Essential Reading: June 2015
Now that my BOOKLOVE update has been finally done and now that June has arrived, the business of writing my Essential Reading list for this month. I also intend to publish a few reviews after this and maybe revitalize some of my dormant features but we all know how I keep breaking such promises to myself and to my blog. Anyway, the books that I’ve read last May:
- Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (4/5)
- Dear Life by Alice Munro (5/5)
- Will You Please Be Quiet Please by Raymond Carver (4/5)
- Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (4/5)
Lucky Jim was such a good beginning because, as I anticipated it, it was really like Stoner but comedic with the travails of a forlorn professor, Jim Dixon, having me laugh out loud more than once. Alice Munro is once again in top form in her latest collection of short stories and I am convinced that she is the greatest living short story writer. However, despite my admiration for the works of both Carver and Anderson, I was a little disappointed towards the end when I felt that they were being repetitive despite their masterful depiction of suburban and small-town life respectively.
Anyway, here’s my reading list for June:
- Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay – An Australian novel about a group of female students from a women’s college who went to Hanging Rock to have a picnic only to mysteriously disappear without a trace. The copy of the book that I have came with the Criterion edition of the movie directed by Peter Weir of Dead Poets Society fame. I intend to read the book first before watching the movie.
- A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor – Taylor, not the actress, is often considered to be one of England’s finest twentieth-century writers and is admired by the likes of Kingsley Amis and Hilary Mantel. This novel, my first read from her written work, is about two young lovers separated by time and distance and their attempt at a rekindling a few years later.
- The Comforters by Muriel Spark – My third Spark this year since I’m being true to my objective of exploring her work this 2015. Now, I go to her debut novel which was said to be championed by Evelyn Waugh when it was still an unpublished manuscript.
- The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré – Selected by Time Magazine as one of the All-Time 100 Novels, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is often cited for its realistic and morally ambiguous portrayal of espionage, a departure from the 007 novels of Ian Fleming. The novel also features le Carré’s greatest creation, George Smiley, who is my favorite spy in the history of literature.
- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett – This noir masterpiece is our book club’s book of the month which won over Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress, Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, and James Ellroy’s LA Confidential. However, the copy that I have also has two other of Hammett’s novels, The Thin Man and Red Harvest, which I won’t be reading because I don’t want to suffer from Hammett fatigue.
That’s it for the month. I’m out!