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2017 Reads & Personal Challenges > Pink's 2017 reads

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message 1: by Pink (new)

Pink Since it's the end of January, I've decided to recap what I've read so far this year. I'll probably stick to monthly wrap ups for 2017, as it's a nice way to reflect upon my reading without updating every book as I go.

message 2: by Pink (last edited Feb 26, 2017 04:12AM) (new)


The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie ★★★ A quick fun read, backed up by the superb film

The House of Mirth ★★★ My first novel by Wharton and won't be my last

When Breath Becomes Air ★★★★ Extremely moving and wonderfully well written

A Life in Parts ★★ Okay for a book of funny anecdotes

Autumn ★★★★ My favourite so far by Ali Smith

Swann's Way ★★★ Hmm....

The Good Immigrant ★★★★ Great varied stories of what it means to be a 'good immigrant' today

To Have and Have Not ★★★ Started so well, but it fell apart by the end

Dubliners ★★ Not a patch on Ulysses

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia ★★ Enjoyable at first, but I quickly became bored and skipped the last half

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston Autumn by Ali Smith Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1) by Marcel Proust The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway Dubliners by James Joyce

message 3: by Pink (last edited Mar 02, 2017 12:19AM) (new)


A Room with a View ★★★★ I love Forster's writing and this was a lovely light romance.

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia ★★ Interesting, but I only read half before I stopped caring.

Creditors ★★ Not a play that worked on paper for me.

Excellent Women ★★★ Fun, but quite forgettable.

An Ideal Husband ★★★ The always fun to read, Oscar Wilde!

The Three Musketeers ★★★ More fun and frolics.

Hard Times ★★★ Hated this at first, but warmed to it by the end.

King Lear ★★★★ An easy to read Shakespeare play and one that works just as well on paper.

Homage to Catalonia ★★★ Not my favourite Orwell, but glad to have read it.

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster The Almost Nearly Perfect People Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth Creditors by August Strindberg Excellent Women by Barbara Pym An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1) by Alexandre Dumas Hard Times by Charles Dickens King Lear by William Shakespeare Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

message 4: by Pink (new)


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness ★★★★★ Not an easy read, but a very informative and important book. My first 5 stars of the year.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn ★★★ I loved the first part, but after that it played out a little too predictably.

Beloved ★★★★ I loved this, in fact it's probably a 5 star read, but I need more time for it to sink in.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions ★★ Mildly amusing, but it wore thin after a while.

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark ★★★ I became tired of reading about the surroundings, but the insights into her personal life made up for it.

The Passion ★★★★ I loved the story and her fiction writing.

Tender Is the Night ★★★★ Wow, this was flawed, but still brilliant!

The Canterbury Tales ★★★★ Such a lot of fun and the Coghill translation was really well done.

The Gustav Sonata ★★★ This was getting a much higher rating until the last part, which I felt was a let down.

The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith Beloved by Toni Morrison Flatland A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft The Passion by Jeanette Winterson Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

message 5: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 02, 2017 04:32AM) (new)

Chrissie Maybe I will try The Passion. You have piqued my interest in this author. So good writing? Anything else you could tell me?

message 6: by Pink (new)

Pink Yes good writing, I've been meaning to try her fiction, as I've previously read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? which are about her childhood and I'd also recommend. The Passion reminded me slightly of Sarah Waters Tipping the Velvet with some cross dressing historical fiction, but this was a much more concise story and I liked that. There are two characters, one male, one female, who both have unhappy lives during the reign of Napoleon. They don't meet until later in the story and have a complex relationship, it's not a romance, but I can see why the book was called The Passion. I think she done a great job at conveying characters and emotion within such a short story.

message 7: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie OK, thanks for the added information. I have put it on my wishlist. I too have want to try this author, but I didn't know where to start. Her memoirs, aren't they focused on her her personal philosophy on gender issues? Or are they more focused on her own life experiences?

message 8: by Pink (new)

Pink They're about her childhood, growing up with a very religious Mother and coming to terms with her own sexuality. Oranges is the slightly more fictionalised version of her life, written when she was much younger, Why be happy was a later revisit and expansion of that period, with more of the grim reality. I think it's important to read those two books in that order.

message 9: by Chrissie (last edited Apr 02, 2017 06:10AM) (new)

Chrissie I am taking notes. Thanks! I'll start with Passion b/c of its historical theme and the writing.

message 10: by Pink (last edited May 02, 2017 03:16PM) (new)


I haven't rated or reviewed any of these books yet, but these are the probable ratings I'll be giving them, give or take a star, with a very quick summary.

The Canterbury Tales ★★★★ Such fun! I was very wary this would be as boring as A Pilgrim's Progress, but no fear there.

Negroland: A Memoir ★★★ A different perspective to read about what it means to be black in America. Interesting, but I struggled with the stiff writing style.

My Ántonia ★★★ I had super high hopes, but these were only partly met. Probably not a story I'm interested in, but I was helped along by the strong writing.

The Great God Pan ★★ Short and crazy.

The Complete Poems of Sappho ★★ We really don't have enough left of her works to make sense of.

Villette ★★★ Solid Charlotte Bronte, but probably my least favourite offering of the sister's novels so far.

Sane New World: Taming The Mind ★ Not for me.

Doctor Faustus ★★★★ Surprisingly a lot of fun.

The Lesser Bohemians ★★★★★ I don't think this will work as well for a lot of people, but I loved it!

Quesadillas ★ Felt pointless and forgettable.

The Power ★★★★ Not my sort of read, but I found it a lot of fun to listen to. It's not award winning literature to me, but sometimes that doesn't matter.

Tao Te Ching ★ Again, not my thing.

Che ★★★ This was probably quite basic for people who know about his life, but I knew little beyond his iconography, so it was perfect for me.

The Last Tycoon ★ I wish this hadn't been published. A mess.

Macbeth ★★★ Not my favourite, but worth reading to find out where it ranked in his plays for me.

Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell ★★ A mixed bag! Charlotte is long and boring, Anne pious and Emily as crazy as you'd expect.

I, Robot ★★★ Interesting, especially considering when it was written. A fun and short collection of classic science fiction.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Negroland A Memoir by Margo Jefferson My Ántonia by Willa Cather The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen Stung With Love Poems and Fragments by Sappho Villette by Charlotte Brontë The Sellout by Paul Beatty Sane New World Taming The Mind by Ruby Wax Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos The Power by Naomi Alderman Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Che by Spain Rodriguez The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald Macbeth by William Shakespeare Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell by Charlotte Brontë I, Robot (Robot #0.1) by Isaac Asimov

message 11: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Wow Pink, you read a large and varied lot of books last month!

I might have agreed with you about Villette if I hadn't read Shirley. In my opinion, that one is the worst of her books!

message 12: by Pink (new)

Pink Yeah I still have Shirley and The Professor to read, so a little nervous about those now...

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