Year End Round Up: Part 1

Oh hi. You may remember me. I used to read books and share my half baked ideas with the world. After my rather fabulous trip to Europe (which I only got round to sharing half of – think there’s a pattern emerging) I got super busy with work and writing. And the house. We’re at the tail end of an extensive remodelling of the kitchen and dining spaces which began in August and should be complete by the beginning of February. Just shows that real life will get in the way of creativity.

But enough of that. I thought it would be rather timely to take the opportunity of posting an annual round up of what I’ve not read this year. Yes that’s right, to begin this annual summary I’m going to name and shame those books that were picked up and discarded for numerous reasons. And then we’ll get onto the business of the completed ones another time.

As I’m sure you’re all quite busy with seasonal things I’ll crack on.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Don’t hate me. I loved this the first time I read it. Like gave it 5 stars on Goodreads some years ago. This translation by Geoffrey Wall is really not working for me. If only I could read it in its original language but this is flat and, I don’t think, captures the richness of the characters and provincial life.

Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite by Anthony Trollope. Ok, so it’s an Audible but it’s really not drawing me in. There’s a family tragedy, leaving only a female heir. Throw in a distant caddish cousin who bears the right name but is deemed wholly unsuitable to be the custodian of the Hotspur name. This should be magnificent but it’s all rather plodding along.

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. This must be a Kindle read. Can’t offer any reason why this hasn’t been finished. I suspect it’s barely been started.

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery. Research for my writing and very readable although I am but a few chapters from finishing. I ordered about a million books in recent months and got distracted – so close to the finish line as well!

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. This might be a Christmas read. Maybe I’ll find out in the next few weeks. It’s been on my TBR pile for a long time in any case. When I started it I realised it’s in the same vein as Raymond Chandler (I think) and it requires some concentration to read.

Amusements of Old London by William Boulton. More research about Regency London. Think animal baiting, bear pits, drinking dens – what the Georgians really got up to. Incredibly interesting and will be completed at some point.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. This is an audible and is about 50 hours of listening. I’m not sure I can find 10 minutes in my day at the moment. Will save this for a walking holiday in the Himalayas or something.

Hitchcock by François Truffaut. I have loved this. Part of me doesn’t want to finish it because it will mean leaving a bit of Hitch behind. However it’s good to see that about 3 of his movies made it into the top 100 list of movies chosen by directors so his genius lives on!

On Writing by Stephen King. Definitely didn’t not enjoy this and will get round to finishing it. I’m imagining hot chocolate, a fire and a long afternoon of cosy reading.

Henry “Chips” Channon: the diaries Vol I. Ok, so not for everyone. A bewildering roll call of the great and the good in the 1920s and 30s. This is vast. Don’t judge me.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Really enjoying this. No real excuses I know except I think it’s a winter read so will crack on with it again. Soon. I promise.

Nana by Emile Zola. Oh gosh I love Zola. Do need to get back to this. I really was enjoying it but think I was about to move and couldn’t spare it the time it deserves…which was 18 months ago now but it was in a box and then I got started on other books. Oh you know how it is.

Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac. See above.

The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters by Charlotte Mosley (edited). Fascinating. Am quite looking forward to getting back to this especially as there’s a tv series or something coming to our screens at some point.

And this isn’t even all of them…a lot of time has been spent on research and so many books remain on a shelf, but I’m confident their time will come!


6 thoughts on “Year End Round Up: Part 1

  1. Great concept for a blog post, Sarah! I’m also a big fan of Balzac and Zola — two authors who of course have several things in common — 19th-century Frenchmen, extremely prolific writers, very societally aware in their books, created characters who appear in more than one novel, etc. Love “The Count of Monte Cristo,” too. Enjoy catching up on your reading when you can!

    Liked by 2 people

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