Saturday, July 23, 2011

to read

For the first time, I actually have a "To Read" list. If I've ever told you 'it's on my to-read list' in the past, I was misleading you slightly - in reality any lists of the kind have always been vague and stored in my brain somewhere.

Now, it's stored on my computer and made up of recommendations and chance encounters. It lacks a few books, like War & Peace, which have sat on my Feel-I-Should-Probably-Read list for some time but about which I am still sceptical. Here are its contents, in no particular order:

Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The Larnachs, by Owen Marshall
A new novel by a New Zealand author, about the family who built NZ's only 'castle', in Dunedin. It looks very promising.

something or more than one something by P. G. Wodehouse

Keep the Aspidistra Flying, by George Orwell

A Handful of Dust, by Evelyn Waugh

The Pink Carnation series, by Lauren Willig

Evelina, by Fanny Burney

Belinda, by Maria Edgeworth
all three recommendations above courtesy of Stacy

Live Bodies
, by Maurice Gee

Tender is the Night
, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Conductor, by Sarah Quigley
Another more recent novel, about Shostakovich and the siege of Leningrad

Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
I've never much enjoyed Dickens, but have recently been assured that I just started with the wrong novels. This is my concession to attempts at strong persuasion.

The History of Henry Esmond, by William Makepeace Thackeray
I loved Vanity Fair, so I'm really keen to read another Thackeray novel.

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis

The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald

Westwood, by Stella Gibbons

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe
Who couldn't want to read this after Northanger Abbey?

The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
I actually own this so it really shouldn't be too hard, but it's been sitting in my shelf for a couple of years now.

Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John le Carré

The Crack-Up, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Villette, by Charlotte Brontë

Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie

The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene

Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

Underworld, by Don DeLillo

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Time's Arrow, by Martin Amis

Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut


So - any comment? If any of these novels are a dead loss, please let me know! Do you have any recommendations of must-reads to add to the list? Should War & Peace have made it?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

reading paint III

reading and childhood

Conger A. Metcalf, Untitled

Henri Martin, 'Young girl reading'

Felice Casorati, 'Girl on a red carpet'

Marianne Stokes, 'Candlemas Day'

Mikhael Nesterov, 'Nastasja Nesterov on a garden-bench'

Jan Toorop, 'His daughter'

Gustav Adolph Hennig, 'Reading Girl'

Thursday, July 14, 2011

customers in bookshops

I recently came across this lovely blog: This Is Not the Six Word Novel. Jen Campbell is a writer who works in a bookshop in the UK, and whose blog series "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops" has recently scored a book deal.

I won't reproduce any of the quotes here, for fear of copyright et cetera, but trust me - they are GOLD. Check them out. In order to whet your appetite, here are some hints of what you might find:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

reading paint II

reading and companionship

Jean Raoux, 'Les petites musiciennes'

Robert Reid, 'Two Girls Reading'

Helen Allingham, 'Reading Lesson'

Vittorio Reggianini, 'The Letter'

Rudolf Ernst, 'The Reader'

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Two Sisters

Pablo Picasso, 'Two Girls Reading'

Suzuki Harunobo, no title

Egun Danielsson, 'Sisters'