Wednesday, October 6, 2010

a reading list

Photo credit: MSArtistSewCrafty

Now that the days are getting shorter- and at least here in Paris, colder and wetter too- I find myself wanting to spend more time curled up in my house, with my hands wrapped around a mug of tea. I have a television in my apartment but I can't remember the last time I switched it on. I've never cared for TV, much less for re-runs of Friends dubbed in French, which seem to be the standard fare here.

I've always preferred to read.

Right now I'm in the middle of The Scarlet Letter. I'm probably the only person who didn't read it in highschool English or something like that, but better late than never, no?

I was given a Kindle (actually, two Kindles...) for Christmas, and now almost everything I read looks like this:

It is perhaps not so charming as a worn paperback, but so practical. Which sometimes, not always, but sometimes, is more important.

Here's a list of the books I've read in the past year:

  • Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood
  • The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
  • The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood
  • Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
  • Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
  • The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
  • Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
  • Powerful Medicines: The benefits, risks and costs of prescription drugs - Jerry Avorn
  • The Master and Margarita- Mikhail Bulgakov
  • Jack Maggs - Peter Carey
  • The Clitoral Truth - Rebecca Chalker
  • What is the What - Dave Eggers
  • Eat, Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Europeans - Henry James
  • Washington Square - Henry James
  • Metamorphosis and Other Stories - Franz Kafka
  • Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
  • Life of Pi- Yann Martel
  • A Good Year - Peter Mayle
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - David Mitchell
  • Don't Tell Alfred - Nancy Mitford
  • American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld
  • The Man of My Dreams - Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Just Kids - Patti Smith
  • Valley of the Dolls - Jacqueline Susann
  • Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Rabbit, Run - John Updike
  • Jenny and the Jaws of Life- Jincy Willett
  • Nana - Emile Zola
My favorites? Oh. Hm. Tough question.

I recently discovered Margaret Atwood and I pretty much love everything she touches. Same goes for Curtis Sittenfeld.

I couldn't put Rabbit, Run down, but it sort of made my hair stand on end. Some of Philip Roth's novels have that effect on me as well, but it's impossible not to admire the quality of the writing.

Henry James always makes me feel erudite and virtuous.

And of course, there's Zola and the Rougon-Macquart series. I especially loved reading Nana while in Paris because it's still possible to visit places like the Théâtre des Variétés and the Passage des Panoramas that Zola wrote about in the 1880s.

But still, hard to pick favorites.

Hope you enjoy a good book in the autumn as much as I do...happy reading!

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