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My Reading Journey > Agata's reading journey

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message 1: by Agata (new)

Agata Wightman | 19 comments 1. Have you always loved books? Who, if anyone, in your life has most inspired you to read?
I've loved books for as long as I remember, was a real little bookworm as a child and used to keep lists of all the books I've read. My mum used to be a teacher and also studied literature for a while, so always encouraged me to read.

2. What was your favourite childhood book?
Oh, there's so many! A lot of them are Polish, so most of you probably never heard of them...
Cyryl, gdzie jesteś? by Wiktor Woroszylski is by far my favourite, I still love it to bits and when a friend of mine gave me an old edition of it for my birthday I was delighted! There's one particular edition, illustrated by Bohdan Butenko, it's out of print now, but in my opinion it's the only one worth having! The book is about a search for a missing pet crocodile called Cyril (the title means 'Cyril, where are you?').
Szelmostwa Lisa Witalisa by Jan Brzechwa is a short story about a cunning fox, I used to know most of it by heart.
Tomek w krainie kangurów by Alfred Szklarski is one of books in a series traditionally aimed at boys, but they used to be my comfort reads, have read all of them multiple times. They're about young boy's adventures, and each book takes place on a different continent, first one set in Australia (title means 'Tom in the land of kangaroos').
Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson, just lovely, first time I read it was when I was in hospital at nine years old, I think my mum just went to a book shop and bought the first children's book she saw, good choice, mum!
The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren is the first book I remember taking out of the library.

3. Which books do you remember studying at school? Did you enjoy them?
I remember reading Candide by Voltaire, The Plague by Albert Camus, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov... I think I enjoyed them, I'm planning to re-read The Plague and Master and Margarita to see what I think about them now...

4. Where do you most enjoy reading? Do you need silence to read, or can you read almost anywhere?
I work night shifts, which can be very quiet, so I read a lot at work. I get distracted easily, so do need it to be fairly quiet to concentrate properly.

5.Choose five of your favourite books and tell us why you loved them so much!
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind - very powerful story, read it many times. Must read it again!
1984 by George Orwell
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie - grown up or not, I still like a good children's book.
I actually can't think of any more at the moment, there's lots of books I enjoyed over the years, but I tend to forget about them until somebody or something reminds me of them...

6. Do you prefer reading fiction or non fiction?
Fiction. Used to read fiction only, but I'm slowly getting into non fiction books, have a few lined up to read.

7. Are you fond of a particular author and what attracts you to their books? (You can pick a few if you can’t choose!)
Roddy Doyle - I love his writing style and characters he comes up with. I don't think I have ever been disappointed with his books. Especially fond of The Last Roundup trilogy.

8. Is there an author you haven't yet tried but you'd really like to?
Iain Banks

9. Do you rely on goodreads to keep track of your reading or do you have your own method?
I also keep a record on Evernote app on my phone.

10. What's the best book you've read so far this year? What are you reading at the moment? What will you be reading next?
I loved Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The fact that I read it on my honeymoon might have something to do with it! Currently reading A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. Next on my list is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.


message 2: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 537 comments Great journey Agata - even though I'm afraid I don't know your Polish books!


message 3: by Agata (new)

Agata Wightman | 19 comments Ha ha, that's alright, Maggie, I didn't really expect anyone to know them!


message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Thanks for sharing, Agata! I am glad to see that you like Perfume so much, as it is on my TBR list :)


message 5: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) Great journey agata! I enjoyed reading it. I need to figure out what to put for mine on dec 16. I'll figure it out. :-)


message 6: by Agata (new)

Agata Wightman | 19 comments Leslie, Perfume really is a great book, I hope you enjoy it when you get round to reading it!

Amber, thanks, answering these questions was actually much more difficult and time consuming than I thought it would be, but I enjoyed it very much!


message 7: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) :) No prob (gives a thumbs up)


message 8: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments Thanks, Agata! How lovely, to be able to read at work! I'd like to try reading Iain Banks too! And I am intrigued by Perfume, sounds interesting!

It looks easy until you start writing, doesn't it? It took me longer than I thought it would.


message 9: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Really enjoyed reading your journey Agata. I loved Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, I remember being entirely blown away by the end. I also remember 'smelling' things much more while and just after I was reading it. I also share your love for Roddy Doyle, and I am very curious what you'll have to say about Wolf Hall, as this is one that is still waiting on my bookshelf for me to read it.
Shame so many of the Polish authors haven't been translated. Any recommendations on Polish authors in general Agata? I've read a few, but not nearly as much as I would like to.


message 10: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13209 comments Mod
Great journey Agata! You're right, I'm afraid I don't know anuthing of polish literature - which I don't even think has been translated in italian - shame!
I also loved the moomins. And my children as well ...


message 11: by Leslie (last edited Nov 27, 2013 07:18AM) (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments The only Polish lit I have read was Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, since it is historical fiction about ancient Rome in the time of Nero, I didn't learn anything about Poland reading it...


message 12: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13209 comments Mod
Leslie wrote: "The only Polish lit I have read was Quo Vadis by [author:Henryk Sienkiewicz|25619, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, since it is historical fiction about ancient Rome ..."

I didn't remeber it was written by a polish author!!! I remeber more the film than the book though... In Italy a gretes hit, with the pope on "our side", as the americans would say ...


message 13: by Pink (new)

Pink Great answers Agata, I'm afraid I haven't read many of your choices, though 1984 is one of my favourites too. I quite liked Life of Pi as well when I read it years ago, though I'm sure this has more special memories for you :)


message 14: by Agata (new)

Agata Wightman | 19 comments Hmm, Jenny, let me think...
If you like poetry, Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska have also both won the Nobel prize and have been translated into many languages.
Stanisław Lem is probably Poland's best known science fiction writer, his best known book is Solaris.
Those are just off the top of my head, I'll try and think of some more...


message 15: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments @ Jenny, I have read I. B. Singer (a Polish but wrote in Yiddish and English) and he is good. I am about to read Mother Departs and recently came across another book by a Polish which I am thinking about reading some time in the next year. The book's title is Stone Upon Stone.


message 16: by Alannah (last edited Nov 28, 2013 06:27AM) (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11714 comments Mod
This was really interesting to read as I don't really feel that we have had a chance to talk on other boards properly. I love that you put 1984 as one of your top five.


message 17: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Thanks Agata, I have The Captive Mind by Czesław Miłosz on my list already but hadn't heard of Wisława Szymborska yet.

@Dhanaraj: Stone Upon Stone sounds great, I will see if I can find a German translation!


message 18: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13209 comments Mod
Dhanaraj wrote: "@ Jenny, I have read I. B. Singer (a Polish but wrote in Yiddish and English) and he is good. I am about to read Mother Departs and recently came across another book by a Polish whi..."

I was not thinking of the Singer brothers! I find them really great; I love them both. The Family Moskat and The Brothers Ashkenazi are incredibly beautiful - it's obvious the I love family sagas novels!.
Next year I'm to read The Family Carnovsky.
Never heard of Stone Upon Stone; I'd like to see if there's an italian translation


message 19: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Laura T, I had never read anything by I. B. Singer's Brother, I. J. Singer. Will check out the books you had indicated.


message 20: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13209 comments Mod
Dhanaraj wrote: "Laura T, I had never read anything by I. B. Singer's Brother, I. J. Singer. Will check out the books you had indicated."

I even find him, sometimes, a better writer than the brother!!!


message 21: by Faye (new)

Faye | 102 comments Ohh, Haroun and the Sea of Stories is my brother's favourite book in the world, and he has just loaned it to me to read. I'm looking forward to it!

And Life of Pi is one of the best books I've read this year, too. :)


message 22: by Tweedledum (new)

Tweedledum  (tweedledum) | 2030 comments I loved the Life of Pi Agate. I wonder if you have managed to see the film. I thought it complimented the book well.


message 23: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) An interesting journey, Agate! Perfume: The Story of a Murderer chilled me to my very core; I don't think I could stand to read it more than once! And I'm afraid I disliked The Life of Pi too much to quite finish it, although I know it is highly regarded.

You certainly do like serious, challenging books! I'm with you regarding 1984 though. And the whole of Tove Jansson 's magical "Moomin" series :)


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