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Books of the Year 2010, and Reading plans for 2011
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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3362


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:51 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
I take it this is not an elaborate plot to get me to read The Secret Garden?

Foiled again...

I'm not massively inspired by that list, but there must be good books that have been missed off. Arnold Bennett's The Card has to be worth a look, and I ought to read Ethan Frome, if only for the name.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conrad's Under Western Eyes is a cracker.


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If none of the fiction appeals, there is always the eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which came out in 1910-11. It's in 29 volumes, so there's a certain time commitment required, but of all the books on the list it's surely the only one that contains something for everybody.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy

Do read Ethan Frome, it's excellent.  I think, despite the connection with your home town, it's pronounced to rhyme with 'dome'.  (I was going to say 'home', then realised that Alec Douglas did not pronounce Home to rhyme with dome and further confusion might ensue...why is English pronunciation so complicated?!)


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2104


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gareth, my father has that edition of the Britannica. It's notoriously full of errors, a fact which Borges comments on in his story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.



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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3362


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evie wrote:
I think, despite the connection with your home town, it's pronounced to rhyme with 'dome'.

That's how most people from outside the South-West pronounce it too, I should think. There was a website in the early days of the internet about the town that began "Frome is pronounced Froom as in broom, not Frome as in phone", which as a teenager I used to think, snobbishly, probably told you a lot about the kind of people who live there, but why shouldn't they use an imperfect rhyme? I apologise to them.


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Gul Darr



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 715


Location: King's Lynn

PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
Hello Gul, I take it you know that this laste year, Robert Chandler has published two more volumes of translations of Vasily Grossman. The first is The Road, which is a collecion of essays, short stories and journalism (and includes Grossman's report from Treblinka: Grossman was the first journalist to report from the death camps after the liberation). And the second is Everything Flows, Grossman's other novel. Both are out in hardback editions only so far. I got tired of waiting for them to come out in aperback, and spent a voucher I had for the LRB bookshop to get myself The Road. I'm looking forward to reading both books.


Yes, thanks for the reminder Himadri. I'll be interested to hear what you make of The Road and I'm definitely planning to read Everything Flows at some point.


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time to choose my top five books of the year. A tough decision from a good selection, though a low yield of what I would deem absolute masterpieces. Ruling out rereads means I can dispense with a handful of my favourites (Great Expectations, The Wind on the Moon and First Love, Last Rites), and in a year of great plays read I have vowed to choose only one, so the final five are these:

Henry de Montherlant - La Ville dont le Prince est un Enfant
John Updike - Rabbit, Run
Josef Škvorecký - The Cowards
Philip K. Dick - Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
Anthony Trollope - Framley Parsonage

Brighton Rock and Double Indemnity just miss out on the final cut.

All books by men - what can that mean? Probably that I'm an irredeemable misogynist. Apologies.


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Gul Darr



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 715


Location: King's Lynn

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see the Trollope in your top five, Gareth. I'm hoping to read it in the next year or so.
My reading is horrendously biased in favour of male authors. At least this year I did read Muriel Spark's Mandelbuam Gate, but I can't think of any others off the top of my head... Embarassed


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1143



PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid my reading list for 2011 bears a strong resemblance to my reading list for 2010 as I got only about half way through it.

Still on my TBR shelf are:

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay.  I read the first two chapters and was enjoying it when I put it to one side to read "The Laodicean".  I have put  "The Laodicean" to one side half read (again I was enjoying it) for my Christmas indulgence of ghost stories.

Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier.  Abandoned one third of the way through.  Will I discover in 2011 the charm which so eluded me in 2010?

Count Belisaurius by Robert Graves.

Hunger by Knut Hamsun.

The Black Sheep by Balzac.

Money by Emile Zola.

On top of my monthly read for my book club - which this year is exploring literature from different continents -  I had thought about making 2011 a Dickens-a-thon and working my way through his works.  I've now decided to leave Dickens to 2012 and any spare reading time I shall devote to P.G. Wodehouse as it is the 130th anniversary of his birth this year and there is a festival to celebrate being held here in Emsworth in October.



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