Good evening, fellow Bookworms! I am back! On what would have been David Bowie’s 70th birthday, which is fairly apt, as Bowie was an avid reader. Current working title of this blog entry is “Hello Again” – not just because I’m blogging once more, but also because my current book club selection is a novel by an author whose literary output we have experienced previously. Sensibly, as there were plenty of copies in stock at Waterstone’s, we opted to go for The Ashes of London, by Andrew Taylor, a bit of a chunky novel, and one set in 1666 during the Great Fire of London. As far as I am aware, it will be our second book club read by Taylor, as we read The Anatomy of Ghosts a year or two ago. I remember quite enjoying that one, actually.
Obviously, it’s not the first time I will have read more than one book by the same author, there are are a few authors already on the theoretical roll of honour entitled Authors Of Whose Books Joanne Has Read More Than One! J.K. Rowling would obviously top that particular list, as I’ve read all 7 of the main books in the Harry Potter series, and also read the two she brought out some years ago now for Comic Relief, those being Quidditch Through The Ages, and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. So, Rowling tops the leaderboard with 9 books, 7 of them particularly substantial!
I think we’d have to go back to my childhood now, as Roald Dahl would be high up on the list. Read a few of his as a kid. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for certain. I’m a chocoholic as well as a bookworm! I’ve also read James And The Giant Peach, The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine and The Magic Finger. So at least 5 for Roald Dahl.
Who would be next? Hmmmm… Possibly Jane Austen. I had to read Pride And Prejudice at high school for GCSE English Literature, so that was the first of her novels. Northanger Abbey came next, at university, although I don’t really recall much about that one. As mentioned in previous blogs, the trouble with literature degrees is that you often have to skim through many of the books on your lists and don’t really get to read them properly! Persuasion was a book club choice, a few years ago, so I have dealt with three Austen novels, of which I have definitely read two, and partially read the other.
I’ve read a few of Paulo Coelho’s books, too. Rather obviously, The Alchemist, possibly his best-known novel, plus Veronika Decides To Die, The Devil And Miss Prym, and also the Manual of the Warrior of Light. So, Coelho would be above Austen on the list, just about, with 4 books of his definitely read by yours truly! There may be a couple of partially read ones of his, too, but perhaps I should finish those off before adding. There’s certainly scope for Coelho to move up the list.
Bill Bryson is a bit of a tricky one in so much as he has written quite a few about his native USA that I wasn’t entirely sure which book or books of his I have read and which I have just got in but not got around to reading yet. I have definitely read Notes From A Small Island, which I absolutely loved, one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, and I know I have read the one which starts “I came from Des Moines. Somebody had to.” and, having looked that up on Google, those are the opening words of The Lost Continent. Thus I have read at least two of Bryson’s travel books.
So, now I think we have definitely come to the “I’ve read a couple of their books” category. George Orwell also makes an appearance here, as I read Animal Farm at high school for GCSE English Literature, and then, out of choice, read 1984 a year or so later, when I was around 17 and at college. Charles Dickens is equal with Orwell, although both books have been read out of choice in his case. I have read A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations, in case you were wondering. There’s certainly scope for more Dickens, perhaps I should read at least another of his some time this year? After all, one of his is on my notorious Duplicate Books List, and I have a few on my Kindle should I wish to read them in e-book format.
I suppose I could also add David Mitchell to the list. I have definitely read Black Swan Green, and I was reading Ghostwritten, and following it along with an audiobook at one stage last year. The CDs from the audiobook are on my laptop, so there’s no reason why I can’t take that one up again and finish it off. I was around halfway through Ghostwritten, as I recall. Not sure what happened. Other things got in the way, I guess. I have a few others of his in as well, so there’s scope for more Mitchell should I feel like it…
Just remembered… John Green needs to be on the list, I’ve definitely read a couple of his. Rather obviously, The Fault In Our Stars is one of them, but I must also say, here, how much I loved An Abundance of Katherines. Might not be to everyone’s tastes, but if you like nerdy characters, you’d enjoy Colin Singleton, lol!
A few from my university days, now… Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson. From Carter, we have The Magic Toyshop, and her short stories anthology, The Bloody Chamber. I read Surfacing by Margaret Atwood at uni, although it must have been a skim-read as I don’t really remember much about it. However, in more recent times, for my book club, I read The Year of the Flood, which I do remember, lol! Sexing The Cherry, by Winterson, was on one of my reading lists, and the other book of hers which I have read was Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, which I read due to it being turned into a TV drama in the early 90s, starring the late Charlotte Coleman (also of Marmalade Atkins and Four Weddings and a Funeral fame.)
Was about to wrap things up when I remembered that I have read a couple of Matt Haig’s books, one fiction, one non-fiction. I had read The Radleys a while back, a very funny novel about a family of vampires, and then towards the end of 2015, I read Reasons To Stay Alive. One of the main ones, as far as I can see, is so you can read more books! You can’t read any books if you’ve popped your clogs, so all the more reason to get plenty of reading done during your lifetime! So, I shall now leave you to get on with your reading, and I’ll get this published and get on with mine! Until the next time I feel compelled to blog, take care and Happy Reading!
Joanne x x x
Books mentioned in this blog entry:
- The Ashes of London – Andrew Taylor
- The Anatomy of Ghosts – Andrew Taylor
- The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling
- Quidditch Through The Ages – J. K. Rowling
- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – J. K. Rowling
- Charlie And The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
- James And The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
- The Twits – Roald Dahl
- George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl
- The Magic Finger – Roald Dahl
- Pride And Prejudice – Jane Austen
- Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
- Persuasion – Jane Austen
- The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
- Veronika Decides To Die – Paulo Coelho
- The Devil And Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho
- Manual of the Warrior of Light – Paulo Coelho
- Notes From a Small Island – Bill Bryson
- The Lost Continent – Bill Bryson
- Animal Farm – George Orwell
- 1984 – George Orwell
- A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
- Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
- Black Swan Green – David Mitchell
- Ghostwritten – David Mitchell
- The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
- An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
- The Magic Toyshop – Angela Carter
- The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories – Angela Carter
- Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
- The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood
- Sexing The Cherry – Jeanette Winterson
- Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
- The Radleys – Matt Haig
- Reasons To Stay Alive – Matt Haig