August Group Challenge 2020

Discussão1001 Books to read before you die

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August Group Challenge 2020

1JayneCM
Editado: Jul 19, 2020, 7:43am

This month we will let someone else choose our read!

If you could comment with the last three 1001 books you read, I will compile a list here and we will all, hopefully, find a book to read from the list.

You could also add a star rating with each book if you felt so inclined.

2JayneCM
Editado: Jul 28, 2020, 5:24am

Book List

If On A Winter's Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino 4.5 stars
Woman At Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi 4.5 stars
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison 4.5 stars
Love Medicine by Louise Erdich 3.5 stars
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri 5 stars
Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin 4 stars
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy 5 stars
The Master by Colm Toibin 4 stars
Summer by Edith Wharton 4 stars
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre 4 stars
Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey 3.5 stars
La Reine Margot by Alexandre Dumas 3.5 stars
A Woman's Life by Guy de Maupassant
The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd
Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
Deep Rivers by Jose Maria Arguedas 4 stars
Crossfire by Miyuki Miyabe 3.5 stars
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 4.5 stars
The Optimists Daughter by Eudora Welty. 3 stars
Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West 2.5 stars
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West. 4.5 stars
The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir 4 stars once you get going
Matigari by Ngugi wa Thiog'o 4 stars
Willard and his Bowling Trophies by Richard Brautigan 2.5 stars
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison at least 4 stars
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck 5 stars
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin 4.5 stars

3japaul22
Jul 19, 2020, 8:25am

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, 3.5 stars
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, 5 stars
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, 4 stars

These were all good. I'd recommend Go Tell it on the Mountain if anyone hasn't read it. Though it was written back in the 1950s, it is sadly still very relevant to Black experience in the U.S. today.

4JayneCM
Jul 19, 2020, 8:45am

>3 japaul22: I found the same when I read The Bluest Eye. Written fifty years ago, but I am sure the experiences are just as relevant today.

5DeltaQueen50
Editado: Jul 19, 2020, 1:02pm

My last three were Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (5 stars), The Master by Colm Toibin (4 stars) and Summer by Edith Wharton (4 stars). All were good but if you can stomach the violence, I highly recommend Blood Meridian.

6annamorphic
Jul 19, 2020, 6:21pm

These are not my latest 3, but they're the latest ones that I'd really recommend:

John le Carré, Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy **** (weirdly slow and thoughtful spy suspense)
Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion ***1/2 (dense and damp epic of mothers & brothers) -- note that this one is quite long and time-demanding
Alexandre Dumas, La Reine Margot ***1/2 (passion & palace intrigue in the Renaissance)

I think I'll read Go Tell It On the Mountain -- a good read for the moment.

7amaryann21
Jul 20, 2020, 4:04pm

My last three:
A Woman's Life. de Maupassant
The Lambs of London, Ackroyd
Sentimental Education, Flaubert

Lambs is the one I'd recommend- short, interesting, and based on real events.

8LisaMorr
Jul 20, 2020, 4:05pm

I just finished Deep Rivers by Jose Maria Arguedas on Saturday and recommend it; I'm still contemplating it, but I think I would give it 4*.

Before that was Crossfire by Miyuki Miyabe, I would call it a Japanese Firestarter. I gave it 3.5*.

And then In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; excellent read - I gave it 4.5*. One of the few (only?) non-fiction books on the list - very well researched and reads like a novel.

9puckers
Jul 21, 2020, 4:01pm

The last three books I read were:

The Optimists Daughter by Eudora Welty. 3 stars
Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West 2.5 stars
The Return of the Soldier - Rebecca West. 4.5 stars

The last was the pick of these for me.

10soffitta1
Jul 24, 2020, 10:08am

Last 3
The Mandarins 4 stars once you get going
Matigari 4 stars
Willard and his bowling trophies 2.5 stars

11gypsysmom
Jul 25, 2020, 8:05pm

Last 3
Song of Solomon at least 4 stars
Cannery Row 5 stars
Giovanni's Room 4.5 stars

Obviously Cannery Row is the one I would most recommend but any of these are worth reading.

12annamorphic
Jul 27, 2020, 6:55am

>10 soffitta1: Thanks for the note on The Mandarins, which has been on my TBR shelf for a while. It didn't look promising but if it eventually picks up... Maybe I'll read that after Go Tell It On the Mountain and Passing.

13JayneCM
Jul 28, 2020, 5:25am

Lots to choose from. I have a few of these on my shelves so I will have choices!

14soffitta1
Jul 29, 2020, 3:45am

>12 annamorphic: I had it lurking for ages, after a couple of false starts, I took it on a car journey. I have read a number of books set in WW2 or in '60s France, but this fell between. I also checked who the characters were based on.

>8 LisaMorr: Deep Rivers - this looks really interesting. I haven't read much from Peru outside of Vargas Llosa.

Great list - I'd also recommend Crossfire.

15puckers
Jul 29, 2020, 4:28am

>11 gypsysmom: I haven't read Giovanni's Room so far and you obviously liked it so I'll add that to my August pile.

16DeltaQueen50
Jul 29, 2020, 3:07pm

Although puckers gave it a low rating, I am going to go with Miss Lonelyhearts as I have it on my shelf.

17gypsysmom
Jul 29, 2020, 9:50pm

I've been wanting to read The Return of the Soldier for quite a while. I couldn't find a copy locally (at least not online) so I have ordered a copy from Better World Books. And that way I'll get something in the mail besides flyers.

18paruline
Jul 31, 2020, 11:04am

Although I haven't updated my thread for a while and have slowed in my reading a lot in the last few months, the last books I read were The big sleep - 3.5 stars, War with the newts - 4 stars, and Cane - 2.5 stars. Of the three I recommend War with the Newts.

19puckers
Ago 5, 2020, 5:37am

>11 gypsysmom: I read Giovanni’s Room and liked it. Thanks for guiding towards it with your recent reading list.

20gypsysmom
Ago 5, 2020, 9:13am

>19 puckers: You're welcome. I've said before that at my age I know I'm never going to read all the books on the list so I try to read the ones that I think I will like based on what people here (and other places) have said about them. On my spreadsheet for the 1001 Books I put WTR for Want to Read beside books that I think I will like. So I am happy to pass on recommendations for others.

21DeltaQueen50
Ago 5, 2020, 12:29pm

Well, I certainly agree with Pucker's rating of Miss Lonelyhearts. Although very short, I found it a very depressing and wearing read.

22gypsysmom
Ago 23, 2020, 10:18am

I finally got The Return of the Soldier in the mail this week. I started it right away and since it is short it didn't take me long to read although it may have taken me a little longer than 88 pages usually would because I kept rereading sentences or paragraphs as they are so magnificently crafted. Thank you puckers for the recommendation.

23puckers
Editado: Ago 23, 2020, 3:14pm

>22 gypsysmom: no worries! Apart from managing to build a quite moving story in so few pages l quite liked that she leaves you hanging to know what will happen next as “the soldier” returns in the closing lines. Glad you enjoyed it too.

24JayneCM
Ago 31, 2020, 12:29am

>22 gypsysmom: >23 puckers: Just finished The Return of the Soldier - loved it! I loved the ambiguity of the ending too.

25gypsysmom
Ago 31, 2020, 3:40pm

>24 JayneCM: Yes it certainly is a gem from the list. Glad you liked it. I didn't think the ending was all that ambiguous but I agree it's not spelled out for the reader.