Thursday, August 8, 2013

10 Books Update: Throwing in the Towel

So after 8 months and 2 and a half books, I am calling time on my 10 Books project for this year.  As much as it pains me to call it quits, I am absolutely swamped with varsity reading.  Last semester we did a novel a week plus secondary material and this semester is shaping up to be more of the same.  While I am sad to have less time to read for pure pleasure, I am enjoying the sheer variety of subjects covered by my courses.  

Last semester I did Writing Across Worlds which focused on writers who had left their country of origin either by choice or by force.  This displacement allows them a very unique double perspective on the world and one which is particularly interesting to read.  I enjoyed the course because it not only gave a name to a genre that I particularly enjoy (magical realism) but it also had a particular resonance with the goings on in my family (they are preparing to relocate to France).  This semester I am doing a course called Gender and Writing and although it's still early days, I can already appreciate the opinions and texts that it's exposing me to.  One thing that I can say is that early attitudes to woman are frighteningly ignorant and I am grateful for every inch of freedom that we have today even if things are not quite perfect yet.

Anyway, I haven't given up on my list entirely and I will still try and get through as much as I can before the end of the year.  I think I may have made a mistake when I chose to read Moby Dick third because I have battled to make progress with it.  I think the combination of complicated readings for varsity and a complicated reading for pleasure was not a good one.  Just to recap, here is what was on the list and what I managed to get through:

  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
  2. Moby Dick - Herman Mellville (Roughly halfway through)
  3. Please Kill Me:  The Uncensored Oral History of Punk - Legs McNeil
  4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
  5. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  6. South of the Border, West of the Sun - Haruki Murakami
  7. More Baths, Less Talking - Nick Hornby The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
  8. Less than Zero - Brett Easton Ellis
  9. N.W. - Zadie Smith
  10. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Who knows, maybe I will still finish these before the end of the year but I decided that the pressure to finish them just to write about them was not something that I need right now.  Now, on a lighter note, have any of you guys read anything new and awesome lately?


  1. I was pleasantly surprised to find I really enjoyed the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (I felt obligated to read it cos B's boss lent it to us). Next on my list is The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and The Shining Girls (Lauren Beukes).

    1. I am soooo excited for The Ocean At The End Of The Lane...I am waiting patiently for my copy to arrive!! Also heard good things about The Shining Girls. I will keep that one in mind:)