This week the people at the Broke and Bookish ask us to list the ten books which have been most recommended to us.Here’s my list:
1.A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
I remember when the shortlist for the Booker Prize of 2013 was out the premise of this book really caught my attention – like everybody else,I didn’t think that ”the time being” could actually be a being.Although Catton’s The Luminaries won afterwards,many people I know read Ozeki’s book,enjoyed it a lot,and told me that it is a must-read.I also note that they’ve all been captivated by the storyline as they’ve finished reading it in a matter of days.
2.The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
My friend keeps telling me that I should read it,as he is sure I’ll enjoy it,maybe because he knows that I’m fond of multi-layered books.The premise seems promising and I saw somewhere on the net that there are 12 characters who correspond to the Zodiac signs; the use of horoscopes in books is something unheard of before and given that Catton’s novel won the Booker,I gather that it must have impressed quite a few juries on the panel.I have no qualms about the potential of this book,and I’ll read it soon. – well,maybe next year,considering its size.
3.The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
I was surprised by how popular this book was – could it be the most popular Booker Winner ever? In fact I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.I received a defective copy from the Bookdepository and I’m currently awaiting a replacement.Otherwise I would have read it immediately after Things Fall Apart which I’ll most probably finish tonight.
4.Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Oddly enough I’ve seldom seen any negative review of this very controversial book; it is a favourite of many and its beauty presumably lies in the way it is written.Lolita is quite mysterious to me,as I wonder if there will actually be any tinge of paedophilia in it,if Lolita acts like a little girl or a teen,or if it is so well-written that we will forget about the disturbing subject centering the novel.All in all I cannot wait to read this one.
5.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy – Douglas Adams
I’ll be honest: after reading the premise,I dismissed the series as ridiculous.But throughout the year that followed,I noticed that many people who read classics count the ”Hitchhiker” books among their favourites too! I am thus sure that I’ll have a good time reading them and they might as well be among my own favourites! I’m currently saving my money to buy these books in Folio edition.
6.The Outsider – Albert Camus
After visiting a myriad of blogs on wordpress,I feel I am the only one who has not yet read this book.As it is often the case with Camus’ books,many people rank L’Etranger – as it is called in French – among their most memorable reads.I have it at home,but maybe I’ll read it after finishing The Myth of Sisyphus,Camus’s essay on existentialism.
7.The Arrival – Shaun Tan
For no special reason,this book caught my attention in the list of the best graphic novels of all time.I liked the premise and saw that it has good ratings on goodreads,so I added it to my wish-list.Afterwards I saw this book being reviewed by a graphic novel enthusiast who ranked it among the best works she has ever read.Such sentiments were echoed,albeit to a lesser extent,by another blogger who said it is a very powerful novel.The peculiarity of this book is that it doesn’t have any word; its beauty and pathos reside solely in Shaun Tan’s superb illustrations.Really a book I’m looking forward to reading!
8.North and White – Elizabeth Gaskell
Many people liked it and recommended it to me.I’m not a huge fan of the Victorian era,and reading Gaskell doesn’t sound very appealing to me.Nonetheless I think I’ll have to give her book a chance,if it as good as others say it is.There is also Cranford,which many seem to like.
9.The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
These past years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of this book.I have only a vague idea of what it is about,but I wonder why many think it is as good as they say it to be.I’m also very curious to know how someone best known for her exceptional poems fared with writing a novel.
10.Wonder – R.J Palaccio
This one has been popular since its publication,I think.I’ve heard great things about it and really want to buy it,even if I can’t help thinking that its cover highly resembles that of A Fault in Our Stars; I fear Wonder might just be as overhyped as John Greene’s book.But well,I will definitely read it!
I had to list only ten novels,so I couldn’t include all the books recommended to me.Among those which I will surely buy are Maus,the graphic novel,E.M Forster’s masterpiece Howard’s End and Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin.