Monday, March 3, 2008

That's a wrap!

The challenge ended February 29th. I sincerely hope you all had a good time with it, that it wasn't one of those challenge that left you weighed with guilt at the end because you hadn't finished all the books you wanted to. :P Remember to submit your list of completed books here (or on any post you like, all come to me in e-mail) so that I can know which authors I should send on vacation and which should remain on the list for the next challenge round later this year in September 2008. Thanks to those who did, so far. Feel free to still post reviews or challenge summaries on this blog, provided that they cover books you completed before February 29th.

Thanks for the interest -- see you in six months!

Here's a nice treat to go out on. The Quarterly Conversation Spring issue features the article Over and Under in which the contributors submit their choice of overrated and underrated novels. Richard Grayson recommended the two John Galsworthy Forsyte sagas for the "underrated" category. Of our members, Becky read the Forsyte trilogies and Geranium Cat tried The Country House.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

BooksPlease - summary of the books I read

I have really enjoyed the Outmoded Authors Challenge. I have read books that I wouldn't have read otherwise and have learnt about others from the reviews by other people. Thanks to Imani, who hosted this challenge.

My initial list is here.

I read:

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. I'd never read anything by Scott before and had an idea that his books would be difficult to read. I didn't find Ivanhoe difficult at all and enjoyed reading it. My thoughts on this book are here.

The Moon and Sixpence by W Somerset Maugham, another author whose work I'd never read before. I wrote about this here.

The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning. I know nothing about Manning's books. I only managed to read two books in the trilogy - The Great Fortune and The Spoilt City. Friends and Heroes, the third book was listed in the library catalogue but when I tried to borrow it I found that it was no longer available because the branch library which holds it had been closed due to the library cost-saving cuts. I've been listening on Radio 4 to the trilogy so I now know what happens in Friends and Heroes, but I will read the book as soon as I can get a copy.

Sons and Lovers by D H Lawrence. I had previously read Women in Love and The Virgin and the Gypsy, but not Sons and Lovers. I loved it - see here. I also read The Man Who Died - see here.

The only book I started and didn't finish was As a Man Grows Older by Italo Svevo. I knew nothing about this author. The library has a copy of this book which I borrowed. I don't often abandon a book but soon after I started to read it I thought it was tedious and I took it back unread. I did read the Introduction after I'd decided not to read the book and was dismayed when I read that he had been encouraged by James Joyce in his writing. I think I'd like to read Ulysses sometime, but if it's anything like Svevo's book that will be another book I'll abandon.

I'm looking forward to joining in again when the second challenge starts later this year.