Essential Reading: October 2015
September means that, in my side of the globe, it is starting to get really cold which has the effect of making me want to just lie down in my bed and cover myself with blankets while getting nothing done. I haven’t written any reviews last month and I would wager that it would be the same this October. I have been irresponsible to my required reading for September as I’ve only read two of the books that I said I will read out of five. I made up for it however by reading four other books that weren’t part of my reading list. Here are the books I’ve read for September:
- The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion (4/5)
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (3/5)
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (3/5)
- Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (5/5)
- Love Poems by Pablo Neruda (5/5)
- Erotic Poems by EE Cummings (4/5)
The Last Thing He Wanted, Didion’s version of a political thriller, is one of the most inventive novels that I’ve read from the genre with it’s emphasis on character instead of events. The Glass Menagerie disappointed me not because it was bad but because I felt that it was meant to be watched on the stage and not be read like I did. Hosseini’s The Kite Runner had a story that hooked me but it failed in my eyes due to Hosseini’s banal writing. Lauren Groff deserves to win the National Book Award with her inventive take on a marriage that is hinged on secrets and deceptions with her extraordinary novel, Fates and Furies, one of the best books I’ve read in years. Neruda once again proves that he is a poet after my own heart with his slim Love Poems while Cummings certainly delivered albeit to a lesser extent than Neruda with his Erotic Poems.
For October, here are the books that I’ll read:
- A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor – O’Connor’s Wise Blood is one of my favorite books this year and it made me seek more of her works so that I can read them immediately. This story collection is said to be the best writing O’Connor’s ever done since she is considered to be a master of the short story.
- The Children Act by Ian McEwan – Full disclosure, I’m already done with the book and I can say that I have liked it enough though not as much as McEwan’s other works like Atonement and On Chesil Beach.
- A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor – My second attempt in reading this work by Taylor which means that it has captured my attention for the second time. I just hope that I could go through with it this time.
- Red Lights by Georges Simenon – I’ve already read a book from Simenon’s Maigret series (the very first one in fact) and, although I found it to be lacking, I still want to explore more of his works particularly those that are not part of his series of books about Inspector Maigret. Red Lights seems to be right up my alley.
- Three Years by Anton Chekhov – I’ve never read any of Chekhov’s full length works as I’ve only sampled a few of his short stories here and there. The Lady With A Dog captivated me completely when I read it and it only made me want to read his works more.
That’s about it for my October reading although I suspect this list will be thrown to the wind once the books of Svetlana Alexievich that I ordered arrive.