The last of the Guardian Challenge
I've been very lax about blogging; re-laxed, perhaps. I did finish the "Read 1% of the Guardian "1001 Novels to Read Before You Die" challenge, in October and November. So herein I will post about the last seven books I read.
First Up, Book #4: Children of Men by P.D. James:
File this one under books that I read AFTER I had seen the movie version. While the movie was dark, distressing, and extremely grim, I still thought it was quite excellent. The book, not so much. While I think P.D. James had a germ of a great idea, she didn't deliver it to its fullest potential. Hence, the movie, which changed some important details but made the story much grander.
Book #5: Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides:
I pretty much loved this from beginning to end. It had an engaging character-driven story, vibrant description and breathtaking style. Two thumbs up on this.
Book #6: Affinity, by Sarah Waters:
This can also be filed under books that I read after watching the movie version. I thought the book was quite beautiful. I'm a fan of Sarah Waters' style, and her portrayal of the lives of lesbians living in times when they had to be more underground than today. This was also an interesting view into the spiritualist movement, and womens' prisons in the Victorian era.
Book #7: Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier:
Reading this at this time, I can see how this novel set the stage for romantic suspense for the decades that followed it. This book gives you the sympathetic murderer, moral ambiguity, and plot twists aplenty. It's also an excellent example of the atmospheric English Country House gothic novel. I just made that category up.
Book #8: Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke:
I had been meaning to read this one for quite a while, actually, because it's on my husband's list of influential novels in his life. I can see why it blew away his mind, it did the same to mine a little. Stylistically it may seem dated; but the ideas were interesting and expansive, the way most of the science fiction of this time period was.
Book #9: The Prestige, by Christopher Priest:
ANOTHER book that I read after seeing the movie first. Now I want to see the movie again to compare it to the book. I thought the book was fascinating and breathtaking, with very imaginative twists. I am a sucker for the novel told through diary entries or letters.
Book #10: Emma, by Jane Austen:
This was the only Jane Austen book that I had never read. Emma is almost my least-favorite Austen heroine; and I felt that the book was entirely too long. Still, as ever, it has some interesting social commentary and some amusing characters.
2010 will be full of even more books; Christmas gifting yielded a bumper crop of lovely things to read. I may try to blog more in 2010 than I did in 2009 - maybe I'll find something more interesting to say.