July’s TBR Books

My last exam was on May 25, but I had so much to do (packing for storage, sightseeing in London, moving my stuffs out of my room, cleaning the room, and packing for return) that I didn’t have the time to read much. I managed to do some catch up in June though, with Bell Jar finished and 3 stories left in Alice Munro’s Dear Life.

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I was in Lutyens&Rubinstein in London. I didn’t know which book to pick. Initially I chose Clarice Lispector’s compilation of selected stories, but the book was simply too big for my liking. So I put it back in its place and saw Dear Life just under it (books are arranged according to their authors’ surnames). I enjoyed Too Much Happiness which I read last year, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with another collection of her stories.

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Then I went to Daunts Books. I was looking at all the South American works on display and picked a book by Clarice Lispector. I wanted to pick another book and went for Julio Cortazar’s selected stories (including Hopscotch). But the book was a bit too pricey, so I put it back. While doing so, my eyes chanced upon The Narrow Road to the Deep North for the second time in the bookshop. A friend of mine keeps raving about this book and calls it one of the best he’s ever read. Also, what made me bring this book home is what is written at the back: “Some years, very good books win the Man Booker Prize, but this year a masterpiece has won it.”

DSC_2264If you want to read more South American books, make sure you check this article out. This is how I came to know about Clarice Lispector. I read some extracts of her books on Amazon, and they were fascinating, to say the least. So when I went to London I knew I would have to look for her books. There’s no reason why I picked this particular title though. We’ll see how it turns out.

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I ordered this book at the start of my second academic year (in September), the time when you think that everything will go just fine. I tried to read it before going to bed, but realised soon that it is not the sort of book that you read when you’re mentally exhausted. I think now is a nice time to see what this Booker-winning novel is about. I hope it won’t disappoint.

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It caught my attention when I was in Waterstones in London. It was placed alongside popular classics such as Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Slaughterhouse Five and Cloudstreet on a table for ‘Unforgettable Reads’. One day I was buying some stuffs on Amazon and decided to throw in two books as well. One was to be Bell Jar, the other The Colour Purple (It took me a while to choose between The Colour Purple and The Collector). But when I opened my parcels, I saw I had ordered The Collector by mistake! Considering the rave reviews this book has garnered, I cannot wait to read it.

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Last year, when I was buying Folio books on eBay, I was looking for that book because it was so rare and beautiful. It was my luck the Folio Society started printing it again. I couldn’t go to London without visiting the Folio bookshop and I couldn’t leave the shop without buying something, so this is how I got this really gorgeous book – this picture doesn’t do it justice at all. I think it’s good value for money, as it’s around £28, relatively cheap for a Folio book of such beauty. As for the book itself, I loved The Great Gatsby and I heard that Tender is the Night is F.Scott Fitzgerald’s best work. We’ll see.

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10 thoughts on “July’s TBR Books”

  1. The cover of The Collector is so pretty! The only book I’ve read on your list is Dear Life – Alice Munro is such a talented writer, I’ve always loved her short stories. I’m excited to see which of these books you like the most – I’m glad you finally got to rest and recover from final. Happy Reading!

    1. Thanks for commenting! 🙂
      Dear Life is amazing, especially The Finale. The collection is quite different from Too Much Happiness,which is the other collection by her that I’ve read, but it is still extremely good. I’ve fallen in love with her writing! If you remember, do you have a favourite story by Alice Munro?

      The cover is indeed pretty for The Collector. Vintage tends to make very beautiful paperbacks. The book itself is very compelling and I finished it earlier than expected. It’s very cleverly written and also very original. I would definitely recommend it, if that’s your type of book.

      1. My favorite story is probably the first one I’ve ever read, I think it was called The Bear Came Over the Mountain — does that sound familiar to you?

  2. Your choice of to-reads looks well-balanced and well-informed, you’re a man on a mission that is going to be a success (well, it already is a success). I vaguely remember I enjoyed The Collector; I didn’t enjoy Tender Is the Night, but then I didn’t like Great Gatsby either – I seem to be unable to appreciate these Jazz Age books about the upper-crust – so don’t let my personal impression spoil your joy from reading. I think you just inspired me to try to read more.

    1. Oh, thanks!
      I’m done with three of them now. I just have three to go to finish them all.
      It doesn’t surprise me that you read The Collector; you strike me as someone who prefers the lesser known classics (and the creepy ones) over the much-cited ones. So it doesn’t surprise me either that you didn’t like Fitzgerald’s books.

      When you say you vaguely remember The Collector, I was going to ask since when do you read books, but then I realized that we’re not of the same age – even if I know it, it’s always amazing to think that you’ve gone through more or less everything awaiting me in the near future!

      I loved The Collector. I finished very quickly, quite unexpectedly! If you had to make a top ten of your favourite books, what would it be? 😀

      1. Haha, no, we’re not the same age, I was referring to a period when I was doing my Bachelor’s (or was it Master’s?) degree, ten years ago or so. That was a time when I read a lot, since I did English Literature. Now I read much less than I’d like. I didn’t as much choose my reading as it was chosen for me – I read what was on the syllabus, though I had some choices as to whether read this or that book on the reading list. I prefer my reading dark and depressing, so The Collector was good with me. I’m glad you had a pleasant reading experience with this one too!

        My top ten of favourite books would be probably very obscure and very Scottish, it’s my specialisation. To name just one that can be generally recommended, it would be certainly Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, a thick book, generally recognised as a masterpiece, if neglected beyond the limited context of Scottish literature. In any case, enjoy your summer reads!

  3. I loved The Sea ( don’t bother with the film version though which is dreadful).. Your friends reaction to Narrow Road to the Deep North was mine also. So you have some delightful reading ahead of you

    1. As always, it’s nice to read your comment. You’ve read so much!
      I really want to love The Sea, because it won the Booker Prize and beat Never Let Me Go, which is a book that I loved! I will give it all my time.

      As for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, it looks very promising. It is quite big though!

  4. I just finished listening to audio version of the Great Gatsby, it was awesome! Have to read Collector and Color of Purple at some point. During summer I hope to read more of Jack London 🙂 How many years do you have left with your university?

  5. That folio society book and The Collector (I love Vintage’s cover designs) are beautiful! I’m also planning on reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North this month. And btw, your book photos are just so good ❤

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