It’s that time of the year again when book bloggers list down all the books they’ve read so far because the year is about halfway done.
Well, I’m no exception – besides, I’ll take any excuse to make some kind of book list.
Compared to 2012, 2013 has not been a great reading year for me in terms of my book selections. I’ve only read 15 books so far – 2 of which I’ve read before, and none of the new books I’ve read have so blown me away.
The books I’ve read so far (with ratings – 5 being the highest; 1 the lowest):
- Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (2.5)
- Death Comes to Pemberley – P.D. James (2)
- Red Sorghum – Mo Yan (3)
- Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami (2.5)
- Revenge – Yoko Ogawa (3)
- The Cat’s Table – Michael Ondaatje (2.5)
- The Spy Who Came in From the Cold – John Le Carre (2.5)
- The Perfect Spy – John Le Carre (2.5)
- The Tiger’s Wife – Tea Obreht (3)
- Inferno – Dan Brown (2)
- The Once and Future King – T.H. White (3)
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman (2.5)
- The Sisters Brothers (3)
- The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (4)
- The Dream Hunters – Neil Gaiman (5)
As you can see, with the exception of the 2 books I re-read, the ratings I’ve given to the 13 novels ranges from a 2 (it was ok) to a 3 (I liked it), with an average of around 2.6 (it’s better than just ok, but I’m not sure I can say that I liked it).
Last year I read a lot of really good books – The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Wolf Hall, Bring Up The Bodies, 1Q84, just to name a few, but this year, so far I think the best novel I’ve read was The Sisters Brothers, and even then I only gave that a 3.
There were also a handful of books I started but didn’t finish because I found them boring, namely:
- Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Douglas Adams) – I didn’t find it as funny as I thought I would.
- The Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro) – I found it as boring as a lot of people have claimed it to be.
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon) – Font and spacing too small for a book that’s over 500 pages long. Though I might pick this up again if I can’t find any other interesting reads this year.
- The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Jonas Jonasson) – I tried reading this book twice – I stopped reading it, twice. Just doesn’t seem that interesting.
Right now I’m reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, which I’m dangerously close to quitting. I’ve had the book for years now and have always had the idea that it would be amazing. Unfortunately, I’m about 130 pages in and I just find it getting more annoying by the minute. From what I’ve read so far, and from what I’ve read on the ‘net, the plot seems a bit similar to Donna Tart’s The Secret History, and I hated, I mean HATED that book! Not to mention the very pretentious tone of the novel where the narrator has this compulsion to compare everything in life with intellectual novels, paintings, movies, songs, essays – anything to show off her dazzling wit and intellect. To be honest, I just find the narrator and the whole novel annoying, and I don’t think I can take 500 pages more of it.
Which brings me to my conclusion and appeal to my readers – if there are any out there…I’m badly in need of good books to read. Please recommend some books you think would be worthwhile or would bring me out of my slump. I read any genre, just as long as the plot is good and it’s not Ulysses.
Thanks in advance and I’m looking forward to hearing your recommendations!
21 thoughts on “Books I’ve Read So Far and Now I Need Your Help…”
Have you read The Virgin Suicides? I recently read that and really enjoyed it.
Oh, not yet. I’ve meaning to..maybe it’s about time I read it. I’ve seen the movie.
Thanks for the recommendation!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller–one of the best books I’ve read this year.
I didn’t really like The Virgin Suicides–it was a disappointment after reading Middlesex, which is my favorite Eugenides novel. But lots of people seem to love it (VS).
I really liked Middlesex too. Thanks for the input and recommendation 🙂
But I love The Remains of the Day! The slump must have affected your appreciation for it. Anyway, you should really consider short stories. Try Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her.
I’ll give Remains of the Day another try someday. Hmmm…I’m not very into short stories, I don’t know why. But I guess that’s a good idea. I will take that into consideration.
I know, I remember you said. But since you mentioned that you read anything … hehehe.
Yes I’ll read anything….that I find interesting 😛 I’ve read short story collections before, so it’s ok.
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I also couldn’t finish the remains of the day…so boring 😉
I don’t know your kind of reading, so not sure what to recommend. One that never fails to amaze people everytime I recommend it is Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, I love it so much
Thanks! Yeah, I’ve heard good things about it. I actually thought to read it way back when, but never got around to it.
Hey there! I hope you do get to finish Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I read it years ago and I recall really enjoying it. (I know, I enjoyed The Secret History as well. Hehehehehe.)
I also enjoyed The Sisters Brothers. I don’t get to read that many Westerns. I think that genre is not very popular among Filipinos.
Thanks! I liked The Sisters Brothers even though it was a Western (it was the first Western I’ve read, I think hehehe).
I don’t know about Special Topics in Calamity Physics though, I think I’ve decided to quit…it’s really annoying. As for The Secret History, well, I hated that too lol.
Thanks for stopping by!
If I may venture a suggestion, The Master and Margarita is a fun book to read. For a Russian novel, it is incredibly funny and poignant to boot. One of the, if not the best book I’ve read this year.:)
I’ve read that already…thanks for the suggestion though 🙂
HAH, you thought The Remains of the Day was boring, too! Glad I’m not the only one, at least. What’s with all the glowing reviews on goodreads?
Hahaha I have not idea! I have friends who LOVED Remains of the Day, and I have friends who were absolutely bored to death by it. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I read it, so I’m willing to give it a try again someday, when I’ve got nothing better to read 🙂
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hours Bookstore is Fantastic!
Thanks, I’ll look into it. Actually I’ve heard of it.
If you kind of liked The Remains of the Day, but found it boring…have you read Never Let Me Go? Same author, some of the same themes, but different setting. I read that one first and was blown away, but could barely finish the other.
Yes, I’ve read Never Let Me Go. I think the story is very different from Remains of the Day, but it might have the same mood, being by the same author. But, I don’t know, I will probably go back to reading Remains of the Day someday.