Tuesday, November 20, 2012

70. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I have to confess that after reading the first quarter of this novel I thought, "It's about a silly woman who wants to get her five daughters married off". I did not find any of the characters sympathetic. However, since I am very interested in Georgian England,I persevered and I'm glad I did. The true characters of the young men, who are prospective husbands for the sisters, are gradually revealed and things get more interesting.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

69. The Loud Halo by Lillian Beckwith

Another amusing glimpse of croft life in the fictional village of Bruach, on a Hebridean Island in Scotland. From every day farm labour  to special events like an election or a tinker's wedding, this third volume in the series is full of  entertaining stories and keen observances.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

68. Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World by Claire Harman

Well documented account of Jane Austen's life, works and the posthumous popularity of her books. Interesting how film and television brought her novels to a new audience in the 1990s. I have read only two of her six books: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. I've also see the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility. Need to put Pride an Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma on my "to read" list.

Friday, November 09, 2012

67. The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell

Liza, at the age of sixteen, runs away to live in a caravan with her boyfriend after her mother has been arrested for murder. Liza has been witness or has knowledge of three. During her upbringing in the gatehouse of "Shrove" a secluded mansion, Liza was home schooled by her mother who sought refuge from a troubled history. Although not street smart, Liza can read and speak French and Latin and is a voracious reader of classic fiction.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

66. The Spoilers by Desmond Bagley

A wealthy American movie mogul's daughter dies of a heroin overdose in London. He finances an operation, headed by her doctor, to infiltrate the opium trade in Iraq and Lebanon, with explosive results.

65. The Looking Glass War by John le Carre

Written as a follow up to "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold", this cold-war espionage novel has become a classic in its own right. I wonder how good the film versions were?

Saturday, November 03, 2012

64. Blindness by José Saramago

I'm not sure whether to classify this novel as Science Fiction, Horror are a bit of both. An epidemic of sudden blindness, where the victim sees only a milky white fog, brings out the worst in humanity. It's interesting how none of the main characters are given names and are referred to as " the girl with the dark glasses" or " the boy with the squint". A disturbing  and yet compelling tale.