memoryfloodsin: (p; claudia & nick)
[personal profile] memoryfloodsin
Ok so I'm starting my end of year round up. I'm starting with books. I love reading but after uni where you're just reading around the clock I kind of stopped reading a lot. This year I decided to change that and swore I'd try and read as often as I could. I've not managed a great deal of books but it's a huge amount compared to 2008. In 2010 I'm going to try and do that 50 books in a year thing.

The 39 Steps ● John Buchan, I've read it many times before and I just love this book. So much is packed into such a tiny packaging. I really love Richard Hannay as a precursor to James Bond. I also love this for the play it spawned - oh how it makes me laugh!
On The Road ● Jack Kerouac, I feel like maybe I missed the point with this one. I didn't not like it but I found myself pretty indifferent to it and quite annoyed by the main 'characters' - they were so irresponsible and hard to like. I dunno, it just never clicked for me.
American Gods ● Neil Gaiman, Love this man! I've been meaning to read American Gods for ages. It was every bit as good as I expected. I'm sure I've missed huge chunks of it because there's just so much going on. I really enjoyed how many layers there were and how it all linked up.
Tintin and the Crab with the Golden Claws ● Herge, Oh shut up! Tintin counts as a book. I think Tintin is the reason I'm pretty meh about Batman et al, cos when I was growing up my super hero was a Belgian, obnoxiously curious journalist with a crazy hair do. I'm very excited for the film but also terrified.
The Picture of Dorian Gray ● Oscar Wilde, I love this book, I love how it's still relatable for today. Although I still find the whole Sybil was the love of his life thing really tenuous.
Tintin and the Shooting Star ● Herge.
Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn ● Herge.
State of the Nation: British Theatre Since 1945 ● Michael Billington, This book was so fascinating. It's so interesting to see the connections between the various theatres/producing houses and how they all came into being. It's very interesting to see how productions change with who's in power and what's happening in a societal context. Really really recommend this book for anyone who is interested in theatre.
Brideshead Revisited ● Evelyn Waugh, I love this book. I normally don't like first person narration but it really didn't bother me with this. It's one of those books that makes your heart ache after you finish reading.
Of Love and Other Demons ● Gabriel Garcia Marquez, He's one of my favourite authors. I find his writing style so exciting, I guess a little of that comes from the translation, it just reads really organically. I also love how he can write about something disturbing or slightly twisted and turn it into something beautiful.
Heart of Darkness ● Joseph Conrad, Again, I'm glad I've read it now and I understand how it caused uproar when it was first published but I wasn't as captured by it as I thought I would be.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie ● Muriel Spark, I really enjoyed this. It's very amusing but poignant at the same time. I did cry. I really need to rewatch the film now that I've read the book. I think Miss Jean Brodie is awesome, although at times it's very hard to like her.
Generation Kill ● Evan Wright, This book is so fascinating. It's great to see a different perspective of war in general and this specific war than you normally do, or at least I normally do because I tend to be more selective about my war books. These Marines are amazing.
One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine ● Nathaniel Fick, Nate's writing style is so easy to read and I appreciate how candid and thoughtful he is in this.
The Eyre Affair ● Jasper Fforde, Oh my, I loved this! It was so amusing and I love the world he's created. Thursday Next is a fabulous female character, although I wish she hadn't ended up with whatshisface.
Dead Until Dark ● Charlaine Harris, This book is so offensive. I found it just so disgusting to read. I can't even explain it. I think in some ways it's worse than Twilight but it's certainly on a par. They both glamourise abuse of women. Bill is a rapist ok? That's an automatic character write off for me.
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed ● Alan Alda, Alan Alda is one of my favourite actors ever. He's tremendous and so funny and that really comes over in this book. It's so poignant and joyous. I find it fascinating to read about his early years and to learn how he wound up being an actor.
Educating Rita ● Willy Russell, Ok so it's not a book but this is one of my favourite plays. Willy Russell is one of my favourite playwrights. He writes women so well and so generously. This one always cracks me up but also gives me quite the throat lump. I think the reason I adore his plays is because there is always an element you can relate to almost entirely. He's a great observer of people.
Three Days of Rain ● Richard Greenberg, again it's a play. I hadn't read/seen this till this year and now it's one of my favourites. There is so much to notice you don't see it all the first time around. It's such a rich tapestry of words. It's also hilarious. I think it's a wonderful illustration of how a generation misunderstands the one that came before.

Currently reading:
The Hours ● Michael Cunningham, This is taking me a while. I'm enjoying it but his writing style doesn't really work for me.
Shooting History ● Jon Snow, Jon Snow is a legend. I'm only a short way into this one but I'm sure it's going to be intriguing to read.
National Service ● Richard Eyre, Again only a short way in but it's so exciting already. I really like the fact it's been published almost as is, no editing. It's a wonderfully candid and honest account of his time at the National. It also contains this gem: "8th June, Sponsors' lunch at the NT. Mary Soames pushes a note across the table to me. It read: 'who is Ian McKellen?'"

Finally, what books should be on my 'to read in 2010' list?


Date: 2009-12-21 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i love the fact that you read Tintin! love love love it...

the picture of dorian grey freaked me out soooo much... maybe because i was 14 when i read it

Re: Tintin!!!!

Date: 2009-12-21 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I <3 Tintin. He is superior!
I think I was about 14 when I first read it, it is indeed creepy but I just love it.

Re: Tintin!!!!

Date: 2009-12-21 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i believe that reading "the importance of being earnest" spoiled me for any other wilde book ever. i just love it sooo much that every other wild book after that one was just a let down... does that make sense?

I can't wait for the new tintin movie with pegg and frost. ♥

Re: Tintin!!!!

Date: 2009-12-21 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That makes total sense, given the choice between the two I would definitely pick Earnest!

Same, and Billy ElliotJamie Bell!

Date: 2009-12-21 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ohh, man, I love this post! Gen Kill and Nate and Michael Billington! (You were at the Fugitive Kind reading, weren't you? I was there with Hana/[ profile] thedreamygirl :D)

The thing that made me flail the most, though, is Shooting History. I LOVE JON SNOW SO EFFING MUCH, he is endlessly amazing.

Date: 2009-12-21 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was yep! I thought that was you, I just didn't connect real name with LJ name.

Jon Snow is an absolute legend, I so very much want to hear him talk on something, anything!

Date: 2009-12-21 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
BIG Beat fan here - spent some time at the Beat Museum on my trip earlier this year, absorbing myself in the Kerouac love.

I bought The Eyre Affair but it remains untouched on my floor...travesty. Anything by Willy Russell gets my vote - I'm doing a whole module on Russell with my Year 9s this year *flails*

That's a great list, btw.

Date: 2009-12-21 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't not like it I just found myself kind of indifferent to it which in some ways was more disappointing than if I'd outright hated it.

It's such a fun book.

Will Russell is a genius. How he manages to be so hilarious and heartbreaking at the exact same moment I shall never know. OMG JEALOUS!!!

Date: 2009-12-21 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Willy Russell was the first male playwright that made me think 'how can anyone write a woman that well that isn't female?' x

Date: 2009-12-21 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think he was probably mine too actually. Every single one of his women is a fully realised character and not just some plot device.

I'll never forget seeing him and Tim Firth in concert, they played their songs and read excerpts from Neville's Island, Blood Brothers etc. It was amazing.

Date: 2009-12-21 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd love to see a good production of Shirley Valentine - it's due for a revival, I'm sure *cue Sam/Elsie's dream casting* I saw Willy read one of the 'Hello, wall' passages from Shirley and I consider myself very honoured XD


Date: 2009-12-21 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I saw the most fabulous production of that up here in the Studio @ York Theatre Royal. It was fantastic but yes it's due a revival, actually so is Educating Rita imo.

Date: 2009-12-21 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think that you should read

pages for you - sylvia brownrigg
everyone worth knowing - lauren weisberger
love, ellen - betty degeneres
affinity - sarah waters
the Regeneration trilogy - pat barker (<3<3<3<3)

and there are some more, but i'm absolutely knackered from traveling up and down the country and I'm going to bedfordshire!!! <3

Date: 2009-12-22 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
GK and One Bullet Away! :) I'm still reading the latter, but you're right. I like Nate's writing style.


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