Sunday, 31 January 2010
Sunday, 24 January 2010
While I am currently in the middle of 3 books (see further down on my sidebar) there were still a number of things that have happened recently that I need to tell you about.
Firstly, my course Writing America, that I was due to start next week, has been cancelled due to low numbers of subscribers, which is disappointing. This has altered my current reading because I was ploughing my way through Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell in time for the start. Now there is less rush I have started The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale as well, and I can plod through Gone with the Wind at my leisure.
I have not read The Road by Cormac McCarthy but I went to see the movie 10 days ago and I was blown away by it. It has been on my mind a lot since then for lots of reasons, the imagery, the acting, but also the relationship between Man and Boy. Also the what ifs...what if that happened, how would I deal with it,. Would I even want to survive? The whole realism of the story hit me hard with its possibilities, in a good way, got me thinking and talking to others who have seen it. It has been a hot topic of debate in my place of work. It is not a film I would recommend to everyone, it has a lot of disturbing images in it and is very bleak and some might say depressing. However, as much as I found it incredibly sad and moving, I picked up on the threads of hope throughout. One of the most memorable and thought provoking films I have seen in ages.
The day after watching the movie The Road was my day off and I had book tokens to use from Christmas so I made a beeline for Waterstones with the expression of a child let loose in a toyshop. Probably because The Road was on my mind (although I did not feel compelled at this point to read Cormac McCarthy's book - too raw in my mind!) there was a distinct theme behind my choices, because I came out with Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Blindness by Jose Saramago. The former being about a futuristic society where all is not as it seems, and the latter about the breakdown of society when the majority of the population are suddenly struck blind (and currently being made into a movie). I love book tokens!
During my post Looking back and looking forward at the beginning of the year I totally neglected to list the books that I got for Christmas and during December...
Survivor by Chuck Palhniuk
The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
One World - A Global Anthology of Short Stories published by New Internationalist
Caught by the River - A Collection of Words on Water
Lastly, in the absence of the hugely successful Richard and Judy Book Club on British TV, January has seen the start of a new TV programme on More 4, called simply The TV Book Club. I have watched the first one out of curiosity because it has been in the press quite a bit this week, and thought it was quite interesting with a good mix of familiar faces discussing the chosen book. The website is pretty good too because it gives you an extract from each book during the series so you can sample them and decide in advance if you want to read any of them. It remains to be seen whether this TV show can have the same effect on book sales as Richard and Judy did. Click the link to read an article in The Independent about the whole thing.
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Sunday, 10 January 2010
Friday, 1 January 2010
It is the time of year where we evaluate what we have done, and what we hope to do in future. I quite like lists so I will start with some statistics from my reading in 2009...
In total I have read 18 books. Not much compared to some blogs but quite a few for me.
These books were split equally between male and female writers, so 9 each. This was coincidental.
The nationalities of the authors was as follows...
English - 7
USA - 7
Spanish - 1
German - 1
Australian - 1
Irish - 1
-Two of these books were in translation.
-Three of these books were non-fiction.
The Genres of the books read in 2009 were...
Historic drama - 7
Mystery/thriller - 2
Comedy/drama - 2
Psychological mystery - 1
Ghost Story - 1
Childrens - 1
General drama - 1
-Four of the books were prizewinners.
-Four of the books were known as classics.
-Two of the books were collections of short stories.
-One book was by a new writer.
Favourite Reads of 2009...
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Other accomplishments during 2009...
Completion of the 2009 mini challenges hosted by caribousmom.
Attending a one day course 'The Hour for Loving':Texts in time.
Organizing 2 book swap events at work.
Releasing a few bookcrossing books
Onward into 2010...
I have my Writing America course coming up, starting at the end of January.
I have also compiled a list of personal challenges which I hope to use as a guideline to shape my reading in 2010. Because these are my own challenges, I have 8 in total to tie in with the spirit of The Octogon...
- Read another Jane Austen
- Read another Russian
- Read another short story collection
- Read another American classic
- Read an Irish classic
- Read another Zola
- Read another Charles de Lint
- Read another Elizabeth Gaskell
These are not set in stone but will be used as a point of reference throughout the year. We'll see how I get on!
I am still currently reading Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Its quite a tome and although I am quite enjoying it, it is slow progress simply because of its length. I will keep you posted.
Wishing you all a prosperous and happy new year, hopefully surrounded by those you love, and lots of books!