Thursday, December 2, 2010

1,001 Books - the next five

Now that I've finished the Wasp Factory, I have come to the end of the first five books in the 1,001 Book Challenge that were chosen for me by the Random Number Generator.  I decided to choose the books in this way to avoid the all too likely scenario of me picking first all the books that appealed to me and then being faced with an endless stream of books that didn't.  Although it is a bit gimmicky, I thnk it works as a concept as none of the first five books it set me were ones that I would naturally have picked and I found that I enjoyed three, managed one and didn't even attempt the other!

So, I have gone back to the RNG for my next selection and {drumroll please}these will be:

1.  The Crime of Father Amado by Jose Maria Eca de Queiros - a nineteenth Century Portuguese classic about the power and venality of the Catholic Church in provincial Portugal.  I'm looking forward to this one, having read a few reviews of it.

2.  Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro - I'm contemplating using a Get Out Of Jail Free card on this one as it doesn't strike me as my kind of thing.

3.  Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow - looking forward to this story about the poet Humboldt and his friend Charlie Citrine by a Nobel prizewinner.
4.  Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon - I suspect this will be challenging but I have a weakness for books set during WWII and its aftermath so will hopefully find it rewarding

5.  The Life and Times of Michael K. by J.M. Coetzee - another Nobel prizewinner, I am not particularly grabbed by the subject matter (a black man struggling to live a peaceful life in apartheid South Africa) but will try to approach it with an open mind.

I have a backlog of books to blog about, have a Classics Circuit Anthony Trollope Tour post to do on Monday and will be having a Christmas mini-theme later this month and suspect I will also have a very busy Christmas (Mini-Falaise is already getting warmed up by roaming the house bellowing random chunks of Jungle Bells and exclaiming excitedly at any pictures of snow, Christmas trees or Santa that she spots).  I will probably, therefore, not get to any of these until the New Year.  Hopefully, they will be a great kickstart to a new year's reading in 2011.


Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I love this! What a great way to pick a few books. I may have to try this.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

You're going to read a Portuguese author! That's great! I'm really looking forward to your views on Eca de Queiros. We've all had to read him in school, either this one - O Crime do Padre Amaro - or the family drama Os Maias.

He's a classic, and I should read more of him. Hope your translation is a good one!

Hannah said...

I wish you the very best of luck reading the Pynchon! Let me know how it goes. It intimidates me more than almost anything else. Looking forward to your Trollope post.

Falaise said...

Avid Reader - I have to say it is quite fun, looking at the list to see what is coming up next, especially as with 1001 books in then list, it is impossible to guess!

Alexandra - from the synopses I've read, I am looking forward to it and I have to confess that I had never heard of him before this - the perils of an insular English upbringing!

Lifetime Reader - Thank you. I am feeling a bit intimidated by it but a friend of mine who did an MA in American Literature used to rave about him so hopefully it will be interesting. I am enjoying your blog very much and am looking forward to following your reading.