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Update: Counting Down to End of 2009

Here is an update of my sort of reading-the-shelf challenge. I have been slammed at work as the semester is coming to an end, with stacks of papers and homework to grade. Reading has slowed down the past week, but I managed to finish The History of Love. My goal is to finish The World of Normal Boys tomorrow and write reviews of both novels.

Lives of the Circus Animals Christopher Bram
Howard’s End E.M. Forster
Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
Anne Of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernieres
Persuasion Jane Austen
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
The Calligrapher’s Daughter Eugenia Kim
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame (I think someone will read this one to me.)
The Angel’s Game Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
The Bone People Keri Hulme
The Hour Between Sebastian Stuart
The Year of Ice Brian Malloy
The Enchanted April Elizabeth von Arnim
Theatre W. Somerset Maugham
The Women’s House Marilyn French
Molly Fox’s Birthday Deirdre Madden
Stone’s Fall Iain Pears
Death with Interruptions Jose Saramago
Indignation Philip Roth
The Book of Lost Things John Connolly
The History of Love Nicole Krauss

After reading some of the greatest classics since college, namely, Howards End and Brideshead Revisited, and watching the motion picture of Maurice, I have the craving for movies adopted from classic novels.The holidays would be high time for movie marathon. I am in particular insterested in the mini-series of Brideshead, and the movie adaptation of The Remains of the Day. In light of reading classics, recently on my shuttle flights between San Francisco and Los Angeles, I have experienced something that speaks against what the media say about decline in reading. On both legs to/from Los Angeles, everybody on my row was engrossed in reading during the entire duration of the flight. The lady at the aisle read from her Amazon Kindle, the business man in the middle made good progress on his 2666, and I was down the last pages of Howards End. On another flight, I zipped through the light and entertaining Up in the Air, which is made into a motion picture. Almost everyone around me in the business cabin was taken up with some reading materials.

20 Responses

  1. Oh, there’s definitely something to be said about flights and books. I’ve started noticing that too.

  2. I sure hope you are going to join James’ “Read the Book/Watch the Movie” Challenge! It sounds like that would be right up your alley!

  3. sounds like you’re doing great. i hope you get to Persuasion soon- my favorite Austen. And the movie with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds is amazing. 🙂

  4. I believe much like you that reading is on the uprise. With the economy like it is…books are still an affordable luxury.

    • Reading is very economical indeed. I have been checking out more books from the library after my branch has reopened. I have also supported the community thrift that gives money back to our neighborhood. Books keep me days on ends that I don’t have to go out and spend money.

  5. I’m glad to hear that you notice people reading when you travel. I can say the same and it reassures me that people are still reading and the publishing industry won’t die and might even make a comeback this year? You would think that in recessionary time people would read more. You can check books out for free at the library!

    • It’s not unusual to see people camping out of coffee shops with books over the weekend now. I guess people tend to read more and save money.

  6. Matt, I’ve begun to notice the same thing. In fact, on my last business trip, several co-workers and I stopped at a bookstore after dinner one night specifically to purchase books for their flights home. Me? I already have brought four books for a two-day trip but still managed to purchase five more…

    I love seeing people reading in public!

    • One of the local bookstores have a branch at the domestic terminal of the airport, which is a must-stop for me before a trip. They have one of the most complete fiction section of any airport bookstore, plus I can use my frequent reader card toward savings. I love it! 🙂

  7. I agree about flights – I love the long hours with nothing else to do but read, and it seems from looking around as if a lot of other people do too. The London Underground is a different story – people read a lot, but it’s mostly free newspapers and celebrity magazines. I’ve yet to see anyone using a Kindle or similar device here, although they exist and sales are apparently on the rise.

    • I enjoy reading on long haul flights as well, with overhead reading light switched on, sipping a cup of hot tea. When I fly to Hong Kong, I spend about half of the 14-hour flight reading. Sometimes I can finish a book.

  8. I also put in a good word for Persuasion. I agree with Marie that the film with Amanda R. and Ciaran H. is excellent — no, wonderful! In my view, it’s one of the very best adaptations of Austen, somehow being true to the book while answering the demands of film as a separate medium.

  9. I recently watched the movie of The Remains of the Day, and I quite enjoyed it. Some really wonderful acting.

  10. I hate flying so I have to zone in on a film which is sad as for work I have a lot of international flights, well when I say a lot I mean a few every few months, and it would be the prefect time to read. I just can’t!

  11. How can you hate flying? 🙂 Even though I don’t like all the hassles with security and waiting around, I still enjoy flying. I always bring a couple of books with me. 🙂

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