10 books to read this Spring (maybe)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish requires me to list 10 novels on my to read list this Spring. An impossible task I fear for one who finds planning and reading do not make for happy bedfellows. I’ve tried – really I have (quit  rolling those eyes would you please) over the last five years. I have pledged my allegiance to various challenges short and long and dutifully listed what I would read as my entry ticket to such events. The list making is the fun part. After that it all goes down hill rapidly. The minute a book title goes on a list, I seem to lose all interest in reading it and instead much prefer something lurking in the darker recesses of the bookcase. So I’ve given up essentially and just read what takes my fancy at the time. 

My list of 10 is therefore offered with full disclosure that I might read all of these. I might read some of them. It’s conceivable, being as fickle as I am, that I will read none of them.  I reserve the right to completely change my mind in the next few weeks (scratch that, I mean next few hours). The most likely one I will read is the book I drew in the Classic Club SpinDiary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith.

Diary_of_a_Nobody

My one and only commitment is that whatever I do read, it will be from the collection of books I already own – this is in support of my 2017 goals. 

10-to-read - 2017

Hell’s Gate by the French author Lauren Gaude is due for publication by Gallic Books in April.I have a NetGalley copy for review. Gallic describes it as “A thrilling story of love, loss, revenge and redemption in Naples and beyond.”

GhostBird by Carol Lovekin: Another title by the independent Welsh publisher Honno Press that I picked up as part of my plan to read more fiction from my fellow countrymen and women. This was Waterstones Wales and Welsh Independent Bookshops
Book of the Month in April 2016.

Good Behaviour by Molly Keane: One of the titles I have in mind for Reading Ireland 2017 – I’ve read only one novel by Keane (Devoted Ladies – under her other name of M.J Farrell) so I’m keen to see if this one resonates more with me.

When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen, translated from Finnish by  Lola Rogers. It’s described by The Independent newspaper as a tense family drama. I was more interested in their assessment that “When The Doves Disappeared is indeed a thrilling page-turner but it is equally a shattering family drama and an unsparing deconstruction of history.” I bought this as part of my quest to broaden my reading horizons with authors from many parts of the world.

Twilight in Djakarta by Mochtar Lubis, I picked up a second hand copy of this about four years ago. Its one of only two books I own by an author from Indonesia. The cover has a rather dark, retro feel which apparently matches the mood of the book. It was published about 50 years ago, having been smuggled out of Indonesia where the author was held under house arrest, and depicts social and political events in the capital during the run up to a national election.

His Bloody Project  by Graeme Macrae Burnet. A historical thriller that was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2016. I meant to read it before shortlist was announced and got a bargain electronic copy but it wasnt the right format – I wanted to be able to flick back to previous chapters etc which is never easy on an e reader. But now my sister donated her print copy to me, I have no more excuses.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (note that I erroneously had this attributed to Dodi Smith until an astute reader spotted the error). I know, I know, you are astounded I have never read this classic. So am I. And so I will. At some point

The Finkler Question  by Howard Jacobson. One of the remaining titles on my Booker project list. It has its fans and its detractors. I’ve read the opening chapter and enjoyed it.

Sacred Hunger  by Barry Unsworth. Another Booker prize winner that has been highly recommended by many of you who follow this blog.

How many of these will I actually read? I dare you to make a forecast…..

 

BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

52 thoughts on “10 books to read this Spring (maybe)

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  • May 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm
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    I really loved The Diary of a Nobody, it felt so current, and the behaviour so unlike how I had seen the era. Often antique humour can be pleasant and maybe a little quaint, but there’s an incident with a painted bath that had me roaring, as I’m not one to waste paint, either!

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    • May 2, 2017 at 5:11 pm
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      That was the incident that had me guffawing too. And all the times he trips over the boot scraper…

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  • March 17, 2017 at 7:11 pm
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    I’m also going to try to read Hell’s Gate. Looking forward to see what you think about Jackson. As I just read (finally! The Lottery), I’m curious about this novel

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  • March 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    I have read five books on your list. Good Behavior, When the Doves Disappeared, and Sacred Hunger are all wonderful, and I highly recommend them. I was kind of lukewarm on Diary of a Nobody. However I hated The Finkler Question, and wrote a scathing negative review of it.

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    • March 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm
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      I’ll have to take a look at that review of The Finkler Question but maybe need to wait until I’ve read it so I can form my own opinion first

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    • March 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm
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      haha Tony, I have read two on the list, Diary of a nobody, and The Finkler question. I read Diary so long ago (4 decades to be exact) that all I remember is that I enjoyed it. I have no idea how I’d feel now. But I really enjoyed The Finkler question. It really tickled my fancy, and even now, thinking about it, I can’t help smiling at the humour!

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  • March 16, 2017 at 11:17 am
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    His Bloody Project is bloody terrific! After your cc spin, it should be next!

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    • March 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm
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      with such a strong recommendation how can I possibly resist

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  • March 16, 2017 at 5:53 am
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    I’ve never read Dodi Smith’s I Capture the Castle either and really only became aware of it last year… not sure how that happened!

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    • March 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm
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      I’m only going to do the prompts that interest – they take too much effort otherwise

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  • March 15, 2017 at 11:29 pm
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    I predict you will read the Shirley Jackson book in addition to your Classics Club choice! I read Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth but haven’t read Sacred Hunger. I received three novels for Christmas and I’m pleased to say I’m halfway through the third one now. Along the way, since Christmas, I’ve read and listened to other books from the library and that I bought for book clubs, so congratulations on your success at reading your own books!

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    • March 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm
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      Thats good progress Laurie,often the books I get for Christmas are lying unread by the time Christmas comes around again

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  • March 15, 2017 at 11:10 pm
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    I loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle, hope you like it too! You always have an interesting reading list. I’m trying to read more “around the world” so you’ve given me some good ideas. I hear His Bloody Project is very good – and I like anything Scottish.

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  • March 15, 2017 at 10:40 pm
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    I Capture the Castle is sweet – have you read it? His Bloody Project had promise but ultimately didn’t deliver, although I know I am in a minority on that one. I couldn’t see the point of the Finkler Question. Looking forward to your reviews.

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    • March 17, 2017 at 1:37 pm
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      I havent read that one either – its on my list though, along with about 300 other titles.

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      • March 17, 2017 at 2:04 pm
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        I am planning to focus on short novels from now on – anything over 250 page sis in trouble!

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        • March 17, 2017 at 11:40 pm
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          I like mine to be around 300-350. Anything shorter and I find they dont develop sufficiently for me to get fully engaged

    • March 23, 2017 at 6:15 pm
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      I couldn’t get on with The Finkler Question either. Perhaps I would have persevered if I had bought it at full price instead of remaindered at Poundland!

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  • March 15, 2017 at 8:38 pm
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    His Bloody Project is a very good read, as is Diary of a Nobody – and it’s a quick read too.

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  • March 15, 2017 at 7:52 pm
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    I’m also notorious for changing my reading plans, so I understand.

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  • March 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm
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    I hope you read and like We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson 🙂

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  • March 15, 2017 at 6:04 pm
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    I’d love to hear what you have to say on His Bloody Project. I’ve heard so many different views on it.

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      • March 20, 2017 at 12:36 am
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        Ive heard mixed reviews but mostly good. People said they liked it but didn’t feel it should have been nominated for the Man Booker.

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  • March 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm
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    I love making lists but hate being told what to do even by myself so never enter these challenges. I’m always filled with respect for those who complete them, though.

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    • March 15, 2017 at 10:13 pm
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      And some people even manage multiple challenges simultaneously. They are clearly made of stronger stuff than I am Susan

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  • March 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm
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    I will not take your dare because I am all too familiar with how these sorts of plans go awry! Nonetheless, I hope you manage to read at a least a couple of them and that you like them immensely.

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  • March 15, 2017 at 5:35 pm
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    I’ll look forward to hearing what you *do* read – hopefully the Grossmith as I remember it being very amusing!

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    • March 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm
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      I shall save Grossmith for when I need cheering up – probably in two weeks time when I have to have more surgery, Though I had better not laugh too much in case the stitches are fragile

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  • March 15, 2017 at 5:13 pm
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    I think you may have got a few books / authors confused! We Have Always Lived in the Castle is by Shirley Jackson. Dodi Smith wrote I Capture the Castle!

    Great post though! 😀

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    • March 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm
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      Glad someone is paying attention! I had Capture the Castle on the list and then scrubbed it but forgot to change the author….

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      • March 15, 2017 at 5:43 pm
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        I haven’t read Capture the Castle but the Jackson novel is pretty good! I hope you enjoy it

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        • March 17, 2017 at 1:39 pm
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          I take the view that anything I dont read this time around will still be there in my bookshelves for when the mood takes me

  • March 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm
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    I loooooove Sofi Oksanen! I read this one in the French translation and I highly recommend it.

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