Elik82's 1001 book list

Discussão1001 Books to read before you die

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Elik82's 1001 book list

2elik82
Editado: Fev 14, 3:45pm

First book of 2021:
The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas - there's not a great deal of plot happening throughout the book, it's divided into 160 short chapters of unequal length where the protagonist relates the story of his life, interspersed with witty/impertinent comments. Has a modern feel to it though it was published in 1881. Naturally it has an element of critique of the contemporary Brazilian society and is influenced by Schopenhauer's philosophy.
Apart from some overly philosophical bits, it had a nice flow to it, the modern translation (I read the one by Neil McArthur) makes it very readable.
I'll give it

3Henrik_Madsen
Fev 13, 5:40am

You read some interesting ones already. I will be looking forward to following your reading and your reviews.

4elik82
Fev 13, 6:07am

>3 Henrik_Madsen: Thank you! I also had a look at your reviews to help me decide what to read next. Will give a try to The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

5Tess_W
Fev 13, 9:50am

>4 elik82: Oh I just hated that one! LOL!

6Henrik_Madsen
Fev 13, 10:31am

>5 Tess_W: I loved it - different tastes and all that!

7elik82
Editado: Fev 14, 3:44pm

I'm Not Scared - that was a real page turner, read it in 2 days. The story is told from the perspective of a 9-year-old boy being naive, clever, funny at times. A dark secret shakes his world. Relations among a group of children and with the adults are an important aspect.

8elik82
Editado: Fev 18, 3:41am

The Time Machine - this was a jolly good short read. A 19th century time traveller arrives in the distant future where mankind has evolved into something quite different. Upon his return he tells his listeners about his Darwinian-Marxist observations.

9arukiyomi
Fev 20, 6:40am

I'm Not Scared took you TWO days? What kept you?

;-)

It is brilliant isn't it!

10elik82
Fev 20, 11:48am

>9 arukiyomi: yep, totally captivating!

11elik82
Fev 23, 4:33am

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner - this book had a few interesting aspects. The language was full of arcane expressions (which was easy to look up, thanks Kindle!) and some dialogues were in Scots. Once you get used to the style it's enjoyable, minus some tedious bits. The first part of the book related the story from the narrator's point of view while the second part was told by the anti-hero. The questions of religion which may have made this book sensational 200 years ago were less interesting for me, but the ambivalence of devil-influence vs. schizofrenia was clever. I see why it is worthy of inclusion in the 1001-book list.

12ELiz_M
Fev 23, 8:21am

>11 elik82: Nice review. I also, more or less, enjoyed this, but it looks like you got more out of it than I did. :)

13elik82
Fev 23, 9:32am

>12 ELiz_M: Thanks! I looked at your recent reviews too for inspiration. I'll get to The Green Hat and Memory of Fire at some point.

14elik82
Editado: Ontem, 3:20pm

We - A dystopian tale, written in 1921 and banned in Russia, first published in English in the US. Foreshadowing the soviet totalitarianism and impacting Huxley and Orwell, among others, has an interesting premise but for some reason I never got into the book. It is presented as a diary, starting with describing this society but quickly moves to dreams and musings and I found myself losing the thread.

15elik82
Mar 19, 10:16am

The Water Babies - A Victorian moralistic fairy tale about a chimney sweeper boy who turns into a "water baby" and undergoes edifying and didactic encounters in the water. I found it tedious and didn't enjoy the reading. It seems like the reason this book was included on the 1001 books list is that the author embraced Darwin's theory and critiqued the stale scientific society of his day (1863) within a fairy tale. It was popular for years and some editions contain beautiful illustrations.

16elik82
Abr 8, 11:54am

Heartbreak Tango was this month's group read. The style of excerpts from letters, diary, police reports and the like was interesting, allowing the occasional glimpse into a protagonist's life. But overall I didn't feel immersed in the story.

17elik82
Abr 18, 10:32am

Decline and Fall - a social satire of Britain in the 1920s. Mostly lighthearted and fun to read. As the protagonist moves through various situations it's an opportunity to make fun of the institutions of education, prison, politics as well as ridicule the upper classes.

18elik82
Editado: Abr 24, 10:09am

Kokoro - If you haven't read Japanese literature before, be prepared for the slower pace, introspection and oblique dialogs. Divided into 3 parts, the last one which is a long letter from the sensei is the crux of the book. Whilst the protagonist searches his path in the world, the Sensei is agonizing over his own life choices.
It's a glimpse of an outmoded Meiji-era world, in contrast with the modern ways of the early 20th century.
For me it was a and I'm looking forward to read Soseki's other books.

19elik82
Maio 22, 10:03am

The Tin Drum - What a whirlwind of grotesque! I can definitely see why this book is on the list. Some unforgettable scenes and characters in German society during 1930s-40s, thorugh the memoirs of Oskar Matzerath.

20elik82
Maio 24, 3:22pm

The Sun Also Rises - beautifully written in Hemingway's lean style. A group of expats mainly spending their time drinking on holiday in Spain, powerful descriptions of bullfighting.
I read previously "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and found it very impressive, but this being Hemingway's debut novel is worth a read.

21elik82
Editado: Jun 6, 11:57am

Invisible Cities was curious, reminded me of some of the short Borges pieces. It's about our perceptions how we interpret the world around us. All the descriptions of the various imaginary cities and the interspersed dialogues between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan can be quite profound.

22elik82
Editado: Ontem, 3:22pm

Cheese - Reading it in the original was a nice challenge. Loved the story and the humour. Though we live in a very different society now, there are many similarities in setting up a business and what it takes.

23elik82
Ontem, 3:22pm

The Glimpses of the Moon - Nick and Susy make an agreement to get married for a year and use the benevolence of their rich friends to stay in their villas, be invited to chic parties and all other fun activities which the rich of the 1920s keep themselves busy with. But during this time they discover that this lifestyle comes with a cost and they grow apart from each other. The middle part of the book where they both try to figure out what to do with their lives, felt tedious to me. There were fun parts but overall there was too much of the boring inner dialogues to my liking.