Wednesday, December 31, 2008

[43] Of Mice and Men

I love this book, purely and simply, do.  John Steinbeck is great and now I'm not so wary of his work.  You know those authors that you see, and their books look a bit dull so you're a bit apprehensive to read anything by them.  Such authors included in this could be Fitzegarald, Dostoevsky, and a whole range of others.  Everyone has an author of whom they dread to read, and Steinbeck was mine. 

Now, I've been living in this new year of 2009 for 14 hours now, and I have already read a book, so things are going pretty well in that department.  I started this book just after midnight, got about eleven pages read, decided I needed some sleep, got up and since about 10am, I have been reading this book.  Not constantly, but for the most part.  

It's a great book, much in the way that books like The Great Gatsby are great.  I know that some people have sheer dislike for Gatsby, mainly because they were forced to read it during school, at a time in their life when they just couldn't enjoy it.  That was the time of life I read Great Gatsby, and I loved it at school, but I appeared to be one of the few. 

This book deserves its spot on the list, and if it were ever to be removed, I would say there will be hell to pay for Dr Peter Boxall who is basically the one who edits this book all together, and goes through it etc etc.  You know what I mean.  Perhaps.

Basically the book centers around two guys who go to work at a farm.  One of them is mentally disabled, and so has trouble understanding exactly what is going on, the other looks out for him, and makes sure he doesn't get into trouble.  The book is short, and moves quickly, so it won't take you very long.  My version was 120 pages.  I recommend getting the version printed in "Popular Penguin", the cheap ones with the orange covers.  If you're in Australia (or New Zealand), you'll know the ones. I'm not sure if they're printed elsewhere.  The font in this one is extraordinarily good.  The size is just perfect.  I'm the kind of person who doesn't particularly enjoy small fonts.  Not those oversized large print ones, but the sensible size 12 fonts, those are good. 

Anywho, that's really all I had to say on this book, hope you have a great reading year! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009: The year for achievement

So I figure this year I could get a fair few books read.  To begin with I've got two months of holidays before I go back to University, so I assume this means I have plenty of reading time.  Therefore, I'm making a list of 50 books, from this list, that I would like to read in 2009.  I should have read more in 2008, but only got about 15 from the list.  

1. American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
2. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley 
3. Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky 
4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
5. Breakfast At Tiffany's - Truman Capote 
6. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (Own)
7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey (Own) 
8. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (Own)
9. The Plague - Albert Camus 
10. Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky 
11. The Honorary Consul - Graham Greene 
12. Cutter and Bone - Newton Thornburg
13. What Maisie Knew - Henry Janes
14. Watchmen - Alan Moore 
15. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole 
16. Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald 
17. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut 
18. The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien (Own)
19. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley 
20. Atonement - Ian McEwan (Own)
21. The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst 
22. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro 
23. Animal's People - Indra Sinha
24. The Inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai
25. Measuring the World - Daniel Kehlmann
26. The Heart of Redness - Zakes Mda
27. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson 
28. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou 
29. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick 
30. Junkie - William S. Burroughs 
31. The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith (Own)
32. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming 
33. Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger
34. The Graduate - Charles Webb
35. In True Blood - Truman Capote 
36. 2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
37. Empire of the Sun - J.G. Ballard 
38. The Sea - John Banville 
39. Oscar and Lucinda - Peter Carey
40. Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel
41. War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells 
42. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne 
43. The Lonely Londoners - Samuel Selvon 
44. On the Road - Jack Kerouac 
45. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
46. Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy 
47. The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster 
48. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rys
49. Lady Chatterley's Lover - D.H. Lawrence 
50. Homo Faber - Max Frisch 

Finally! That took quite a while to find 50, out of so many choices.  I'm happy with this list, and if I read a majority, if not all, I assume I will be much better read. Some of these are shocking, by the fact that I haven't read them yet.  Tomorrow, I begin. 


Friday, December 26, 2008

[42] The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Hmm, Muriel Spark, I would have to say you are quite the genius.  Miss Jean Brodie is a strange character, a teacher of whom you wouldn't really want teaching your young girls, especially as her influences lead a teacher sleeping with one of the students, or newly graduated ones, at least.  
A strange book, but nonetheless a good one, with interesting characters.  The way this book flows is a little odd, but it's definitely a classic of its time.  Whilst Muriel Spark doesn't have the household name in the way that Jane Austen or Emily Bronte do, she is well worth a read. 

Basically this book is about a teacher, Miss Jean Brodie, who is apparently in her 'prime' and so she has a set of girls she teachers who she takes under her wing, and nurtures them into what she wants them to be.  We hear both the story of the girls, as they grow and develop, and the story of Miss Jean Brodie.  

Apart from this, I don't have much else to say.  It's not a long book, at only 128 pages, but it still takes a little bit to get through.  Definitely worth the read, if you're into that kind of thing, and I can see why it is on the list.