan 6, 2020, 9:11am

#458 Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott

A classic. Well, yes. And knights and chivalry and all the sort of things I rather like. But phew I found this one dull!

Not looking forward to Rob Roy which is lined up for March!

69BekkaJo
Jan 18, 2020, 4:41am

#459 Red Harvest - Hammett

Bloody and sometimes a little confusing, ultimately entertaining.

70BekkaJo
Jan 26, 2020, 4:51am

#460 Pepita Jiminez - Valera

Odd little romance - moral of which is beware of pride. At least that's the moral I took. Not really sure why it's a 1,001 tbh.

#461 Sexing the Cherry - Winterson

Not what I had expected - reading the ebook I had no blurb to guide me. But I do enjoy a bit of magical realism.

71BekkaJo
Fev 24, 2020, 8:00am

#462 Adjunct: An undigest - Peter Manson

I actually had to nick the blurb to explain this one...

Seven years in accretion, Adjunct: an Undigest is a linguistic autobiography, a compost of found and appropriated language stirred by a random number generator, a source-book of the contemporary avant-garde, an extended fart joke, a book of the dead.

My favourite quote... Never fellate a platypus.

#463 The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas - Stein

Okay so it grew on me a bit by the end. But only a bit. I didn't like the style, didn't like the barely existent persona, didn't like the conceit of writing your own partners autobiography. Felt like a long long namedropping exercise.

Okay, no. No, I really disliked it.

72BekkaJo
Editado: Jul 14, 2020, 1:05pm

#464 Ragtime - Doctorow

Rather good, I thought.

#465 Time's Arrow - Martin Amis

Well. That's messed up my head. No idea why this pushed itself to the fore of my reading, but it did. The reverse life of a man, told from the first person of another man, linked into his mind. Disturbing and painful, humorous and filthy. And a couple of seriously mind wrenching lines. Oh, and, dim as I am - and not having read any blurb, I somehow managed to not see where this was going. I can be really dumb at times.

#466 Kafka on the Shore - Murakami

Well I enjoyed it. I love Murakami's writing, his twists, his complete side steps into lord knows where and what. Definitely some themes and descriptions which are not for everyone. And I'm still not 100% sure that I got what it was all about. Who am I kidding? I'm not sure I even 50% got what it was all about.

#467 The Rings of Saturn - Sebald

That took me a very long time. And I don't get it. I just don't

#468 Invisible Cities - Calvino

Okay I didn't really get this one either. So I ended up just letting the amazing language and imagery wash over me.

#469 Blood and Guts in high school - Acker
I powered through the end of this because I needed it off my reader. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

I think that sado-masochistic child abuse/sexual abuse, sometimes bastardised beat poetry, novels, with illustrations (yuck), just aren't for me.

I think I can live with that.

73Yells
Jul 14, 2020, 4:52pm

Blood and Guts in High School is one of the only books that I actually ripped up and junked after reading. I will try to recycle just about everything if I can, but I just couldn't send this crap back out into the world. It was awful.

74BekkaJo
Dez 7, 2020, 4:28am

#470
Hemmingway For Whom the Bell tolls
#471
Beckett Worstward Ho
#472
Kincaid Annie John
#473
West Harriet Hume
#474
Lewis Tarr

75BekkaJo
Dez 10, 2020, 2:29am

#475 The Newton Letter - Banville

My copy was from the library reserve stock - and it got instant points because it's not shaped like a usual book, instead being much thinner and longer. Also it's very thin...

But that turned out to be a shame because it's fabulously written. Partly the storyline but mostly just his use of language.

76BekkaJo
Fev 2, 10:21am

#476 The Castle of Crossed Destinies - Calvino

Finally finished a 1,001 this year! Been a bit tardy on them. This is... well, it's VERY Calvino. Premise being that the characters have all ended up in an Inn and have lost the power of speech - then attempt to tell their stories using a pack of tarot cards. All the tales intertwine. The narrators chapter was hard going. If reading this, I'd strongly suggest the paper back illustrated version (it has pictures of the tarot cards down the sides of the page). I had an e-pub version that didn't and I think you'd lose out without the images.

#477 Madame Bovary - Flaubert

I'm not sure about it in the end. It felt a bit... thin? I mean, if I'm going to have debauchery in my text I want a bit more - oomph I guess. Which I suspect was what Flaubert was getting at. Too much of everything ad not enough of anything.

77BekkaJo
Mar 1, 2:53am

#478 High Rise - Ballard

Weirdly compelling writing. Lord of the Flies meets a tower block - but more icky. The ease in which human nature disintigrates to it's base functions.

I feel a bit like I need a shower.

78amaryann21
Mar 13, 6:33pm

>77 BekkaJo: Have you watched the movie yet? I couldn't make it through the whole thing. Apt review.

79BekkaJo
Mar 15, 3:54am

Urgh - no. I did like the book but I do not think I could cope with a film of it!

80BekkaJo
Abr 23, 4:07am

#479 Humboldt's gift - Bellow

Heavy going, moments of wonder, moments of irritation, ultimately capturing.

"Indoors and outdoors fell into each other through a picture window, garden and bedroom mingling."

Worth it's Pulitzer? Not sure. But I think probably it is.

81ursula
Abr 23, 5:26am

>77 BekkaJo: >78 amaryann21: I feel like Ballard's books are simultaneously very tempting to turn into film and also kind of too much for film. I love his books but I don't think I'd be up for watching any of the movies made from them.