I came across this idea on Lost In A Story and Book Bum’s blog a few weeks ago and thought it was something I needed to try out. Lia at Lost In A Story started this weekly post to trim down the Goodreads to-read list, and as I’m in dire need of narrowing mine down, I thought I’d give it a go. My Goodreads to-read shelf is a dark and dangerous place, much like my Amazon Wish List. There are books on both lists that were probably added in the previous decade, covered with dust and internet spiderwebs.It’s about time some of them went So, without further ado let’s get into it!
The rules are simple:
- Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.
As time winds its way through their lives, the Ramsays face, alone and simultaneously, the greatest of human challenges and its greatest triumph–the human capacity for change.
I’m torn with this one. I think there’s a lot to be learned from Woolf’s writing sylistically, but I’m not sure the synopsis grips me. GO
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick’s harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character, Tender Is the Night is lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.
I’d forgotten what this novel was about. I read the Great Gatsby as a teenager and was fascinated by the enigmatic characters and descriptive prose. KEEP
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled “Women and Fiction”, and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction. The essay is generally seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.
I was going through a phase of adding all of Woolf’s writing to my to-read list it seems. This is a book I want to read as an aspiring writer. I’ve read a handful of Woold’s essays in the past and they’ve been thought-provoking. KEEP
The Silver Lining’s Playbook by Matthew Quick
Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him — the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being hunted by Kenny G!
In this enchanting novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: “Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut.”
I saw the film when it came out, and loved it. Pat and Tiffany’s story felt different to others I’d seen on screen before. I want to read stories that take me outside myself, and put me in other people’s shoes, and I think The Silver Lining’s Playbook is one of those. KEEP
Room by Emma Donoghue
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
I bought this book a few weeks ago, so safe to say it’s a keeper. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have one room be your entire universe, to know nothing outside those four walls. It’s on my list of books to read this year so I’ m hoping it won’t be on my to-read list much longer. KEEP