I’ve read two, how many have you read?

I’ve just had a peruse of the latest The Listener (December 11-17 Vol 226), which has their annual list of Top 100 Books, over my morning porridge – don’t knock it until you try it!

First thought was, what have I been doing with my year, as there were so many I hadn’t even heard of let alone read, but then I actually found two I had read and they were both highlights of my reading year.

coverRoom: a novel by Emma Donoghue has been acclaimed world wide and for good reason.

Jack, our narrator and hero is turning five when we first meet him. He lives in Room with his Ma, the only space he has known since being born there. It is a garden shed that measures 11 feet square and they are locked in by the man who abducted Jack’s mother seven years ago.

Jack’s view of life is revealed slowly, and he is the sole voice, you only get a glimpse of how his mother copes with this horror through his naive eyes. The daily life she has developed for him, the fear they both have of the man who keeps them imprisoned and the suspense that builds throughout this slim but powerful book will want you to read it all in one sitting. It’s a must read!

CoverIn a Strange Room by Damon Galgut was nominated for the Booker Prize and is a curiously written book, the style of which may drive some crazy, but persevere and you will be rewarded. It is written in the third person, with the narrator recounting walking trips through Africa and travel in India.

The narrator is observing himself as if he was travelling alongside at some points, then switching to the first person to explain his feelings or reactions to what his happening to him. It is odd to start with, but you soon fall into the lovely rich prose, and the descriptions of Africa in particular were such that I got out of bed at 11.30 to hunt out an atlas to follow his progress.

So, check out the list, see how many you have read, and maybe resolve to read a few more.

Tell us what you thought of the ones that you have read from the list.

4 thoughts on “I’ve read two, how many have you read?

  1. Michael A 8 December 2010 / 8:35 am

    I was gutted to find I had read only one in the Listener list – Johnathan Franzen’s “Freedom”. I can certainly recommend it but you may need to send your wrists to the gym first if you have the publisher’s edition as I did or buy yourself a Kindle for Xmas. It is a great story but the more he writes the more John Irving-like he becomes. I prefer his earlier works (27th City, Strong Motions) and essays to The Corrections and this latest work. Still, compared to most writers, it is a goodie.

  2. Marion 8 December 2010 / 9:13 am

    Oooh Weetbix eating contest – I’ve read nine. I think it is a hard selection if you read mainly fiction. I’ve read a few on the biographies selection and also the A Langbein cookbook. Freedom was the only novel on the list I had managed to read and it deserves to be there.

  3. Donna 10 December 2010 / 10:14 am

    I’ve only done two as well, one was Reality Hunger – full of intriguing ideas, quite good for dipping into.

    The list has definitely given me reading ideas – especially keen to get hold of Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks.

    • mj 10 December 2010 / 2:09 pm

      Hicksville is a standout read. Enjoy!

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