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Past TBR lists > Tatjana's 2019 TBR Challenge

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message 1: by Tatjana (last edited Jul 31, 2019 12:26PM) (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments 1. Pirandello „One, No One and One Hundred Thousand“ - read 12.5.2019.
2. J.M. Coetzee, „Elizabeth Costello“
3. Tabucchi, „Pereira Declares: A Testimony“ - read 20.6.2019.
4. Sterne „A Sentimental Journey“ - read 10.3.2019.
5. Enquist „The Book about Blanche and Marie“
6. Shelley „Frankenstein“
7. Salinger, „Franny and Zooey” - read 2.1.2019.
8. Cioran, „On the Heights of Despair”
9. Soljan, „The Port”
10. Kosmač „A Day in Spring”
11. Ishiguro „Remains of the Day”
12. Konrad „The Case Worker”
13. Conrad „The Secret Agent”
14. DeLillo „The Body Artist”
15. Burgess, „A Clockwork Orange” - read 15.2.2019.
16. Dickens „Hard Times”
17. Endo „Deep River”
18. Eugenides, „The Virgin Suicides” - read 8.4.2019.
19. Freud „Hideous Kinky”
20. Saramago „Cain”
21. Pasolini „The Ragazzi”
22. Marias „All Souls”
23. McCabe „The Butcher Boy”
24. Sartre „Nausea” - read 16.7.2019.

message 2: by Tatjana (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments January #7: Franny and Zooey
finished 2.1.2019.

Rating: 4 stars
I did like this book. It is divided into two parts: First one is named Franny, and was published first as novella. Second part, named Zooey was written later and is elaborating first part, putting the main character - Franny into context. I loved first part much better than second.
The book is not a plot driven one, but rather structured through dialogues between two persons. It points out or offers a different perspective in looking at things: relationship, friendship, religion, family. I think that it talks a lot about how form prevails over substance, how everybody is pretending to enjoy instead of enjoying. Like two persons, Franny and her boyfriend Lane are together because it looks ok, rather than they care about each other. They do not listen to each other or even care about other persons feelings.
Second part of the book introduces Franny's family and explains her strange behavior from the first part. It is focusing a lot on criticism of Christianity. After finishing this book I read that Salinger was strongly influenced by Buddhism, which explains his sometimes strange point of views.
Overall, I liked the background very much: this bathroom dialogue, rooms covered with sheets, cold winter train station...
And, yes, they DO smoke very much all the time.

message 3: by Tatjana (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments February #15: A Clockwork Orange
finished 15.2.2019.

Rating: 4 stars.
Burgess tells an extraordinary brutal story of Alex. He is just 14 years old and is involved in violent beatings, stealing and finally killing with his friends.
I already watched the movie and I, of course, remember it very well. Still, the book is much more focused on Alex's life after brutal happenings. It is also about him going to prison and finally, growing up, getting over violence.
It is written with abundant use of a specific language - nadsat, influenced mostly by Russian. For me it wasn't such a problem, because my mother tongue is a Slav language.
Still, it was very difficult read for me, because it gets very brutal and black. I had at times difficulty to keep reading. Still, it was a rewarding one.

message 4: by Tatjana (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments March #4: A Sentimental Journey
finished 10.3.2019.

Rating: 3 stars.
This short novella is about a young English gentlemen traveling through France. His voyage is filled with various anecdotes including romantic encounters. Filed with satirical comments and literary comparisons, it shows a clear influence of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Goethe.
Overall, nice reading for one afternoon.

message 5: by Tatjana (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments April #18: The Virgin Suicides
finished 8.4.2019.

Rating: 2 stars.
This book tells a story of five sisters committing suicide within a year. It is also a story of middle class, suburban town where everybody knows everybody. They interact with each other, but they do not truly involve into others' people's lives or care about others.
A lot of themes where covered here: destroyed family, parenthood issues, society response to tragedy etc. What I didn't like was a strong black humor behind whole story, as if making fun of the events all the time. It was just too much for my taste.

message 6: by Tatjana (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments May #1: One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand
finished 12.5.2019.

Rating: 3 stars.
One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand by Luigi Pirandello was my TBR book for May. I found it extraordinary piece of work, which seems to me to be typical for the time when it was written.
It explores identity and values in a society where one is to behave like everybody expects him to do. It is not only a story of how someone looks like seen in the eyes of others, but is also a strong criticism of the higher society in Italy at the beginning of the last century.
Very well written, although nothing much is happening.

message 7: by Tatjana (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments June #3: Pereira Maintains
finished 20.6.2019.

Rating: 3 stars
Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi was my June TBR book.
The main character Professor Tabucchi is a book review editor of a local Lisbon catholic newspaper. He is a widower, who talks to his wife's picture every day, enjoys to eat scrambled eggs with herbs and to drink lemonade. He is a lover of French literature, which becomes highly politically sensitive issue during rise of fascist and Franco's government.
Set in Portugal in 1938 it is very much an overview of the political situation of that time. Professor Pereira, not interested in politics, becomes involved in a terror of nationalist government after his acquaintance with a young couple of revolutionaries. After being witness of a terrible events, he takes action against censorship and terror, as something he can do when bad things happen around you.
A novel has a very specific literary style, beginning and finishing almost every chapter and inserting a phrase "Pereira maintains that..." for many times in the story. I think that it has a task of accentuating historical events, even told as a fiction.
There is at one point a beautiful sentence, saying that "Philosophy appears to concern itself only with the truth, but perhaps expresses only fantasies, while literature appears to concern itself only with fantasies, but perhaps it expresses the truth."
It is for that purpose, I think, that he introduces this "Pereira maintains ..." to his story.

message 8: by Tatjana (new)

Tatjana JP | 293 comments July #24: Nausea by Sartre
Finished: 16.7.2019.

This is one of the books without a plot. It also has a poor character insights. But you get a loads of thoughts of life, old age, love etc.
It is written in a form of a diary. One entry in a diary: "Tuesday - Nothing. Existed".
It is to be read slowly, and it should give you many ideas to think over. Not good choice for beach, at least not for me.
My rating: 3 stars.

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