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New book meme

From Ian Sales:

Book meme! Here are the 25 titles chosen for 2012's World Book Night. Do the usual: bold for read, italics for owned but unread. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Player of Games by Iain M Banks

Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Take by Martina Cole
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell
Someone Like You by Roald Dahl
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Room by Emma Donoghue
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Misery by Stephen King
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Let the Right One In by John Ajvde Lindqvist
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
The Damned Utd by David Peace
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

Any particular recommendations from the list of those that I have not read?


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 27th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC)
I thought Let the Right One In was fantastic, but I'm not sure of your thoughts on vampires. Worth a go, though. I really liked Room, and quite liked Small Island, though I felt it was over-hyped at the time that I read it. Misery is rather fantastic if you like Stephen King's sort of thing.

I would advise you to NEVER read any Martina Cole. NEVER.
Oct. 27th, 2011 08:57 am (UTC)
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is a strong recommendation from me, as are Room and The Remains of the Day (hated the film, love the book); Misery is good (better written than most of his books - I like King and own all of them but damn, he needs editing); Someone Like You is good but not my favourite [adult] Dahl by a long way.

I've also read Shopaholic - it's fluff - and Small Island, about which I can now no longer remember anything, so couldn't honestly recommend it, but I've a vague feeling I liked it. ;-)
Oct. 27th, 2011 09:07 am (UTC)
Read The Damned Utd, regardless of whether or not you know or care about Leeds United or Brian Clough; and then read the Red Riding quartet and GB84. David Peace is about the best English writer around today, give or take Jonathan Coe, though his multi-threaded style owes more to Alasdair Gray than anyone.

Of the rest that are unmarked, King is a hack, Ishiguro is mannered and dull, and Kinsella will melt your brain cells, and not in a nice way. The rest I really couldn't care two hoots about either way.
Oct. 27th, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
The Remains of the Day is indeed mannered but I would argue it was exquistly, painfully mannered. Certainly my favourite book on the list.
Oct. 27th, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
second The Damned United
it would probably help to know at least a little about who Clough, Leeds etc are, but I think it will stand up anyway.
(couldn't get into Tokyo Year Zero though)
Oct. 28th, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)
Re: second The Damned United
That's what Wikipedia is for.
Oct. 27th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
I agree with yiskah that Let the right one in is a high class horror book. I personally loved The Damned United, but I would think it is a challenging read if you don't know anything about British football in the 1970s*.

The other one that I enjoyed a lot which you haven't read is Touching the Void. It is a deceptively powerful book I think.

Strange list, got some imaginative and well chosen books, and some dull stuff.

ETA - wrote that before I read burkesworks comment. I agree with him that Peace is brilliant, but I think he's tough going.

Edited at 2011-10-27 09:09 am (UTC)
Oct. 27th, 2011 09:51 am (UTC)
Harlequin is the first of the Hundred-Years-War historical thrillers, with an archer as viewpoint, as Richard Sharpe is the rifleman viewpoint of his Peninsular War novels. I am not qualified to say how accurate the books are, but I generally find Cornwell a good, if occasionally gory, read.

The film of Touching the Void was amazing; as films are usually worse than their source material I'd think the book worth reading.
Oct. 27th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
Let the Right One In is very good; I liked The Vanishig Act of Esme Lennox but was hoping there'd be more to id. I thought Sleepyhead was OK but couldn't get really excited about it - I thought Billingham was trying to be Ian Rankin so bad it hurt.
Oct. 27th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
Remains of the Day is superb: a pitiless character study brilliantly conveyed through a narrator who has almost no insight into what he is saying.

Touching the Void is a classic of mountaineering literature, up there with Diemberger's The Endless Knot and Herzog's Annapurna, though I don't know how it reads if you don't climb mountains yourself.
Oct. 27th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
The Damned Utd. And then watch the film.

Misery is also good.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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