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1001 Books May 2019 Round Up

Due to other reading commitments and blog posts I have been neglecting to update you all with my thoughts on the 1001 books I have read recently, to remedy this I am planning a monthly round up of the winners and losers from the list.

So what books did I complete in May and how do they rate?

May BOTM 1The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst 3 Stars.  Goodreads calls this “Richly textured, emotionally charged, disarmingly comic” Personally while I can appreciate that this is beautifully written it left me cold not emotional and sad not comically amused. Me and Nick just didn’t click.

May BOTM 2 – Aithiopika by Heliodorus of Emesa 3 Stars. Goodreads says “Riddles, wordplay , and ambiguous prophecies abound in this story, which may have influenced Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Heliodorus’ elaborate and playful Greek is difficult, but early European translations have had an impact on modern literature, influencing writers as diverse as Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Henry Fielding.”  I appreciate that this book deserves its place on the 1001 list because you can see the influence it has had on other writers (namely Shakespeare) and because to a certain degree the story is a timeless one (mistaken identity, voyages home, true love, sacrifice it has them all) While I did enjoy the overall plot it took the (really, really, really) scenic and repetitive route to get its point across. Happiness follows disaster follows happiness follows disaster, you get the idea.

TBR Takedown – The Bell by Iris Murdoch 3 Stars. Goodreads says “Iris Murdoch’s funny and sad novel has themes of religion, the fight between good and evil, and the terrible accidents of human frailty” I really enjoyed the legend of the bell and the role it played in life at the nunnery and the commune, sadly I didn’t like any of the characters. I know others appreciate Murdoch’s writing (do did I in The Black Prince) but a throw away comment midway through really soured this for me:

“She clutched her discovery as an Arab boy might clutch a papyrus” Why was this comment necessary? am I being overly sensitive?

I also hated the way the male characters referred to a female character as a “bitch” without knowing her or her situation. They could tell just by looking at her!

Yearly Read – Pilgrimage Book 4 – The Tunnel by Dorothy Richardson 3 Stars. I appear to be alone with my thoughts on this one but my relationship with this book is one of barely concealed dislike and in no way concealed boredom.

Here are some quotes from this volume:

“The men who lived on these things had their drudgery done for them.” by women who would have thought!!

“There was nothing to turn to. Books were poisoned. Art. All the achievements of men were poisoned at the root. Life is poisoned for women, at the very source” I love Miriam’s positive upbeat outlook on life.

“People in order of strength…women, men, children.” Well I have finally found something Miriam and I agree on.

On the whole May was a bit of a 1001 washout for me, here’s hoping June will be better.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tracy S. #

    I liked The Bell- and I was surprised. I didn’t expect to like Iris Murdoch. I thought, for some reason, her writing would be stuffy.

    I tried The Line Of Beauty, but this month just wasn’t the time for it. I’ll try again in the winter when I can give it more attention.

    I read Aithiopika ages ago, and can’t remember much about it… 🤔

    And Pilgrimage. I’m trying to get through it.


    May 30, 2019
  2. I haven’t read any of these, but “The Bell” sounds kind of interesting.


    June 3, 2019

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