Monday, July 18, 2011

20 books to read

So - back in those heady days when I could get out and about for more than half an hour at a time, I once went along to a festival in Ennis, the book club festival to be precise. I'd won a golden ticket giving me free entry to all events thanks to a piece of writing (we had to write about our imaginary ideal book club) anyway it was a great weekend at the time... One of the events was called 10 books you have to read - and we had two people presenting, so all told got 20 recommendations. I list them below. I'm in the process of making my way through some of them now on kindle - one hand reading is a godsend when you've a hungry baby in the other paw. I'm putting an X against the ones I've already read so if there's any of the others that ye really think I should give a miss to - please let me know...
From Herring Mankel's crime novels I picked a prequel - a collection of short stories, it was funny to find two of the baddies committed suicide at crucial moments to finish off the story, save the hero and solve the crime all in one, so may have been as well off without that one... Anyway - comments welcome, as always, in the comment section. :-)

Coy's List

1. Mark Dote/ Dauchet - Atlantis - poetry book
2. Lorna Sage - Bad Blood - memoir X
3. Pat Barker - Regeneration - story of war hospital in scotland
4. Philip Roth - The Plot against America - Thriller - what if
5. CP Snow - The Masters - 40s/ 50s american science scene.
6. Albert Camus - The Plague - Rats in Algeria X
7. Doris Lessing - The making of the representative for planet 8 - sci fi
8. Hering Mankels - Crime novels set between sweden and africa X
9. Joan Didien - A year of Magical Thinking - story of mourning
10 Raymond Carver - A new path to the waterfall- poetry

Fintan O Tooles
Collected poems of johnathon swift
Thomas Lynch - the undertaking
Wislava Simborsca - polish poetry
Primo Levi - The drowned and the saved X
Marcel Proust - The prisoner, The fugitive - 2 books
Alistir McCloud - No great mischief
Jeff Torrington - Swing Hammer Swing - bag of bees imagery
Charles Nicol - the reckoning
Elizabeth Bishop's poetry.


Niamh B said...

don't bother pointing out the highlighting problems - I see them, just with 2 hours sleep last night - I have a much higher tolerance for sloppiness on the blog... :-)

120 Socks said...

Of the ones you have read, which one is d best in your opinion?

Niamh B said...

Probably Primo Levi - though it was heart breaking. Am really sorry to say that too - as Marion was by far the better speaker on the day, and seemed more prepared - had better reasons for reading, so I had more hopes for her list.
Camus was pretty good too - again dire in terms of subject matter but if a good read is something that completely brings you to a new place, then it was true of that one.

Kat Mortensen said...

I just KNOW that was a Freudian slip. I mean, after all, those Scandinavians rarely go a day without some herring! I'm sure Mankell will forgive you.

I'm reading Sjowall and Wahloo (THE original Scanian crime stories) and loving every minute of them! There are only 10 because Wahloo died, shortly after, but really excellent. I can't recommend them enough! (Also, each is quite a quick read, so not too demanding if you're otherwise occupied.)


Niamh B said...

Mad - the scania crime thing is a well established genre then?
there was certainly a good atmosphere to them, alot of mentions of the wind, I found them easy to read alright.

Domestic Oub said...

Not sure I've even heard of most of these books. Am uneducated oik. So I won't be any help to you.


120 Socks said...

Thanks Niamh!

Titus said...

Ooh, ooh, the Levi, Lessing, Camus and Bishop I love, love,love.
I can take or leave Proust, depends entirely on how interior I'm feeling. You have to be very interior to read Proust. I think. I do like CP Snow though, but haven't read that one.
I am sure I have read Swing, Hammer, Swing and can remember nothing much about it, sorry. Mr T has read No Great Mischief and there's a bit about a dog that he always reads to me that makes me cry. A very unexpected ending too, he says.

I am sending D'Oub my emergency classics pack.

Domestic Oub said...

This is the point where I say I was exagerating and I am really far more well read then I let on.

But that would be a lie.

If it hasn't got a gruff dectective with a drink problem, but also a heart of gold, then I haven't read it.


Dominic Rivron said...

Out of that little lot I've only read the Plague. Your tag line, "Rats in Algeria" amused me and got me thinking, when you've read them all, could you produce potted, say 50 word versions of them all to save us all the trouble of reading them? Then we could all be speedily up to speed on must-have lit! :)

Niamh B said...

ah Oub, you're not an Oik! Titus, I'm on the cp snow book now, not blown away as yet, maybe myself and marion just have different tastes. I'm still looking forward to you posting your best advice out of the big reading list you had for college.
Dominic, yes forgot (or didn't bother) to delete the little notes I had scribbled for myself as well. If I ever get through them all I'll be sure to do that summary for ye!

Kat Mortensen said...

Just noticed that you have Alistair MacLeod's book, "No Great Mischief" on the list at the bottom. That is one of my top books of all time. Read it in just under two days.


The Dead Acorn said...

I recognize but a few authors, and fewer titles still. There are times when the phrase "Ugly (or Poorly Read, in this case) American" hits a little closer to home than others.

Titus said...

Ooh Lord, I'd forgotten all about that! Maybe after holiday.

D'Oub: have you read any Andrew Vachss? I am really fond of his Burke series.

A quote from the man himself, lifted straight from Wikipaedia:

If you look at Burke closely, you'll see the prototypical abused child: hypervigilant, distrustful. He's so committed to his family of choice — not his DNA-biological family, which tortured him, or the state which raised him, but the family that he chose — that homicide is a natural consequence of injuring any of that family. He's not a hit man. But he shares the same religion I do, which is revenge.


Niamh B said...

that's it - No Great Mischief is gonna be the next read after the masters... sold!
Jeez acorn, you better at least check out "the plot against america" just in case...
Titus - pls pls do - would be v interested.

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Olga said...

Some of these writers are my favorite! Thank you for the list:)

Royn-Ber Wendjaifa said...

There's always someone who writes a list of books that I don't like. This list isn't one of them.