1. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – (5/5) . Read in August 2014. Each of the 6 stories has an exciting plot and can exist on their own. But despite the differences in settings and genre, each is connected to the other. The unconventional structure and the theme of recurrence and connectedness amazed me.
2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – (3/5) . Read in September 2013. Awful subject but not explicit. Intriguing and interesting narrative. One of my first literary books and I think deserves a reread.
3. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – (3.5/5) . Read in June 2015. A short book about “The Old Man and The Sea”. And the fish. Minimalist prose and plot structure matching the simplicity of the story. The resilience and determination of the main character is exceptional.
4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – (5/5) . Read in January 2014. An intersex narrator telling his story that started from his parents and grandparents. Heart-felt narration of pain and confusion. An impressive family saga.
5. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster – (4/5) . Read in November 2013. Never failed to keep me thinking while reading and more so after each part. Unusual but admirable creation of characters. An intellectual mystery.
With the Infinite Feels category, I suppose these could be two of my favorite genres, as I was more interested and completed them first. But as the title said, with literary books, I still consider myself a beginner.
To read more diverse books, and to help me decide on what to read next, I decided to join The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge. I will keep track of my progress and the books that I will read in this post. Here is the list of the tasks. I plan to do two per month, book club discussion books not included.
A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Monstress by Lysley Tenorio
Alternative Alamat by Paolo Chikiamko
Read These Specific Titles
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Possession by A.S. Byatt
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Lightning by Dean Koontz
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
Read At Least 4 Short Story Collections
Drown by Junot Diaz
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
So yes, I am participating again in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Also, as I am currently an active member of a book club, I plan to read all the books assigned each month. I also chose 12 books that I will require myself to read, maybe one book each month of the year. And as I was inspired by The Short Story Station, a team blog by some friends, I will explore more the art of short stories by reading at least 4 short story collections. But the initial choices I mentioned above are subject to change.
1. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – (5/5) Journey into the past and an unrealized love. Serene and meaningful. Endearing. Read in July 2014.
2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – (4.5/5) Fall in love with the internet security officer who read other people’s e-mails. Charming and funny. I love Beth and Lincoln. Read in November 2013.
3. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen – (5/5) A young adult romance told in two voices. Cute and wonderful. Helped me to appreciate life and people more. Read in February 2014.
4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (4/5) A story about a girl shipped off to a boarding school in Paris in her senior year. Teenage life, love, family, friendship. And films. Read in November 2014.
I know it’s already April but I’m posting my 2014 Reading Goals here. 🙂 But first, a summary of last year’s reading. 😀
The year 2013 was the year that I decided to “really” read books again. I just joined Goodreads then and decided to have 24 books in my 2013 Reading Challenge. Proudly, I have read 32 books and 2 Animorphs books plus a reread of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. This number may be quite few compared to the number of books read by other readers but this is already a big improvement for me since I was just a casual reader before 2013.
1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
2. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
3. The Alienist by Caleb Carr
4. If On a Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino
5. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
6. The City and the City by China Miéville
7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
8. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
9. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
10. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
11. Dwellers by Eliza Victoria
12. All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare
Read at least 3 Classics
1. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
3. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
4. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
5. Stoner by John Williams
6. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
7. All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare
Read at least 4 books by Filipino authors
1. Interim Goddess of Love by Mina Esguerra
2. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
3. Elmer by Gerry Alangilan
4. Wasted by Gerry Alangilan
5. Kikomachine Komix, #1: Mga Tagpong Mukhang Ewan at Kung Anu Ano Pang Kababalaghan! by Manix Abrera
6. Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano
7. Dwellers by Eliza Victoria