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Tuesday, 02 February 2016

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Bellezza

I was entranced with Midnight's Children, even though Rushdie is not an easy read for me. He creates unforgettable images though, and his writing is quite wonderful.

Stefanie

I love your Cunning Plan! Though I am curious about the developments in your chicken run!

So you should definitely read Midnight's Children, it is very good. But for murk you need something a bit more, or rather a bit less, heavy. And therefor you should read Proust and the Squid. It is fascinating and will make you feel rather smug about being a reader and all the things your brain does because of it.

Laurie C @ Bay State Reader's Advisory

Your plan reminds me of this New Yorker book review of a book called SuperBetter that turns life into a series of games!
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/09/14/high-score

Your list is a daunting one! The only one I've read is Midnight's Children and that was long ago when I was young and sharp-minded! I know if it were me deciding for myself, I would make a beeline for the Penelope Fitzgerald! ;)

Jenny @ Reading the End

I LOVE THIS GAME. I vote for Midnight's Children! I read it a while back (God, maybe I was even still in college then?), and I expected it to be horribly dreary, and then in fact I quite liked it. It's very strange! And long! But good. Read that one, I would be interested to hear what you think.

(Seriously, I love this game. I love to vote. I would vote every day if I could.)

Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

I like this game, but I have no knowledge of any of the books! The previous commenters are quite persuasive so I would go with their suggestions.

Harriet

Midnight's Children is obviously the frontrunner and I absolutely agree. It's a while since I read it but I loved it. Not familiar with the others but I'd go for the Fitzgerald because I've enjoyed other things by her, and The Witch of Edmonton because I've always known about it but never read it. Look forward to hearing how you get on!

Helen

Oh my goodness, thank you for all your votes!

So far, Midnight's Children is the clear winner in terms of fiction. The Knox Brothers and Proust and the Squid have tied for the non-fiction and there are as yet no votes for any of the plays or poetry. Come on! Don't leave me to make the decision for myself!

Bellezza, you make me anxious to get started on Midnight's Children! I've just finished a book, so am ready to plunge in.

Stefanie: there will be chicken news soon. It's not really exciting, well it is, but really it isn't.

Laurie: thank you for the link, I'll go and read it! It IS a daunting list, that's probably why I've never got round to reading them before....

Jenny: thanks - I love it too! I may apply it to every aspect of my life, or turn into Diceman or something.

Lory: don't let not knowing the books prevent you from voting! You can even, if you are feeling mean, think to yourself, well Havelok looks a stiff read let's make her do that heh heh heh as you rub your hands together. Why not? Not that I imagine you feel mean very often, I hasten to add, you always seem a very nice person!

More votes! More votes!

Helen

Harriet, I'm sorry, we cross-posted! Thank you especially for the vote for The Witch of Edmonton and for tipping the balance in non-fiction.

Desperate Reader

The witch of Edmonton! I saw it late 2014 at the RSC and really enjoyed it. Think it might appeal to your interest in fairy tales and folklore never mind what it has to say about women in society or the Jacobean paranoia about witchcraft.

Carol S

I'm in agreement with Harriet's choices though I haven't read Midnight's Children (yet)but I haven't read the Meredith either and it would tempt me. I tried to read Proust and the Squid to my husband when he was in hospital after an accident on his bike. I was enjoying it but he wasn't so we stopped, I haven't seen it since.

Helen

Hayley, I actually bought this copy of The Witch of Edmonton not long after I'd written a (fairly bad) dissertation on Jacobean tragedy for my degree, so it's really shameful that it's been unread for so long. I am a very squeamish person, so am a bit surprised at my fondness for Webster, Ford, Marston et al., but there we go. By the way, I've had a lot of trouble commenting on your blog over the past months, it's something to do with my computer though, I think. It's fairly temperamental.

Carol, the only novel by Meredith I've ever read is The Egoist and it's brilliant. Modern Love is also excellent. I don't really understand why he isn't as popular these days as other Victorian writers. Of course, now that everyone has voted for Midnight's Children, I am looking longingly at Diana... You seem to be voting for BOTH Proust and the Squid AND The Knox Brothers though which is NOT helping. Bad Carol! :) I can see I'll end up reading both anyway, which is a perfect outcome really.

Tracey

Read She-Wolves, then watch the BBC series of the same (if you can find or download it)!

Desperate Reader

I don't know why it should be so hard to post on my blog, but it is. My work iPad won't let me do it unless I ban cookies - or something. It's frustrating. If you find me on Facebook (it's mostly book stuff) a few people comment there instead. Thanks to the proximity of the RSC I've found a previously unexpected love for Jacobean and restoration drama. Have seen some great stuff over the last couple of years.

Helen

Hello Tracey, and thank you very much for your comment! I do want to read She-Wolves, and I'm glad you recommend it. One thing that this exercise has done is make me enthusiastic about all nine books all over again.

Hayley, I don't have a Facebook account and Belgian non-users are no longer allowed even to look at Facebook. I am sure I can find a way to comment on your blog one way or another, but I am still reading and enjoying it! And I envy your proximity to the RSC :)

Helen

I am arbitrarily deciding that the vote is now closed, because I have finished my previous book and need something to read.

The winners are:

Midnight's Children
The Witch of Edmonton
The Knox Brothers

Proust and the Squid may have tied with The Knox Brothers after Carol S's wildcard comment :) but I'm choosing TKB for practical reasons: I have a number of bus journeys every week and I need a paperback to read on them (as I am heaving lots of teachery stuff about too). My copy of Midnight's Children is a vast hardback, and PATS is almost as big, but TKB is a handy paperback.

I've enjoyed this: I like abrogating responsibility and I have also become more enthusiastic about all the books on the list, and so more likely to read them.

Thank you all again, very much!

Annabel

I would go for Proust and the Squid too if I'm not too late.

Helen

Thanks, Annabel! But yes, you are too late! Still, I plan on reading PATS soon anyway - that is if I get to the end of Midnight's Children before I die...

Faye @ Literasaurus

Drat! Being so far behind on my blog reading means I missed the boat on this one. And I would've been a Squid voter too...sounds fascinating. Will keep an eye out for the next round of voting.

Helen

Hello Faye, thanks for commenting and sorry to take so long to reply! Actually I am LOVING The Knox Brothers so at this precise moment I'm glad that I'm not reading the Squid; but it does indeed look fascinating and no doubt as soon as I do get to it I'll wonder why I didn't pick it up before.

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