Writing Prompt: The Book List

As you may have noticed through some of the other pages on the site, I’ve started a new book list for 2009. As I go through them, I’m writing down what I finish and adding a review. So far, I’ve read “Candide” by Voltaire (for the 20th time), “Fire in the Blood” by Irene Nemirovsky and “Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne. I’ve loved all three in different ways and I highly recommend them all. Particularly the last one on the list. I read it on train journeys to and from work over two days. Having finished it tonight, it left me sad, a little shaken and with the total conviction that I’ll read it again. It was beautiful and although it ended in the only tragic way a book on that subject could, I didn’t want it to end. I’ve just picked up “Crooked Little Vein” by Warren Ellis and I’m sure it too will be completed in a matter of days, judging by the speed at which I’m turning the first few pages.

I’ve always been an ambitious reader. I make lists, set targets; I’ve spend thousands on books throughout my life and I’m proud of the little library I’ve collected and stacked on the dark wood shelves around me. There are some books there that I’ve had for years and never got around to, this is their year.

Tell me, if you could get through ten books this year that you’ve always wanted to go through, but never managed, which ones would they be? What is it about them that attracts you? Is it a recommendation, a genre, the author, the storyline? What we read speaks volumes about who we are. What does your list say about you?

From the books above, I’d say I’m a tragic-romantic prone to the darker side of life who appreciates irony….

Writing Prompt: The Book List

Spreading the word

I gave the book one last flick. Drew out my pen and began to write.

“Dear reader, you’ve just wandered into an experiment. The book in your hands had been left intentionally in the hope that someone like yourself will be curious enough to open it. I’m hoping you’ll read and enjoy this book and leave it for someone else. If so, please visit www.spreadingtheword.wordpress.com and let us know what you thought, and more importantly, where you’ve left the book for others.

The purpose of the experiment is twofold. 1. To spread good books around. 2. To see how long the trail will go and where the book will travel next.

If you’re not inclined to read this book, please leave it for someone else.

Thanks, and happy reading.”

I wrapped the book in clear plastic against the elements and wandered into Princes Street gardens. Near the top of the path facing the castle there is a row of benches. I looked around and sensing no one near me, deposited the book on a bench.

If you head over to www.spreadingtheword.wordpress.com you can see which books have gone, where they’ve been left and which are next. I’ll be hoping that this works and curious to see what happens next. I’d encourage others to try the same and drop me a line. Let me know the book and where is was left and I’ll add a page to the site in order to track progress. Good luck.

It’s only 175 pages, does that count?

I know I said I was going to stick to my reading list and only use alternates when I came across something that was boring, but a friend gave me a copy of “How to Survive a Horror Movie” by Seth Grahme-Smith and I couldn’t resist. The premise of the book is a breakdown of every¬†kind of horror movie scenario and what one needs to do to ensure they’re one of the ones to survive for the inevitable sequel.

It covers everything from alien invasion, vampire attacks, zombies, slashers, possessed dogs, a-typically killer dogs (and sharks and birds and cats) as well as your sinister cornfields and haunted houses. This is essential reading for anyone who loves a good fright at the box office (and I’m not talking about the Spice Girls Movie).

So, my question is, having wandered from my book list, just¬† teeny tiny bit, does this count as an alternate or since it’s camp and a bit of a giggle, can I slide it under the radar?

Today’s Prompt: Write the last scene in a horror film with you as the main character. 500 words or less. Any genre and any outcome will do, Have fun, the more outrageous the better!

The Book List

Every year I promise myself I’m going to read a book every week. I’m not rigid on the subject or genre, but I want to try to pull myself away from the TV and blockbuster rentals. Each year I make this promise, each year life gets in the way, I make excuses and I fail.

So, this year, I’ve made a list of the books I want to read. They’ve either been gifts, recommendations or 3 for 2 deals at Waterstone’s that I collected over the years and never got to.

I used to have a habit of wandering into the Waterstone’s on Fleet street when I was a bit down. I would launch myself at the fiction section and flick through the pages of the new hardbacks. I read the back covers of the paperbacks gathering the ones that caught my interested in my arm and replacing the ones that had the misfortune of having a poorly written publisher’s blurb on the back. I read the little cards on the shelves with the staff recommendations and nodded in approval at the ones I agreed with and chuckled to myself at the ones I disagreed with or I felt sounded too much like a book report.

This was my mini-break. I spent the whole of my lunch hour wandering between the shelves and trying to find the appropriate number to full-fill the requirements of the 3 for 2 offer. I inevitably had four in my hands and either had to sacrifice one for another day, or buckle and pick two more. I was their perfect sucker, promotion hound, target audience for whom these promotions were designed.

I’ve finally run out of shelf space in my house. There are officially too many un-read books on my shelf for me to justify buying any more until 2010. So, I’ve made a list of books that I’m determined to read this year (there are a few alternates in case some turn out to be duds).

The List

1. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
2. The Almost Moon – Alice Seabold
3. A Certain Slant of Light – Laura Whitcomb
4. The Road to Avalon – Joan WOlf
5. The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
6. The Land Girls – Angela Huth
7. The Light of Asia – Sir Edwin Arnold
8. Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
9. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
10. Acacia – David Anthony Durham
11. Making Money – Terry Pratchet
12. Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
13. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
14. Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
15. The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
16. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
17. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hoggs
18. The Trial – Franz Kafka
19. White Teeth – Zadie Smith
20. Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman
21. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
22. Natural Selection – Bill Dare
23. Fury – Salem Rushdie
24. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
25. The Photograph – Penelope Lively
26. Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
27. The Scandal of the Season – Sophie Gee
28. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
29. The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
30. The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
31. The History of England
32. Beloved – Toni Morrison
33. Q – Luther Blissett
34. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom – T. E. Lawrence
35. The Queen of Subtleties – Suzannah Dunn
36. Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
37. In the Company of the Courtesan – Sarah Dunant
38. Rope Burns – F.X. Toole
39. Smashed – Koren Zailckas
40. New Moon – Stephanie Meyer
41. Lucky – Alice Seabold
42. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
43. Intruder in the Dust – William Faulkner
44. Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
45. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
46. Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
47. Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
48. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
49. Middlemarch – George Eliot
50. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
51. Human Croquet – Kate Atkinson
52. Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder

Right, that’s it. I’m allowing myself three alternates in case a few of them are boring and I need to swap.

Ok, so what’s your 52?

Good luck and happy reading.

Update: I’ll be highlighting them as I go along.

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