Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top 100 Books Update

I am still continuing with my attempt to get through 100 top books before I die, albeit slowly. I may actually make it, as I have now read 71 of the 100 books. Refer to this previous post which should take you through the history.

I've even re-read one of them. Our trip to Japan (see photos here) included Kyoto and a visit to the Gion district, which inspired me to quickly read Memoirs of a Geisha again.

This is the list of latest books read, in order with most recently read at the end.

  • Wide Sargasso Sea  Jean Rhys. I liked this in the end, but felt it came to a surprisingly quick halt.
  • Lord of the Rings  J.R.R. Tolkien. Always love reading this. I might start it again.
  • David Copperfield  Charles Dickens. Via DailyLit. As mentioned before, I hated this at school (and consequently didn't finish it) but thought it was great this time once I got into it.
  • Emma  Jane Austen. Not as good as her other one.
  • Good Omens  Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. (At the risk of not really wanting to use this word in a blog post:) Quirky.
  • The Woman in White  Wilkie Collins. Through DailyLit. Pretty good.
  • Dangerous Liaisons  Pierre Choderlos De Laclos. Yeah. I loved the way he was able to switch writing styles in order to switch character. The notes at the end of the book helped enourmously.
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë. I started reading this on DailyLit and then switched to book. What is the go with this story? Am I missing something here? Isn't it supposed to be a great love story? I had trouble with some of the language as well. Are we meant to understand what Joseph is saying, or does everybody who reads this just pretend they understand that gibberish? Does anybody else despise the housekeeper telling the story? It's more a Russian tragedy than an English novel, as just about everybody dies.

DailyLit is the read-by-email service I've mentioned before. I do recommend it, with a few caveats:

  • reading on-line can be tiring. Especially if reading from your phone;
  • if you start really getting into the book, it's easier to just grab the PDF or the book rather than continually clicking on the "Get next installment now" link; 
  • there's always a "where was I yesterday?" feeling, but you get that with books as well, just not as frequently;
  • sometimes you lose emphasis in a medium that doesn't support simple things like bold and italic. Switching to HTML doesn't help, as the text that DailyLit has does not contain the bold and italic either. I found this out when a copy of Wuthering Heights turned up at my place after I'd be reading it on DailyLit; and
  • if you let the emails pile up in your in-box, it can be a trial to clear them out.

Currently I am reading Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and Ulysses by James Joyce. The last is a little hard to get into, I've got to say. I hope it gets better, as there is 329 installments of it to go!

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