Book Monster

Conquering literature one book at a time
(to say nothing of the movies)

Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one’s luck.

Iris Murdoch

For to enter the palace of learning at the great gate requires an expense of time and forms, therefore men of much haste and little ceremony are content to get in by the back-door.

Jonathan SwiftA Tale of a Tub

355. James Joyce by Richard Ellmann (+)
356. The Hundred Days by Patrick O’Brian
357. On Tangled Paths by Theodor Fontane
358. The Doll by Bolesław Prus (+)
359. Confessions of a Young Man by George Moore
360. After the Divorce by Grazia Deledda
361. Maldoror by Comte de Lautreamont (+)
362. The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter (+)
363. Blue at the Mizzen by Patrick O’Brian
364. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
365. Solar by Ian McEwan
366. The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
367. The Skin by Curzio Malaparte (+)

For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide unto an other brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

Edmund SpenserThe Faerie Queene

340. Stone Upon Stone by Wiesław Myśliwski (++)
341. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (+)
342. The Wine-Dark Sea by Patrick O’Brian
343. Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
344. The Commodore by Patrick O’Brian
345. Menexenus by Plato
346. Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (+)
347. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
348. The Virginian by Owen Wister
349. Lady Susan by Jane Austen
350. The Watsons by Jane Austen
351. Sandition by Jane Austen
352. The Yellow Admiral by Patrick O’Brian
353. Peerless Flats by Esther Freud
354. Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa

The whole point is that writing has a pattern and life hasn’t. Life is so untidy. Art is so short and life so long. It is not possible to have perfection in life but it is possible to have perfection in a novel.

—Elizabeth Taylor