Guardian Newspaper 1000 Novels discussion

Talk About Books > How do you choose the books you read?

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
My long list of 'to-read' books was put together from different sources. The Guardian published the 1,000 novels list in a weekly supplement, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading through each section and noting the ones I wanted to read. I then went on to use various other sources, which I will post as a list at some point, and eventually found I had a long list of good books to read!

I am interested in how others choose their books; personal stories of browsing well hidden bookshops or of inheriting a lorry load of literature are positively encouraged!

message 2: by ch (last edited Nov 17, 2013 03:14PM) (new)

ch | 41 comments I follow my own developing interest in a topic or author and assemble my core reading list from that using internet research. Usually it starts off as something I'm just curious about, such as mythology, and if I'm intrigued I keep going in that vein.

I joined goodreads because I wanted suggestions from the catalog and from other users on both building my topical lists and also exposure to new material that I wasn't aware of or wouldn't have chosen myself. I've used book lists like the one this group is based on, but without a community to suggest and discuss, I tend to read on very narrow topics and mostly non-fiction. Goodreads has been very helpful to me, and this group should be a good structure for broadening my reading.

I now have a pretty long list, too :)

message 3: by ch (last edited Nov 22, 2013 05:35AM) (new)

ch | 41 comments Anthony wrote: "Serendipity."

I've been too concerned about "wasting my time" with a book to allow much serendipity :)

I like how you describe reading being pleasure and leisure, and how many discoveries you've made from being open to serendipity!

I hope that reading from this list nudges us all in that direction! And that it feels more like a menu than a list for you :)

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
Anthony, what I like about this sort of thread is that it's possible to gain further ideas for books. Barbara Kingsolver is a wonderful writer, so as you also like her work I am going to try some of the other authors you mention.

I heard her being interviewed on a BBC book show, it was interesting and thankfully it wasn't a disappointment - which can sometimes happen with authors! An interesting thing she revealed is that she takes very great care over the titles of her books.

message 5: by ch (new)

ch | 41 comments Anthony wrote: "Brazzaville Beach"

Looks good, I've added it to my ever-growing list!

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
I think you are raising some intriguing points; I will start a new discussion thread because the question about separation of author and book is one with no straightforward answer, I feel there might be some interesting thoughts around this!

I am pleased to find a fellow Kingsolver fan. Have you read Pearl S Buck? She writes about China, wonderful writer.

message 7: by Linzi (new)

Linzi Wilson | 9 comments My friends and partner all excel in one sporting field or another. None are interested in reading anything other than newspapers or the odd trashy novel on holiday. I'm the odd fat one that walks my dogs all day and reads. When I mention a book I think they would relate to or that made me think I see their eyes glaze over…

Reading has always been a solitary pleasure since I was a child. I used amazon for recommendations on what I'd already read and also plucked books at random from various 100 must read books lists.

I always liked about 20 books to chose from when deciding which new novel to read (thats exploded since good reads whoops!) But, hey, its a hobby! I believe you should never feel that you must read a book, you should want to devour it!

Slowly trying to articulate my thoughts about books I've read into words since I joined this website and integrate with groups about monthly reads. You friendly bunch seem the ones to develop this with! :-)

message 8: by ch (last edited Nov 29, 2013 04:47PM) (new)

ch | 41 comments I'm so glad you've joined us, Linzi :)

I think reading is a unique hobby because it is solitary and very comforting personally but also social, not just through fora like this one but also in the sharing of ideas among the readers and the author...

message 9: by Linzi (new)

Linzi Wilson | 9 comments Thank you ch! It's lovely to be a part of a nice friendly group on here :-) And you have summed up the pleasure of a good book and where it can take you with thoughts and perspectives so beautifully in your last comment :-) x

message 10: by Dennis (new)

Dennis Fischman (dfischman) | 133 comments I have kept lists of books I wanted to read for about 35 years. Some, I checked off, sooner or later. Some, I decided I'd outgrown. Others are still waiting for me. They are mysteries, SF, novels, poetry, politics, history, Judaica, social criticism. Very rarely, biography. Once in a blue moon, essays. I write them down when I read good reviews or (like Anthony) when I've read something good by the author and go on a tear through the rest of her or his work. But I still haven't read all of Dickens!

message 11: by ch (new)

ch | 41 comments I admire your list, Dennis :) Mine I started only recently.

You read from a wide variety of genres. I was impressed that the Guardian list, although exclusively novels, covered so many subjects. There seems to be something there for everyone.

Are any of the books from this list on your list as well?

Some of mine are, but not as many as I expected, so there will be surprises!

message 12: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 825 comments Sarah wrote: "I am interested in how others choose their books; personal stories of browsing well hidden bookshops or of inheriting a lorry load of literature are positively encouraged!

I am in the process of acquiring a lot of books, if not quite a whole truck load :)

My parents are culling their collection in preparation for a move. In addition, I picked up ~25 books today from my local library's annual book sale! Out of that, more than half were from the Guardian's list & were books I probably wouldn't have heard of otherwise. I was particularly happy to find Cider With Rosie as for some reason that title has been calling to me lately...

Other titles I picked up included:
The African Queen
A Fine Balance
I Capture the Castle
Cat's Eye...

message 13: by Bilwa (new)

Bilwa I joined goodreads to read more frequently and I am not going to shy away from saying that it has been a struggle and an attraction to read. The good news is that I am getting there. Recently I did the following to add books to my reading list:
Asked friends for recommendations
Looked up manbooker & Pulitzer Prize winners
Listened to book review podcasts
Guardian, Telegraph and Waterstones proved very helpful
Joined a reading group which forced me to read some books
Often look at Prezzie Obama's reading list too ;)

message 14: by Phrodrick (last edited Dec 12, 2017 03:14PM) (new)

Phrodrick | 155 comments I have a metal list of "you should have read by now" .
So I only just recently read my first by Isabel Allende. But also the many classic and Western Canon of either writers of authors
When I can I follow the professional reviewers based on the degree of their enthusiasm.
A lot of what I have pending but in possession has come from these and some now gone reading group discussions.
And sometimes I latch on to a writer and do not let go until there are no more.

I have learned to avoid book stores. Too dangerous

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments Not sure where to put this, but I thought I throw out the fact that another group I'm in is going to read Hyperion by Dan Simmons starting in April. The plan is to take 2 months to do it, with weekly discussions based on the natural breakdown of the book. It's a longer book, and might not get picked here because of that.

Anyway, if any of you are interested, here's a link to the discussion (which hasn't started--just background stuff for the moment):

The group's private, so you'll have to join if you'd like to participate, but no worries--I'm one of the mods and everyone here is a shoe-in. Not trying to poach members--I just thought I'd mention it in case anyone was interested.

message 16: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 48 comments I have always wanted to read that book. If my schedule clears some in April, I might like to join you!

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments We'd be glad to have you!

message 18: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 48 comments TY, Brian :))

message 19: by Fay (new)

Fay Roberts | 363 comments Awesome - I really want to read that one. I'm in! TY Brian :-)

message 20: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 48 comments Should I wait to join until I know if I'll have time for the read or not, or should I join now?

It's a small group, which is kind of cool, but I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable by having a non-participatory member in the midst, if it turns out my schedule isn't cleared enough to join in

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments You won't bother anyone. There's over a hundred people who've joined and probably 10 who comment with any frequency. Another 10 have at least commented once, and the rest...? I don't know. If you join and then decide not to participate, no harm no foul.

message 22: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 48 comments Thx, Bryan :)

message 23: by Darren (last edited Mar 05, 2019 08:55AM) (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 655 comments Mod
our group read Hyperion in April 2016, thread here:

all old threads can be added to at any later date as and when people get round to reading them and/or have anything they want to add to the discussion...

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments I didn't realize this group had already read it. Sorry, Darren, if I stepped on any toes--I didn't really expect it to come up for discussion over here because of the length.

message 25: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 655 comments Mod
no probs Bryan - just wanted to point out available options!

back to top