Tuesday, August 19, 2014

top ten books I'm not sure I want to read

After a doozy of a week, Sheba and I spent our weekend doing only strictly-necessary activities.  For me those included: errands.  For Sheba that included: ferociously napping with her head thrown back, putting her toys in her water bowl, and continuing on her quest to kill Frank (the tiny tiny fly that lives in the lamp).

I hope this week has started out well for you, and that the very last month of summer has been just delicious.  August should bring summer out like the last people at a party, you know?

But without further ado, let's get started on this week's Top Ten Tuesday (from last week): "Books I'm Not Sure I Want To Read."

  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  Not sold on it...and I'm not even completely sure what it is.
  2. Atlas Shrugged: This is a book that people I know either L.O.V.E. or can't stand - and the same can be said for Ayn Rand.  I haven't tried to read it yet, but I haven't had too much of a desire to do so yet either.
  3. Gone Girl: Evvvverybody I know has read this book or knows somebody who read this book.  At one point I had picked it up at a Hudson News and wasn't sucked in.  I'm not sure about all of the hype.
  4. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  In theory it sounds like a great book that would be totally up my alley, but I haven't been able to get into it.
  5. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.  This one I picked up in one of those "Free Books!" boxes by the side of the road, when someone's moving, and I thought it was fantastic starting out, but now, not sure.
This is about as far as I got, since mostly this prompt got me thinking about books that I do want to read.  These three are a few that stood out to me when on the prowl for Pulitzer or Booker Prize winners:

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson: Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows "even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order" (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life. (from goodreads)

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin: In the spirit of Joyce's Dubliners and Turgenev's A Sportsman's Sketches, Daniyal Mueenuddin's collection of linked stories illuminates a place and a people through an examination of the entwined lives of landowners and their retainers on the Gurmani family farm in the countryside outside of Lahore, Pakistan. An aging feudal landlord's household staff, the villagers who depend on his favor, and a network of relations near and far who have sought their fortune in the cities confront the advantages and constraints of station, the dissolution of old ways, and the shock of change. Mueenuddin bares - at times humorously, at times tragically - the complexities of Pakistani class and culture and presents a vivid picture of a time and a place, of the old powers and the new, as the Pakistani feudal order is undermined and transformed. (from goodreads)

Staying On, by Paul Scott: In this sequel to The Raj Quartet, Colonel Tusker and Lucy Smalley stay on in the hills of Pankot after Indian independence deprives them of their colonial status. Finally fed up with accommodating her husband, Lucy claims a degree of independence herself. Eloquent and hilarious, she and Tusker act out class tensions among the British of the Raj and give voice to the loneliness, rage, and stubborn affection in their marriage. (from the Booker Prize Page)

I also found these two very cool blogs: A Year of Reading the World and Booker Talk.  What are your thoughts? Are any of these must-reads for you, or are you also on the fence about some? 

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