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Genre Challenge 2020-22 > Sept 2020 - Modern British classics (20thC/kitchen sink)

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message 1: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
So, it's Modern British classics (20thC & kitchen sink) for September. This one is quite easy for me - I have loads on my to-read list that would qualify.

I currently have: Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham, The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, Orlando by Virginia Woolf and The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch, among others waiting on my virtual shelves.

However, this time around, I think I'm going to try Patrick Hamilton's Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky - it's apparently: 'a timeless classic of sleazy London life in the 1930's'...

What are your recommendations and what will you be reading?

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham The Pursuit of Love (Radlett & Montdore, #1) by Nancy Mitford Orlando by Virginia Woolf The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky by Patrick Hamilton


message 2: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Aug 29, 2020 03:40AM) (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
Changed my mind.... I realise I have Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess (writer of A Clockwork Orange) waiting to be read as part of the Dusty Bookshelf Challenge, and as this one is meant to be his 'masterpiece', surely it must be a 20th century modern classic? We shall see....

Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess


message 3: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 430 comments I read very little other than British classics, interpreted broadly, so the difficulty will be choosing. Maybe I'll follow the "Anthony" theme you have established and read an Anthony Powell novel, one of several I stocked my shelves with when I was in my "buy books that make me look cultivated" phase in my twenties but never read because it was so much more fun to reread Georgette Heyer.


message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2739 comments I've got a one on the go, that might qualify, The Courts of the Morning by John Buchan


message 5: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
Abigail, is that part of the 'A Dance to the Music of Time' series?


message 6: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
Bill, John Buchan is definitely a classic 20thC author. I've only ever read 'The 39 Steps'


message 7: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 430 comments I'm torn between the first book in the Dance to the Music of Time series, A Question of Upbringing, and O, How the Wheel Becomes it!, which is shorter. I have only #s 1, 3, and 9 of the series, and if I cotton to it, I'll be frustrated about not having them all.


message 8: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2739 comments Liz wrote: "Bill, John Buchan is definitely a classic 20thC author. I've only ever read 'The 39 Steps'"

All of the John Hannay books are entertaining.


message 9: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
Abigail, I have part one waiting on my Kindle. I hadn't realise there were nine in the series!!!!


message 10: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 430 comments Or maybe more, I don't know!


message 11: by Stuart (new)

Stuart | 11 comments just finished the sisters brothers from last month's challenge. Really enjoyed that, so now onto a modern British classic. Not sure what to choose


message 12: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2739 comments I just found a copy of Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden. Not sure if I'll get to it in September but looking forward to trying it shortly.


message 13: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1364 comments Mod
I always struggle with this genre. I've got a massive TBR pile and I don't think any of them fit this category!


message 14: by Stuart (new)

Stuart | 11 comments I have decided on the 39 Steps, partly because I have never read it and partly because it was on the kindle unlimited store and Amazon recommended it for me lol


message 15: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2739 comments Stuart wrote: "I have decided on the 39 Steps, partly because I have never read it and partly because it was on the kindle unlimited store and Amazon recommended it for me lol"

I hope you enjoy. Have you seen the original Hitchcock movie?


message 16: by Stuart (new)

Stuart | 11 comments yes I e seen the one with Robert Donat, I'm sure that's the Hitchcock one. I've also seen one with Robert Powell? I think that was a different story though.


message 17: by Stuart (new)

Stuart | 11 comments Well I just finished The Thirty nine Steps and I really enjoyed it. I've now read the book and seen two of the movie adaptations and all three were different stories. Funny how they do that.


message 18: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
Good to hear you enjoyed The 39 Steps, Stuart.

I'm still wading through 'Les Miserables' for the dusty bookshelf challenge and haven't started my modern classic... It's slow going due to Victor Hugo's regular meanderings away from the central plot and characters. No wonder it's so long!


message 19: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1364 comments Mod
Cutting it fine as we approach the end of the month but I've finally settled on 1984
I've had to download a PDF of it to my laptop as I haven't been able to get a physical book. Hopefully I'll get on ok with the format.


message 20: by Stuart (new)

Stuart | 11 comments I read 1984 during lockdown. really enjoyed it


message 21: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2739 comments I'm reading a story set in Australia but by an English author; Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (1959) Would this qualify?


message 22: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 430 comments Finally started O, How the Wheel Becomes It!. In the early going I am charmed by all the involuted sentences, but I can see how they might pall.


message 23: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
Bill, I think 'Walkabout' could be made to fit - especially as it was made into a classic cult film by Nicholas Roeg!

I haven't even started mine. I'm still trying to finish 'Les Miserables' - I am now three quarters of the way through, so I'm on the homeward stretch, but it's been tough.


message 24: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2739 comments Liz wrote: "Bill, I think 'Walkabout' could be made to fit - especially as it was made into a classic cult film by Nicholas Roeg!

I haven't even started mine. I'm still trying to finish 'Les Miserables' - I a..."


Thanks. Luckily it was a short interesting story so I've finished.


message 25: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 430 comments Finished my book for this challenge, O, How the Wheel Becomes It! by Anthony Powell. The author has gifts of erudition and wit but I was glad it was very short, because unrelieved satire can get old very fast. Here’s my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 26: by Mark (new)

Mark (richie0110) | 0 comments I'm a bit late to this but also read 1984. I really enjoyed it!


message 27: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2739 comments Mark wrote: "I'm a bit late to this but also read 1984. I really enjoyed it!"

So, a current affairs story. :0)


message 28: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I’m late on parade (as per) but thinking L Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks for my “kitchen sink” read. It’s stuck in a queue shall we say? Anyway, it’s coming up next and I guess I’ll have to juggle that and my ghostly story too.


message 29: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1364 comments Mod
Just finished 1984. I suppose I'm glad I read it. I always feel its good to read something that will stretch me once in a while but I just don't think I'm a fan of George Orwell! I didn't get on with Animal Farm when I was at school and I'm not entirely sure I faired much better with 1984!


message 30: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
I am so behind on the challenge thanks to Mr Victor Hugo, however I made it to the library to pick up my copy of 'Earthly Powers' . The size of it! I really should have checked beforehand. It's another 600+ pages. I am never going to catch up at this rate!


message 31: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3464 comments Mod
I am now playing catch-up: just about to start 'Earthly Powers' by Anthony Burgess. It won the Booker Prize in 1980 and then seems to have been rather forgotten, although it is one of the Guardian's '1000 novels everyone should read'.

It's another doorstop, so I will be busy for quite some time...


message 32: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 430 comments Good luck with it! I look forward to reading your reaction.


message 33: by Helen (last edited Apr 05, 2021 03:13AM) (new)

Helen (cooksbooks78) | 54 comments I read James Joyce'sUlysses, I simultaneously listened to an audiobook to assist in following and understanding. I most certainly have not conquered this novel but at least this time I have finished it!!!


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