The Heart of Writing

Helping you to connect with the writer within

Reading Challenge 2015 – Third Quarter

I cannot believe it is that time already, and I only have one more quarter to beat last year’s record of 42 books in total. This quarter, I think I’ve managed to rack up the numbers, starting strong in June. In August, I hit a reading slump and had to abandon some books that were just unfortunately too slow – although I might come back to them later.

So here’s what I read between June and September:

Invisible Cities1. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

The Fall

2. The Fall by Albert Camus

why-be-happy-when-you-could-be-normal-review_320

3. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

The hour of the star

4. The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

How-Should-a-Person-Be_EL_2jan13_pr_b_426x639

5. How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti

autofiction

6. Autofiction by Hitomi Kanehara

By grand central station

7. By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart

Haroun

8. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

PortableShelter

9. A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan

happy are the happy

10. Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza

Winterson_2.indd

11. Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson

scarlet letter

12. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Angela_Carter_Bluebeard_Penguin_Mini_Moderns

13. Bluebeard by Angela Carter

OutsidersHinton

14. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Go tell it on the mountain

15. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

the daylight gate

16. The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

To save repeating myself by reporting that my favourites were the books by Jeanette Winterson, Kirsty Logan and James Baldwin (I think it’s clear by now they are my usual favourites), I’m going to choose The Outsiders as the best book I read this quarter. Set in the 50s and narrated by a ‘greaser’ teenager, I was mostly impressed that S.E. Hinton was just 17 years old when she wrote this. I was even more impressed that the narrative was convincing, emotional and illustrative. I warmed to the main character (and narrator) Ponyboy, instantly. A mostly male band of characters isn’t always easy to write well or correctly, but Hinton creates depth in these boys that seem true to their time and place. From the gang slang of the 1950s to the descriptions and compelling relationships between friends, I was utterly there and rooting for the characters I’d quickly grown to know and care for, all the way.

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