Interval 1: The book list

  • As I’m reading my way through the list, in no particular or pre-planned order, I thought I’d also take a break and reflect a little on the books, my reading, and why I’m doing this. This is the first interval post, after reading seven books.

One thing I am now starting to question, after reading a few books on the list, is just why these books should be so highly regarded. Is it the subject matter, time the books was published, the impact it had on popular culture, or something different?

I’ve tried to stay away from spoilers or knowing too much about the books before I start them, as much as possible in these times where so many have been into blockbuster films, or adapted into more socially-accepted versions. However, it has been good to read a little about each book after I’ve finished it.

I now have a greater appreciation of Keroac’s book (but I still don’t like it), based on reading around the impact it had on modern culture, the Beat Generation, and on individual lives. The same is also true of Steinbeck and Hardy, but I already knew quite a bit about Tess and her tangling with the D’Uberville family from previous readings and studies at school, but re-reading it has brought so many more memories and new interpretations to my mind.

Similarly, I want to find out more and the surprisingly short Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’. In the scheme of literary works detailing ranch and farm life during the 1930’s, is this unique, is this the first (or the first of this approach highlighting the ranch hands instead of the ruling families)? Argh, so much to learn!

The different writing and narration styles are a welcome distraction from my usual reading material, either fiction or non-fiction. Despite most of these books, so far, being quite old, the styles have been pleasant, almost easy (except Keroac!), yet informative and detailed in how they interpret the different worlds, different times, different characters (even different mental capabilities).

I am loving the challenge of reading these books. I’ve a further 20 from the list already downloaded to my Kindle and now need to choose which book next … suggestions welcome [smile].

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