Thursday, 11 February 2010

Books so far in 2010

This year I set myself a resolution to read more books. Since I graduated in July, I can probably count the number of books I read in the remainder of 2009 on one hand. It was nice to have a break from literature for a while, as studying it makes you read in a different way than just reading for pleasure. However, I ended up feeling slightly ashamed of how little I read and how I missed it, so in 2010 I am resolving to read lots more books! And I have. I have already read 4 books so far, which I am quite proud of. Not quite the same as having to read one huge novel in a week for my Undergraduate studies, but hey.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This has been on my bookshelf for such a long time - probably since about 2003. I think I was still at school! I remember vividly buying it at the same time that I bought Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, in Waterstones on a special offer. So it was about time that I got round to reading it and I am sad that I waited so long! It is was fabulous. It's about Pi, a 16 year old boy, and his journey after his ship to Canada sinks. His only companions are a Tiger called Richard Parker, a hyena and a dying zebra. It makes for one of the strangest but intriguing books I've read in a long time. It reminded me slightly of Salman Rushdie, maybe because it starts in India but it also has some magic realism aspects to it. Some people don't like that type of surrealism blended with reality, but I really enjoy that kind of writing.


Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls

I read this book because of the Slow Readers group that Diana created in the New Year. I won't talk about it too much, as I know some people are still reading it, plus there is the blog post to do on the 4th March regarding it, but I rather enjoyed it. It's not something I would choose to read myself and I'm not sure I would read it again, but it was a very easy read and enjoyable and sad all at the same time.




The Wild Things by Dave Eggers

I bought this book for 3 reasons: 1. I love Dave Eggers. 2. The cover is nice. And 3. It was on offer. As you can tell, it doesn't take too much to sell me a book! Hah. I really enjoyed this book. I had seen bits of Where the Wild Things Are from my Dad watching it, so reading it in book form was a bit weird. It was quite hard to keep track of which wild thing was which (except for Carol). But there were some bits that I loved about it that doesn't come across in the film, such as Max's thoughts about his father and his mother's new relationship, etc. He really manages to get inside Max's mind and it comes across perfectly. It was a nice, easy read again. I think I seemed to be going for easy books to break me in nicely! Plus it was a nice change from some of the heavy things I had to study in Uni.


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

So, after 2 easy reads, I went for A Clockwork Orange. I was a bit worried about how I would cope with the Nadsat speech, but I got used to it quite easily (especially once I had googled for a nadsat dictionary/glossary! haha!). It wasn't light hearted either, and at times the violence was a bit creepy/scary. But then I ended up really enjoying it because it reminded me of 1984 in some aspects (the control from the government, etc). I really did end up feeling quite sorry for Alex by the end of it all, although perhaps that is because I tend to forgive too easy.



Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Now, I'm reading The Silver Linings Playbook, which is one of the books from the new Channel 4 TV Book Club. I got it out of the library out of curiosity really (it had a nice cover too). How do you like to choose books? Do you have any other recommendations for me?

31 comments:

  1. Life of Pi is one of my favourite books :) It was one of the ones I read whilst I was going round europe and I had a hard time putting it down!
    I keep picking up A clockwork orange but there always seems to be something that I'm meant to be doing when I do, but its definately one that I want to read.
    I've not heard of the other two so I shall definately give them a chance when I can.
    Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Life of Pi is such an adventure, which ends up questioning reality, truth and sense. For that, it's a legendary book and a worthy winner of the Booker Prize.

    I'm with Shibby, it's one of my favourite books too.

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  3. I've read Clockwork Orange. It's an amazing book and it's such a shame they left the last chapter out of the film.

    I've been meaning to read the Life of Pi, it's sat upstairs taunting me but my lifelong fear of maths stops me reading it!

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  4. I have read the life of pi, and i remember not liking it much, but can't remember why. Is it in two parts, one where he talks about his life and one where he's on the boat? i think I thought the boat bits were quite boring. which is weird, because I like magical realism usually (100 years of solitude is one of my fave books).

    I've also read a clockwork orange, and i liked it except the ending. Maybe I'm remembering this wrong, but it ends with them all being old and most of them grow out of the violence and settle down and one becomes a policeman, doesn't it? It just seems like the message is that you should just let young people be young people and it'll all sort itself, which seems kind of odd after all the stuff about conditioning.

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  5. I keep meaning to read Life of Pi but I have so so many books on my shelf at the moment that I really should read those first! haha
    I'm not sure if I want to read Clockwork Orange, I'm unsure if its a book I'd enjoy but I think its one of those classics everyone should read so I'm sure I'll give it a try one day!

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  6. I love Life of Pi.


    Have you read "the book thief" by Markus Zusak? If you haven't, you should, it's one of my all time favourites.

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  7. I had a professor who admitted to me that after he finished his phd he had no motivation to read anything. it was as if he was incapable of pleasure reading anymore. he couldn't seem to read anything without overanalyzing it haha. I find that as a lit student myself, I always have to keep a steady stream of fantasy/scifi/humor novels on the side haha

    love life of pi! that was one of the first books that really made me think. once you get through the first 100 pages it is so gripping

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  8. I'm halfway through A Clockwork Orange at the moment. It didn't take me that long to get into the Nadsat actually, though I admit, the first few pages are challenging. Can't wait to watch the film and compare.

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  9. I've read all of them, weird. Reading for pleasure is something not enough adults do.

    Love Grace.

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  10. I absolutely adore Life of Pi! It's been so long since I've read it though, probably five years ago.

    A Clockwork Orange is definitely not an everyday read for me, makes me pretty sad faced for a few days.

    I will be checking out the other books. Thanks for the recommendations.

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  11. Good resolution! I've been trying to keep up with my pleasure reading along with schoolwork and it's going well so far.
    The only one of these I have read is A Clockwork Orange, which I really enjoyed. I couldn't put it down until I had finished it, and I had to stop myself from thinking in Nadsat for days after, haha....

    If I could recommend any book, I think it would be One Hundred Years of Solitude. I read it in the fall and it's now one of my favorites!

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  12. I was the same - I bought Life of Pi and left it because it looked like it might be difficult to read...and then when I finally did read it, I wished I'd started it sooner; I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down!

    I'm currently reading The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson, who wrote the Moomin books, which I adore, and this is one of her books for adults which unfortunately I am now so I thought I'd give it a try! I adore it - the characters really stay with me until I start reading again!

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  13. I've only the The Clockwork Orange from this little lot - will definitely check out the rest!

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  14. I have recently discovered Wally Lamb and his books are wonderful. I cannot recommend I Know This Much is True enough. It is quite long (over 800 pages) but doesn't feel like it.

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  15. You'll love 100 Days of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez if you like magical realism!

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  16. So far I've only read Life of Pi, which to be honest I didn't really care for, it was far to dithering for my liking. But I'm just starting Half Broke Horses now and am very very excited for it.
    -indigo

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  17. i love reading, always have since being little but now i never seem to have the time. this is a great list.

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  18. I've had Life of Pi to read for AGES, I must get round to it. I'm still on the first book of 2010 which is lame, but I find my reading goes in fits and spurts. I always read tons in the summer, but now that I drive instead of taking public transport, there's just less time for it. I don't even have the type of job any more where I can read on my lunchbreak. :( I only read 20 books last year which is pathetic - I did a similar degree to yours (although much longer ago) and so when I find myself reading a book slowly, it totally kills me. It's like I've lost my power! :)

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  19. I have always wanted to read Life of Pi, and your synopsis has convinced me to check it out of the library.

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  20. I love Life of Pi, such a wonderful book. To be honest I didn't enjoy Clockwork Orange particularly (although I know that's not a very cool thing to say). Will have to try out the others. My friends and I have started a book club to try and start reading a bit more, our first one is A Thousand Splendid Suns, which I have heard so many good things about.

    Also, the satchel is from the Cambridge Satchel Company. I'd seriously recommend them, it's such fantastic quality. I think I will like it more when it gets a bit more 'weathered' looking too! x

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  21. i've been wanting to read Life of Pi. i heard many good stuff about it.
    My reading preference comes in cycle.. i'm now into authobiography/memoir. i'm reading Queen Noor and planning to pick up Bourdain's kitchen confidential next.

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  22. I was reluctant to read A Clockwork Orange because I hated the film but it has become one of my favourite books! I really loved Life of Pi too.

    One long novel a week? You were lucky! We were reading upto 5 novels a week for my degree and it has put me off reading for pleasure. I can't remember the last time I read a book but I should really rectify that.

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  23. I have tagged you on my blog! xx

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  24. I totally relate to what you were saying about it being a totally different type of reading, for pleasure; rather than study. I have recently gotten into YA books, which is strange considering I didn't read anything like that when I was a teen!

    If you haven't read the Time Traveler's Wife, I heartily recommend!

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  25. Life of Pi had a big impact on me in high school ... I had never been exposed to magical realism before and I thought endlessly about the people as animals and the blur of religions ... such a good read! I'd love to teach it one day.

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  26. a beautiful lists of books! indeed. All keepers! to re-read..too.

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  27. Good choices! Life of Pi is really good, you'll thoroughly enjoy it, well I did anyway... A Clockwork Orange is difficult to read because of all the weird language, but worth it once you work it out!

    Hope you like them!

    iliketweet.blogspot

    x

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  28. I really need to read more books. I'm just so darn busy. I loved Life of Pi. I'll definitely have to check out the others.

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  29. i read Life of Pi a couple of years ago...i thought it was good, but not my favorite like so many others say.

    just finished reading "1876" by Gore Vidal...love American historical-based novels!
    xox alison

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  30. Here's a recommendation, though you may have read this one already...
    "The secret garden" by Burnett, I re-discovered it a few weeks ago, and remembered how much the film actually moved me when I was a child, and I'm enjoying so much reading it.
    Other great reads are "We have always lived in the castle" by Shirley Jackson and "Things the grandchildren should know" by Mark Oliver Everett

    By the way, I love your style and blog, so.. I'm following you now! :)

    Regards from Spain,
    Ira

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  31. in response to your comment, people in Seattle just get wet. We don't really notice or care at this point and have just perfected the art of running like made between sheltered areas.
    -indigo

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