Sunday, November 26, 2006

What are you reading ...

... and what books have you read this year that you'd heartily recommend?

I just finished On Beauty by Zadie Smith, which I Loved. I'm now reading White Teeth, her first book, which I like but don't love. She's a great writer but her first book isn't as compelling to me as her current one.

Any books you read that you wanted to get into, but couldn't?


Anonymous said...

I started reading Accidental Tourist and was not able to get into it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, too bad! But the first time I cracked the spine, I couldn't get into it either. Then a year later or so I tried again and couldn't put it down.

Amy said...

I've had a great year. The following are books I read and loved:
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
The Light of Evening by Edna O'Brien
The Keep by Jennifer Egan
Twilight of the Superheroes by Deborah Eisenberg
Grief by Andrew Holleran
Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
We're in Trouble by Christopher Cooke
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home by Lynn Freed

Probably more than you wanted to know. :-) The only book I started this year and couldn't finish was Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I've tried a couple of times. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

One of my projects is reading the top 100 novels of all time (the Guardian (UK)'s list). I've read 51 at this point (I started the project having read 30-some) and am currently reading Vanity Fair by Thackeray.

The Black Sheep (Balzac) was one book that I read as part of this project which I had attempted in the past, but was really only able to get past the beginning for the first time this time around. Definitely worthwhile. Other great reads of the year have been The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas), American Pastoral (Roth) and Lolita (Nabokov). Lolita, by the way, would be my candidate for the best novel of the 20th century.

In the non-fiction department, I can't recommend Michael Pollen's The Omnivore's Dilemma enough.

Here's the top 10 for those who are curious, when I started, the only one I hadn't read was Frankenstein.
1. Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes
2. Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan
3. Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
4. Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
5. Tom Jones Henry Fielding
6. Clarissa Samuel Richardson
7. Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne
8. Dangerous Liaisons Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
9. Emma Jane Austen
10. Frankenstein Mary Shelley

Anonymous said...

the last thing i read was the novella "city of glass" by paul auster. it is from the new york trilogy. really a fun read--i even found myself exclaiming outloud at the story. i haven't read the other 2 stories yet, but i will over break. i also enjoyed virginia woolf's mrs. dalloway. those are my picks for the moment, though i've read about a dozen novels this quarter.

Bruja Bella said...

Believe it or not, Tolkien. I forced myself to read The Hobbit, but I just couldn't get into the Lord of the Rings. Which is baffling as I love fantasy and the whole storyline and the characters are right up my reading alley.

I try every few years though, hoping to make it through!

franklin said...

My book of the year is:
~ My Sisters Keeper - Jodi Picoult (she is also my "author of th year" - I'm sure she'll be so pleased to hear I've named her w/ that honor;)

Honorable mentions:
~ The Alchemist - Paul Coelho
~ Three Weeks With My Brother - Nicholas Sparks
~ Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

avb said...

I just finished Monster by John Gregory Dunne. I loved it, and immediately bought a copy of The Studio to read next.

Also read Evening by Susan Minot, which was beautiful and reminded me of The Hours.

Lastly, have started reading Savage Grace, which is about the infamous murder of Barbara Baekeland.

Leslea said...

The Corrections. :(

Thank you for another round w/ Ron Carlson!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions here, you guys and goils.

Sara, I've not read Auster's trilogy and think I actually have it. And Leslea, I Loved The Corrections. I'll never forget the older male character's speech signature: "I am dubious."

Anonymous said...

I'm more into White Teeth now, and loving it. Glad I stayed with it. In this book, and in On Beauty, Smith employs multiple points of view, and it works so well. It's hard to do. She does it!

Blogistani said...

Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky!