Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What I read in the First Half of 2009

Books I Read-Jan to June 2009

The first half of 2009 was one of the very best reading periods of my life.
I have always been careful or picky as to what I read. I do not want to fill my mind with junk books. Until very recently I had read little or no 21th century fiction. Thanks to having the time to read a lot of book blogs I now know how to find quality new writers to read and follow. Among these 21th century books are now some of my all time favorite novels. I still read the classics, literary biographies, royal histories and books on the 18th century. There was a time when I read most of the great philosophers. I like Yeats and Whitman among poets. Any way I wanted to allow any one reading this blog to get to know a bit more about my interests and such. The Main drift of my blog will be on novelistic treatments of the effects of reading with a special interest in books devoted to the reading centered life. What follows is a list of my readings for January to June 2009.

  1. Emma by Jane Austin 1816
  2. Old Goriot by Honore De Balzac 1836
  3. Moby Dick by Herman Melville 1851 (Ishmael has read a whole lot of books)
  4. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert-1857-trans by Margaret Maulden 2004
  5. Stories of Herman Melville (Oxford Classic) 1853 to 1859
  6. The Europeans by Henry James 1878
  7. War and Peace by Leo Tolystoy-trans by Peaver and Volokhon-1869 -trans ed. 2007
  8. Daisy Miller by Henry James 1879
  9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 1884
  10. The Bostonians by Henry James 1886
  11. Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy 1899
  12. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald 1925
  13. Waltzing the Dictator: The Marcos and the Making of American Policy by Raymond Bonner-1987-brilliant
  14. Queen Victoria by Christopher Hibbert 2000
  15. Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolyn Erickson 2001
  16. Leaving Mother Lake: Girlhood at the Edge of the World by Yang Erche Namu and Christine Mathieu 2004
  17. Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano 2006
  18. Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolano 2004
  19. One Night in Chile by Roberto Bolano 2003
  20. 2666 by Roberto Bolano 2008
  21. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 2005
  22. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry 2006
  23. Flaubert: A Biography by Frederick Brown-2006-
  24. Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon 2006
  25. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffengger 2004
  26. England's Mistress: The infamous Life of Emma Hamilton by Kate Williams 2006
  27. Martha Washington by Patrica Brady 2005-wonderful book
  28. A Royal Affair: George III and his Scandalous Siblings by Stella Tillyard 2006
  29. Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered by Peter Wells 2008
  30. The Last Mughal: The fall of a Dynasty-Delhi-1857 by William Dalrymple 2006
  31. Americo: The Man who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernandez 2007
32 King Kaiser Tsar: Three Royal Cousins who Lead the World to War
33. Lovely Bones by Anna Sebold

I liked all these books. Some are towering world class master pieces. Some are works of genius. Some you can read while you watch TV. I could see several of the 21th century books entering the canon. I will look forward very much to new books by the 21th century novelists and historians I was lucky enough to read in the first half of 2009. I will eventually I hope read all the six Austin novels-some I read 40 years ago, the other three Fitzgerald novels more Henry James Novels. I will for sure read in the second half of 2009 the new Pynchon novel. Any way I hope others will share some of their 2009 readings and in time I will write a bit about some of these books from the perspective of the blog- The Reading Life.

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Verbivore said...

Looking at your list, I think you might also enjoy contemporary novelist Kirsty Gunn. I discovered her last year and have read two of her novels - Rain, and Featherstone - and she was an instant favorite. Her writing is beautiful and very rich and she treats difficult subjects.

Jessica said...

You have an amazing list thus far. Tell me, What did you think of The Elegance of the Hedgehog?

Vintage Reading said...

That's and impressive list! Last year I re-read all six Austen novels, some of which I hadn't read for twenty years. The wonderful thing about Austen is that she speaks to you at every age.

Molly said...

I am so impressed with this list. You have read so many classic, literary novels in a very short amount of time. I am anxious to see what you read the second half of 2009