It’s been a while since I ventured down the TBR hole. Things seem to conspire against me, and land on my lap all at once, so I’ve been battling with a busy schedule recently. But I’m back on track! Lia at Lost In A Story started this weekly post to trim down the Goodreads to-read list.
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?
My Brilliant Friend By Elena Ferrante
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.
I’ve wanted to read this novel since I worked in Waterstones as a Christmas temp. Everyone kept saying how brilliant it was, and it stared at me from the display tables every shift. In a way I feel like once I read it the mystery around it will vanish. But I do still want to get my hands on it. Keep
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire – to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.
Japanese writers are known for their economy of style. And for any budding writer Murakami is a go-to for learning about the craft. Despite that I haven’t actually gotten round to reading his work myself, but I know I’m in for a treat when I do. KEEP
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino’s masterpiece combines a love story and a detective story into an exhilarating allegory of reading, in which the reader of the book becomes the book’s central character.
Based on a witty analogy between the reader’s desire to finish the story and the lover’s desire to consummate his or her passion, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller is the tale of two bemused readers whose attempts to reach the end of the same book, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino, of course, are constantly and comically frustrated. In between chasing missing chapters of the book, the hapless readers tangle with an international conspiracy, a rogue translator, an elusive novelist, a disintegrating publishing house, and several oppressive governments. The result is a literary labyrinth of storylines that interrupt one another – an Arabian Nights of the postmodern age.
Italo Calvino is another author who crops up a lot in writing lectures. His experimental fiction sounds exciting and psychedelic. Whatever comes of it, I think it will be an interesting read.
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ is the first line of this timeless, witty and enchanting novel about growing up. Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer’s block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time.
It just sounds like the perfect summer read doesn’t it? The synopsis reminds me of an Elizabeth Taylor novel, I don’t know why. I think the characters in this novel will be hard to forget!
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea, a masterpiece of modern fiction, was Jean Rhys’s return to the literary center stage. She had a startling early career and was known for her extraordinary prose and haunting women characters. With Wide Sargasso Sea, her last and best-selling novel, she ingeniously brings into light one of fiction’s most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. This mesmerizing work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr. Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway amidst a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.
I’m a bit torn by this book. I was going to take it off my shelves, and then I read Diana Athill’s memoir Stet: An Editor’s Life. Athill talks about her relationship with Rhys while she was writing Wide Sargasso Sea and other works. I could see why she identified with Mr. Rochester’s wife. KEEP