The best part of the end of the blogging year for me is always compiling my lists of most and least favourite books; here they are:
Favourites! in no particular order, except for the first four, which blew my mind the most:
J.D. Salinger, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction
Hilary Mantel, The Giant, O’Brien
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall - absolute most favourite!
Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night
Anthony Trollope, The American Senator
T. Colin Campbell, The China Study
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
Ellis Peters, The Rose Rent
China Mieville, The City & The City
Shusaku Endo, Deep River
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach
Giuseppe de Lampedusa, The Leopard
Yoko Ogawa, Hotel Iris
David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
William Gibson, Neuromancer
Osamu Dazai, Blue Bamboo and Other Stories
George Eliot, Scenes of Clerical Life
Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunleavy, The More Than Complete Action Philosophers!
Shaun Tan, The Arrival
William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale
John Ford, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (I never reviewed this on Bookphilia; it was approx. the 15th time I'd read it; it's still an all-time favourite, in spite of the fact that it figured prominently in my doctoral thesis)
Sadly, year four wasn't a total love-fest. Least favourites:
Orhan Pamuk, The White Castle
Edogawa Rampo, Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination
J.M. Coetzee, Youth
Miyuki Miyabe, Crossfire
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
Andre Gide, The Immoralist
Emma Donaghue, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits
Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go
David Almond, Heaven Eyes
Gustave Flaubert, A Sentimental Education
Bram Stoker, The Lair of the White Worm
I don't usually make reading plans, and when I do, I often fail to execute. Nonetheless, I have an ambitious project for Bookphilia 5.0: an overview of Victorian lit, mostly fiction, but with some poetry thrown in for good measure. The list has 40+ books on it, beginning with Dickens's Barnaby Rudge (1841) and ending with Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). This list was born out of my increasing frustration over the lack of structure in my reading, and the incredible pleasure I've been consistently taking in Victorian novels, even the ones I don't love. I think this will be a safer and more enjoyable bet than French literature en masse. But we'll see. I am notoriously unreliable when it comes to reading lists.
Right now, however, I'm making my way through an entirely non-Victorian fantasy slash soap opera - George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. It's pretty good. But it is a soap opera.
And, of course, I begin work on Monday at my new job. As I will be commuting (about 40 minutes each way), I will certainly be reading a lot. The question is, will I want to sit in front of the computer and blog after spending all day sitting in front of a computer working? I really don't know. I've certainly managed to be employed and blog frequently at the same time before, but I've not spent much of that employment time as a desk jockey. I'm hoping I'll figure it out, but if you don't hear from me for awhile, it's likely because I'm adjusting to a new schedule, etc.
Finally, cheers to all of you who have been reading along all this time! You're the best.