[For those who don’t know, I am participating in A Century of Books this year which requires me to read one book from each year from 1919 through 2018.]
The Hidden Target – Helen MacInnes
Recovering – May Sarton
An intelligent spy novel or a journal of a beloved author recovering from a mastectomy? Not to be flip, but both of these tug at me equally. It’s going to come down my mood at the time.
The Missing Person – Doris Grumbach
To the Islands – Randolph Stow
A Soldier’s Legacy – Heinrich Boll
At Freddie’s – Penelope Fitzgerald
Monsignor Quixote – Graham Greene
A Pale View of the Hills – Kazuo Ishiguro
The True Deceiver – Tove Jansson
Anger – May Sarton
Sleepwalking – Meg Wolitzer
So much here to tempt. An early Wolitzer, a late Greene. Penelope Fitzgerald is never a bad idea. I’ve read two Tove Jansson short story collections, one of which I really liked and one which left me ambivalent. I am curious to see what she does in a novel. I blow hot and cold on Ishiguro. Well, I actually don’t feel that strongly, I blow warm and cool on Ishiguro. I’ve tried reading A Pale View of the Hills previously and didn’t make it very far. If this edition was so pleasant to the touch and the eye I probably would have gotten rid of it a long time ago. Given my other choices, it also seems unlikely it’s going to get read this year.
A Place on Earth – Wendell Berry
The Philosopher’s Pupil – Iris Murdoch
Back in my planning school days I read some of Berry’s non-fiction. For some unknown reason I am not drawn very strongly to this novel. Maybe because that is no how he made his name (at least with me) and so I feel like it can’t be any good. On the other hand a giant, late, Murdoch has me a bit ambivalent.
Watson’s Apology – Beryl Bainbridge
The Ladies – Doris Grumbach
Good Daughters – Mary Hocking
The Busconductor Hines – James Kelman
Testing the Current – William McPherrson
At Seventy – May Sarton
At some point I have to read some Bainbridge. I’ve just assumed I would like her and buy of cheap editions when I find them, but I don’t think I have every read any of them. I really need to figure out if she is someone I would like. I love the title The Busconductor Hines and the book is totally unknown to me.
Quinx – Lawrence Durrell
The Tenth Man – Graham Greene
Indifferent Heroes– Mary Hocking
Last Call – Harry Mulisch
The Good Apprentice – Iris Murdoch
Durrell’s Quinx if the last novel in a five-book series. There is no way I can read it until I read the other four. But I don’t own the other four.
To the Land of Cattails – Aharon Appelfeld
The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks – Robertson Davies
Innocence – Penelope Fitzgerald
Welcome Strangers – Mary Hocking
In the Country of Last Things – Paul Auster
The Book and the Brotherhood – Iris Murdoch
Civil to Strangers – Barbara Pym
I’ve already started reading In the Country of Last Things so I guess that answers that. I’ve also listened to the amazing Vanessa Redgrave reading the book, but I was following along with the book and the recording is abridged so that is kind of annoying. Redgrave is so good, I wish to heck she had read the whole book.
The Lyre of Orpheus – Robertson Davies
The Beginning of Spring – Penelope Fitzgerald
The Captain and the Enemy – Graham Greene
Beirut, Beirut – Sonallah Ibrahim
Mother London – Michael Moorcock
After the Stroke – May Sarton
Given that there are so many wonderful repeat authors on my TBR I am getting a little bored with some of their names at this point in my cataloging effort. Based on that and that alone, I think I will go for Beirut, Beirut or Mother London.
Jigsaw – Sybille Bedford
A Natural Curiosity – Margaret Drabble
The Other Side – Mary Gordon
Jack – A.M. Homes
The Message to the Planet – Iris Murdoch
Damascus Nights – Rafik Schami
Probably going to be Damascus Nights. It is one of the books I bought by authors from countries on President Pumpkinhead’s no admittance list. Asshole.
The whole list