My Book List

I really enjoy reading, but unfortunately I often don’t have time to read, or don’t know which book to start with. I thought I would make a list of all the unread books I have on my bedroom shelves, in the hope that making these public would encourage me to make a start! Here I have a lot of fiction, some history books and a few foreign books that I have bought or acquired over the years but never got round to reading. If you have any suggestions as to where I should start, please put them in the comments!

Nina Bawden: Carrie’s War

Louis de Bernières: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Albert Camus: L’étranger

John le Carré: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

Edward Conlon: Blue Blood

Dante: Inferno

*Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities

Jeffrey Eugenides: The Virgin Suicides

Niall Ferguson: The Ascent of Money

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Stephen Fry in America

Lawrence James: The Middle Class

Primo Levi: If this is a man

Ian McEwan: Atonement

Bao Ninh: The Sorrow of War

George Orwell: 1984

Percival Spear: The Oxford History of Modern India 1740-1975

Toby Wilkinson: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

Zola: La Bête Humaine

*= currently reading
struck through = finished



Filed under Culture, Lifestyle

2 responses to “My Book List

  1. Although I am not an impartial judge in this circumstance (see my username), I would suggest reading 1984 if you haven’t already. I always become extremely paranoid for two weeks after I read it. Nevertheless, it is quite entertaining and thought-provoking.

    I enjoyed reading Ian McEwan’s Atonement, but the 2007 film adaptation was even better than the novel. I can’t remember whether the film faithfully followed the novel, but Keira Knightley… yeah…. I’m speechless.

    I don’t like Dickens. He’s too wordy. I understand that he was writing serials, but 20 pages dedicated to the description of a pen is one page too much for me.

    Dante’s Inferno is fun to read if you substitute the names of the damned souls with the names of similar people from the modern era, otherwise it’s quite dull.

    Stephen Fry is very intelligent. I like listening to his speeches and debates on YouTube, but I’ve never read any of his writings.

    I’ve read John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. I enjoyed it, and want to read more of his works, but can’t seem to find the time or motivation. Is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy good?

    I’ve read the English translation of Camus’ The Stranger. I unfortunately suffer from the typical American language disorder. A person who speaks three languages is trilingual, a person who speaks two languages is bilingual, and a person who speaks one language is an American. Regardless, I found the novel comical at some points because of the sheer absurdity of the protagonist’s behavior, but overall it was tedious.

    I notice that you posted the French title of The Stranger (also Emile Zola’s The Human Beast). Are you fluent in French?

    Also, what are some of your favorite novels? I am searching for a new book that I can read during these last few weeks of summer. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Wow, thanks for such a detailed response! I’m really enjoying Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy at the moment – I started reading it because I loved the film but from what I am reading at the moment the film strayed quite far from the book (or I just have a very bad memory.)

      I am far from fluent in French, but because I study languages I try my best to read French and Italian books in the original, for obvious learning benefits, although I do usually have to look at a dictionary or occasionally an English translation. The only reason I have an english edition of the Primo Levi novel is because I didn’t buy it, but found in a box of old books in our attic!

      I just finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusack (review coming shortly!) and I’d really recommend that. If you felt like diving into some more French literature, I would suggest Balzac, particularly The Wild-Asses Skin (Le Peau de Chagrin) – It’s very surreal but poignant for the time it was written. Other novels that I love are Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov), The Go-Between (L.P Hartley) and Brave New World (Huxley – although you have probably read this!).
      I hope you enjoy some of these suggestions 🙂

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