Friday, June 19


After almost five months of ploughing through the stacks of books beside my bed, I can finally buy new books.

I wouldn't want to bore you with my plebian book reviews, but suffice to say that all those classics I never read were left unread all those years for a reason -- I am too much of a philistine to appreciate them.

Anna Karenina was a yawn (especially since I already knew how it would all go down), Vanity Fair enjoyable but long-winded, and I hated The Age Of Innocence so much the first time I read it that I blanked it out from my memory and thought it was an unread book on my list (when I starting reading it again, it all came back to me and I tossed the book aside with an "argh!")

The last of the 20 or so books I read -- in one insomniac fit a couple of nights ago -- was The Pianist (unsentimental, sparse and quite brilliant). For some reason, I had a movie tie-in book for a film I'd never even watched. Wouldn't mind watching it now, just because I enjoyed it so much.

Also on the list was Rabbit-Proof Fence (another book which was made into a movie I never saw), possibly the worst book I'd ever read. The story about the escape of two Aboriginal girls across the Australian outback should have been gripping, especially since it was a true tale. Unfortunately, the writing was so patchy and completely lacking in any form of coherence that it was a good thing that it was (a) thin enough to be done with in a day, (b) had an ending which was given away in the foreword, and (c) was on my list and thus I had to read it to its bitter end.

Notable mentions on the list include:
-- My Lover's Lover by Maggie O'Farrell: Not chick lit, but a suspense-love story which reminded me of Rebecca and had my stomach in knots (in a good way).
-- The Food Of Love: Chick lit with a culinary twist (surprisingly good though predictable, as all chick lit is).
-- You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers: The guy has a way with words.

But enough of my lousy book reviews.

Incidentally, there is this 15 book list circulating on Facebook, which I hardly dare to participate in. After all, my friends are casually dropping names like Goethe, Proust and Edward Said, and throwing in a couple of Judy Blumes or Lord Of The Rings so that they are not marked as literary snobs.

My list, on the other hand, would include The Faraway Tree, Adrian Mole, Haruki Murakami -- very fashionable these days to profess a love of Murakami, but I've gone off him, to be honest, him and his talking cats and men who love jazz and earlobes -- and, as such, isn't very impressive.

P.S. After completing this entry, I suddenly realised I had one more unread book on the list: Zadie Smith's Autograph Man. Ooops. I'll get cracking on it pronto.


wallfleur said...

i like maggie o'farrell. must say i closed autograph man after less than 10 pages. though i did like on beauty and was alright with white teeth.

Midori said...

Autograph Man is good!

aiyah, you nv read sorf's review - rabbit proof fence is really a nasty piece of work.