BOOKS READ IN 2014:
|Letters To A Young Poet||Rainer Maria Rilke|
|The Torrents Of Spring||Ernest Hemingway|
|Pale Fire||Vladmir Nabakov|
|The Old Man And The Sea||Ernest Hemingway|
|Within A Budding Grove Part 2.||Marcel Proust|
|The Guermantes Way Part 1||Marcel Proust|
|Death In Venice||Thomas Mann|
|Fear and Trembling||Soren Kierkegaard|
|Things Fall Apart||Chinua Achebe|
|The Crying of Lot 49||Thomas Pynchon|
|The Guermantes Way Part 2||Marcel Proust|
|The Lost Daughter||Elena Ferrante|
|Cities of the Plain Part 1||Marcel Proust|
|The Loved One||Evelyn Waugh|
|The Death of Ivan Ilyich||Leo Tolstoy|
|The Metamorphosis||Franz Kafka|
|The Member of the Wedding||Carson McCullers|
|Cities of the Plain Part 2||Marcel Proust|
|La Symphonie Pastoral||Andre Gide|
|Strait Is The Gate||Andre Gide|
|The Captive Part 1||Marcel Proust|
|The Immoralist||Andre Gide|
|The Captive Part 2||Marcel Proust|
|The Sweet Cheat Gone||Marcel Proust|
NOTES ON READING IN 2014
A year entirely coloured by the great A La Recherche Du Tempts Perdu. I fell for Gide, and the swirling Fear and Trembling by Kierkegaard gave me a mild headache… but nothing diverted me from Proust for long. With the exception of Pale Fire by Nabokov, all the other literature I read this year, besides Proust, was fairly short. Acting as palette cleansers to break up the big read…
Rilke was a wonderful discovery, The Torrents of Spring by Hemingway confirmed my extreme dislike of his writing – The Old Man And The Sea, however, was enjoyable if only for its lack of opportunity to display misogyny and racism. Gide was another great discovery – Isabelle, La Symphonie Pastoral and Straight is The Gate in particular; and the Death of Ivan Ilyich reminded me of my deep love for Anna Karenina – and lit a small fire under me to read War and Peace at my earliest convenience. I loathed Thomas Pynchon and Andre Breton made me mildy (oscillating between mildly and extremely, rather) angry with his closer to Nadja: “BEAUTY WILL BE CONVULSIVE OR WILL NOT BE AT ALL”. It made me bang my fist at book club and shout “beauty can be gentle!”. The study group on the table next to us moved away from our table after that.
Just one volume of A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu to go – TIME REGAINED. Anyone who has spent longer than a few conversations with me will know my love of this great book, how much I have taken pleasure in reading it and the deep joy it has given me. I can say it is without a doubt one of the greatest life choices I have made – reading this beautiful piece of art at this time in my life. It is so rich and I will cherish it forever, and pick at it again and again for the rest of my life. It has changed and influenced the way I view everything and provided a veritable FEAST for my mind.
It is with regret I notice I only read two female authors this year. I shall resurrect that strange passing next year – I’m starting with our book club choice NIGHTWOOD by Djuna Barnes as my imminent read. After that I will read the final volume of Proust. Perhaps then I will crack on with War and Peace and read the three remaining Woolf novels I have left unread – The Voyage Out, Jacob’s Room and The Years.
If anyone has any recommendations, please send – I have sailed through the year somewhat on autopilot without having to seek out great literature, as the “next” book to read, for such a long time; was always Proust, interspersed with some book club choices and the odd short-ish novel.
What a trip!!