November 17, 2013 § 7 Comments
The debate about the merits of e-readers over books has been raging since the Kindle rose to popularity. There are those who condemn the e-reader for the downfall of the major book stores, and to some extent, I sympathise with that perspective. Yes, e-books led to a decline in the sale of hard-copy books. When the three-story Borders in the middle of my city closed, Brisbane lost something special. Jobs were lost and an important part of the cityscape was gone. I felt this loss acutely, as I visited Borders several times a week since early high school.
But something has begun to bother lately: the statement that one must have an “actual book” in order to read. If I had a page for every time someone said to me, “Oh, I can’t use an e-reader, I need to hold a real book”, I’d have a tome the size of War and Peace. Now, I believe you when you say this. Really, I do. But you’re missing out.
Books are irreplaceable. This, I will not deny. E-readers and digital books cannot replicate the feeling of opening an anticipated book to its first page, or the exhilaration of turning its final one. Books are emotional objects. Every book I own holds a memory – where I got it, why I bought it, how I enjoyed it, the people I shared it with. My first edition of The Hunger Games, with its childish cover and Scholastic branding, is evidence that I trusted my good friend’s recommendation enough to read it long before Jen stepped into Katniss’ worn leather boots.
My copy of Fight Club has seen better days. I’m pretty sure that someone I loaned it to spilled beer on it, but it kind of added to its authenticity, in a meta-fictional sense. My Harry Potter novels are in perfect condition, so much did I treasure them, but their pages are beginning to yellow with age. My handwriting, on the top right corner of each title page, gets more and more legible with each volume, as I grew up in time with my collection’s expansion.
My collection of books is testament to my obsession with fiction. I long since gave up on using a bookshelf. My last one collapsed in on itself with the weight of my books, so for now, three quarters of my collection is housed in air-tight crates. The remaining quarter of it is sitting in stacks all around my house. You’ll find my books on the arms of chairs, under my bed, on my desk, on my living room table. It makes me happy to see all my messy, mismatched editions sitting cheerfully on top of one another, wherever you look in my house. I love to lend my books to others, especially when someone has taken me up on a recommendation. I’ve lost more than a few books to irresponsible readers, but somehow, it’s worth it. Well, mostly.
Above all, my favourite thing about hard-copy books, though: bookstores. I go to a bookstore nearly every day: Second-hand book shops, with unimaginable range and unshakeable character; on-trend book stores with tattooed staff and eclectic selections of vintage novels; academic bookstores with hidden gems tucked in amongst the scholarly volumes; and a specialty bookstore with a genre-specific catalogue and staff patient enough to sit through my constant questions about upcoming releases and ETAs on my many, many orders. If I only ever bought e-books, I would lose out on the richness of these stores, and the books I would never have picked up if they hadn’t been recommended to me by someone who has come to know my tastes. This is what I’m paying for when I buy my novels in hard-copy. These are the experiences that are as much a part of my book collection as the tomes themselves.
However, does not mean that my e-reader does not have value in its own right. Tucked inside a pocket of my hand-bag is an entire collection: hundreds of books, literally at my fingertips. I think I first began to truly appreciate my e-reader when I was reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. If you haven’t heard of WoT, each of the fourteen novels is enormous. Having the entire collection on my e-reader meant that when I finished a book mid-bus ride, I could just open up the next with no pause at all.
Obviously, price is a factor with e-books. With prices so low, I’m much more tempted to try an author or genre that I wouldn’t risk my spending my money on in hard-copy. And thanks to Project Gutenburg, there are many e-books available for free. I have a small confession to make, also. I have, at times, read pirated copies of books on my e-reader. I endeavour to be an ethical pirate. When I finally decided to read Ender’s Game, I couldn’t bring myself to give royalty to Orson Scott Card. So I read a pirated copy, loved it, and didn’t have to feel guilty about having supported a homophobic asshole.
On the flipside, digital publishing offers a legitimate, accessible platform for new authors. I recently read, and loved, A SINGLE GIRL’S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. I bought this book purely because the title was funny and it was $5.99. It was an excellent read, and I was glad to be able to support a new author. On top of this, I could recommend this book with complete ease over the internet to my international readers, who could own it within seconds if my review persuaded them to read it!
I believe there are those who love books, and there are those who love to read. Of course, you can be both, but I think many people love the idea of being a bookworm more than they love to read. If you truly love to read, the format of the story is secondary to the story itself. The oft-repeated “I have to have an actual book in my hands” is a materialistic sentiment that belittles the author’s work. You think that just because you’re turning the pages on a screen, you’re not reading the book? You’re wrong. Yes, I prefer print books over digital books, but it’s not because I have to hold the book in order to enjoy it. I regularly use my e-reader in order to read books that aren’t available in print format, and if I refused to do so because it was not a physical copy, I would be cutting myself off from an enormously rich market.
My Gran, who endured endless conversation about the books I was reading, would always remind me, “No matter what, you’ll always have your books.” She’s right, of course – I live in the many worlds of the fiction I read. A piece of me resides in Fillory, another in District Thirteen. Most days, my mind has wandered to the Gryffindor common room, or possibly to the decks of the mad ship, Paragon.
I’m dependent on reading. If I’m having a bad day, I console myself with the fact that I can vacate reality and step into fiction. I am a reader. It is what I do, who I am. And I am bewildered by the fact that this is called into question when people see me reading from my e-reader. Read. Read everything, every way.
September 1, 2013 § Leave a comment
We’ve decided to put together this series of posts to keep you all updated with what’s going on in our little corner of the blogosphere, any bookish news and life generally. Going up on the first of every month (Australian time), keep your calendars handy, people!
– Brisbane Writer’s Festival – The Brisbane Writers Festival runs for four days, and is a collection of lectures, workshops and panels featuring prominent writers who will discuss areas of their particular expertise and I am so unbelievably excited to be attending my first BWF!!! I will be breathing the same air as Garth Nix; excuse me while I quietly fangirl in a corner. I’m also very excited to have a more or less willing Kalystia attend the Jane Austen presentation with me (I shall convert her eventually – resistance is futile).
– Australian Federal Election – I know, not book related, but I am also a political science major and elections make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. I shall celebrate election eve by FINALLY finishing Downfall by Aaron Patrick. See, now its book related! You can buy it here for Kindle or here in paperback.
– Start the 30 Day Challenge – I’m hoping that this fantastic challenge might spark a bit of friendly debate among you, lovely readers. It is aptly named as a challenge; I’ve read over the questions and I am really struggling to find answers for some (and to be honest, not answer everything with Stardust!).
– One of my best friends has promised me a book date at a fantastic second hand bookstore in the city and I can’t wait to take him up on it! It may even result in a post series Kalystia and I have been pondering for a while, so watch this space!
– Start reading some of the Netgalley books on our shelf. Short, sweet and NEEEEEEW!
– Picking and starting the next book for itsnotnatalie does neil. Choices, choices.
– Getting back on track with my reading list. Even though there is no accountability whatsoever with my reading list, having put it out into cyberspace, I feel a bit slack for having only read HALF of one of the entries. Having said that, I freely acknowledge I will probably be distracted by the first shiny, new book I see in Dymocks. I have no shame.
In September, I’m looking forward to some exciting new releases. I’ve preordered them, and anxiously await their arrival in the mail!
– The Returned, Jason Mott: I’ve mentioned this one before, and although it’s been posted, I STILL haven’t received it. Can’t wait to read it, though!
– Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson: Any new Brandon Sanderson would be enough for me to be bouncing off the walls in anticipation, but a kind of dystopian venture? CANNOT WAIT. September 24, it’s here.
– Vicious, Victoria Schwab: Everything I’ve read about this seems to indicate that it will be some kind of hybrid of X-men, Flatliners and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. Yes, I’m probably going to love it. Coming from Tor on Sep 24th!
– More than This, Patrick Ness: Although I’ve been meaning to, I’ve never got around to the Chaos Walking Trilogy. But I picked up the most beautiful hardback edition of this book the day it was released, and I’m itching to start it. It looks like philosophical post-apoc. Yes, please!
– The Rook, Daniel O’Malley: An unexpected find from Pulp Fiction. I actually don’t really know what to expect of this, but the recommendations in the front few pages are astronomical. It’s shot to the top of my to-read pile.
I also have the capacity to get excited about things that are not books. It’s a small capacity, but exists nonetheless. Here are a few other things I’m looking forward to in September:
– The dystopia lecture at BWF, featuring Scott Westerfield as a panellist
– Planning a trip to Melbourne in October with my boyfriend. I’m somewhat of a shopaholic, and I’ve never been before, so this is very exciting! Any Melbournites with tips on the best book stores, leave me a comment below!
– On the topic of the Melbourne trip, I’m already excited to visit the Melbourne zoo and see the gorillas there. I’ve never seen one in real life, and it’s something I’ve always wanted. I’ll probably cry. I can’t wait.
– I’m also looking forward to reviewing some of the books I’ve read lately, particularly The Bone Season. So many mixed emotions, readers, and I’m looking forward to getting them out of my head and onto the page.
– Seeing Elysium! I still haven’t seen it, and I’ve been looking forward to it since its teaser trailer.
– Oh, and I’ve finished The Book Thief. I’ll be needing to discuss this soon. Need to share the feels.
August 29, 2013 § 1 Comment
I don’t know about you guys, but when I find out that one of my favourite books is being adapted to film, I immediately start micro-stressing. Will they cast the characters the way I see them in my head? Will they change important plot points? Will this book, that I have privately enjoyed for so long, now be the domain of a vapid fan-base, like Twilight was?
Film is a completely different medium to the novel, and it communicates with viewers in a wholly different way. Because of this, there is no way that a film can exactly replicate the experience of reading a beloved novel. We all know this. Sometimes, though, an astute filmmaker will somehow manage to capture the essence of the original book. That special, intangible element, unique to each and every novel, has survived the gruelling transition from page to screen, and the film becomes a special one because of it. These are five adaptations that we think did their base novels justice.
The Lovely Bones (Kalystia)
There is something very special about this novel. In reading The Lovely Bones, the reader is transported from the hellish nightmare of Susie Salmon’s rape and murder, to heaven, where Susie watches over her grieving family. I have cherished The Lovely Bones since I first read it in high school. I know the novel inside out (some sections word for word, even), so I was sceptical about a film adaptation.
But it was perfect.
Saorise Ronan embodied Susie’s frozen innocence and indescribable grief at being abducted from life. The colour palette of the film was stunning. The plot was faithful to the novel, even to the smallest details. The atmosphere of the novel was translated perfectly into the film, which was at once surreal and gritty. It was a wonderful adaptation.
The Mortal Instruments (Kalystia)
I admit I’m not the biggest fan of The Mortal Instruments series. I enjoyed them, but lost interest by the fourth one. The continuation of the series screams “money-making” to me… That said, I saw the film last Friday, and I think that the realm of Downworlders and Shadowhunters has been brought to life on the big screen. The Institute is lavish and exquisitely rendered, and the opening scene in Pandemonium was exactly as I’d pictured it. I thought Lilly Collins was well-cast as Clary, and Lena Headey was great as Jocelyn. Yeah, okay, Magnus Bane was a little wooden in his delivery, and Jace was very different to the way I’d pictured him in the novel, but Isabelle’s whip made up for it all. I recommend seeing this if you like urban fantasy.
The Prestige (Kalystia)
I can’t really explain why The Prestige was such a brilliant adaptation without giving away a major spoiler. What I can say, though, is that Christopher Nolan took the (somewhat boring) base text and reworked part of its narrative structure. The end result is a magnificent thriller which builds to a tense finale, and one of the best twist-endings you’ll ever see. The Prestige is a testament to Nolan’s storytelling prowess. The fact that he could tell the same story as the novel and achieve such a phenomenally different end result just goes to show that he is deserving of all the praise that is heaped upon him! Incidentally, The Prestige is one of the very few movies which is undeniably better than its printed counterpart.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (The Swedish original – itsnotnatalie)
What can I say other than I loved, loved, LOVED this movie?! I immensely enjoyed the book (and its sequels) and this fantastic adaptation expertly transfers all the grittiness, frustration and energy of Larsson’s work from page to screen. Usually, I am firmly in the book is better camp, but I think here the movie has a slight edge – Noomi Rapace IS Lisbeth and is utter perfection in the role.
I Capture The Castle (itsnotnatalie)
I think with such a book there was always the possibility the adaptation would veer too far into the twee. Thankfully, it does not. The fantastic cast manage to convey the humour, sweetness and quaintness of the book set in the 30s without skimping on the realness and touch of darkness. Bill Nighy and Romola Garai are simply superb. A movie (and a book) I come back to time and again.
August 13, 2013 § 2 Comments
1. Kalystia: The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for literary marketing. When it comes to books, my defences are down and I’ll buy anything that publishers tell me to. Because of this unfortunate tendency of mine, I have wasted money on absolute trash, simply because it’s been hyped up online with a powerful marketing campaign (most recently, The Fifth Wave, which I hated). On the flip-side, though, sometimes a viral campaign will grab me, and I’ll pick up a book worth every word of praise. Angelfall, relentlessly pushed by Goodreads, was one such novel. The Bone Season has been doing the rounds in online campaigning, and the series is touted to rival The Hunger Games, Twilight and even Harry Potter.
So, naturally, I want it.
The Bone Season is about clairvoyants practising outside the law. In a contract mirroring that of J. K. Rowling, young author Samantha Shannon has been signed for a seven book deal with Bloomsbury, with the first three to come out fairly soon. And that is pretty much all I know about this book. It’s on its way to me from England now, so more to come soon!
If you’re as intrigued as I am, watch the surprisingly well-done book trailer here!
2. Itsnotnatalie: Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Oddly, for a committed Whovian, to the best of my knowledge, I have never, EVER, read a sci-fi book. So for me, Ender’s Game represents the opportunity to dip my toe into the endless sea of this new (to me, at least) genre. I am really excited by the two-fold challenge Ender’s Game presents; first, having to step outside my reading comfort zone and second, I am looking forward to facing the questions that the sci-fi genre will invariably pose for me.
Side note from Kalystia: I love Ender’s Game, and have high hopes for the upcoming film adaptation! I think Asa will do an excellent job of portraying Ender.
3. Kalystia: The Returned – Jason Mott
The Returned opens with the premise that those who have definitely, permanently died have one day simply returned to their families. The Returned show up on their loved ones’ doorsteps, the same age that they were when they died. When I first read about this, I did not hesitate to pre-order. I’ve tried to stop myself from reading anything about it…but I ended up having a few sneaky peeks at some reviews. The Returned is being praised for its moving story, its haunting subject matter and its stark language. This tends to put me in mind of The Road, but I believe The Returned has a more familiar setting than that.
And that’s about all I know about The Returned. It already has me hooked, and I haven’t read a word of it.
4. Itsnotnatalie: The Other Typist – Suzanne Rindell
After the intellectual workout I’m expecting Ender’s to put me through, I think I’ll need a change of pace! I stumbled across The Other Typist in our favourite bookstore, and ever since I have been itching to read it. Somehow or another, though, other books just keep getting in the way. So this is it, no ifs or buts, it is being read! I have also heard that Keira Knightley has signed on for a film adaptation, my interest is even more piqued.
5. The Novelettes want to read The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak
Itsnotnatalie: I don’t actually know too much about this book. My main attraction to it has been off the back of the movie stills I saw; the casting of Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson (two of my favourite actors) had me bouncing in my chair! Plus, there is the added bonus that The Book Thief is set during World War 2 – and as anyone who knows me can attest, I cannot resist any movie, TV show, book, ANYTHING set in this time. I am particularly excited about the special plan Kalystia and I have planned for this book, so watch this space!
Kalystia: I’ve always felt a bit bad for not having read The Book Thief. I often see this book picked as one of the best books written in recent times, and I know I should have read it long before now. There’s a lot about it that means I will very likely fall in love with it – a snowy, war-time setting, a highly interesting narrator (Death) and a girl who adores reading. It’s a recipe for a book bound for my favourites shelf. With a film adaptation set to hit the screens later this year, I think it’s time I read The Book Thief.
Itsnotnatalie has also had this book on her to-read list for quite some time. So, we’ve decided to do something a little bit special to celebrate the fact that we’ve finally decided to read this book. Stay tuned to see what have in store.
August 10, 2013 § 14 Comments
If you haven’t heard of The Fault in Our Stars (shortened to TFIOS by fans), you really must be living under a rock. John Green has blown away adult and teen readers alike with the equally heart-warming and heart-breaking tale of two teenagers who meet and fall in love at a support group for young cancer-sufferers. TFIOS, like Green’s other novels, is an empowering depiction of teenagers, with intelligent, often hilarious and realistically flawed characters who make adult decisions in the in-between world that is adolescence. Itsnotnatalie and I can’t really speak about TFIOS without at least having a tissue box on hand, but there’s one thing we know for certain – this movie could be bad. We’re dreading the rise of “Team Augustus” supporters that are likely to emerge once TFIOS comes to the silver screen, but most importantly, we want this very special book to be represented well on film.
Although I often recommend Divergent to those who enjoyed The Hunger Games, they are two very different series. In The Hunger Games, Katniss unknowingly incites an active revolution that has been gestating for quite some time. Meanwhile, in Divergent, things are trucking along pretty well until Tris comes along. It’s a small distinction, but Divergent is more about the slow unravelling of a dystopian society than it is about a persistent revolution gaining traction. Because Divergent and The Hunger Games are so often compared, I hope that the film-makers make an effort to establish Divergent’s identity apart from The Hunger Games. Side note: the girl who has been cast as Tris, Shailene Woodley, has also been cast as Hazel in TFIOS. She must have something going for her!
3. Ender’s Game
Ender’s Game is often ranked as one of the best sci-fi books of all time, so it’s odd that it has never been made into a movie before now. I actually hated it the first time I read it, but persisted through a second time. The second time round, I recognised the true depth and power of the story of Ender Wiggin and his peers. Ender is a complex character, but I think they’ve chosen well in casting Asa Butterfield. Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford have been cast in the adult roles, with Abigail Breslin and Hailee Stienfeld in supporting ones. My hope is that with such an accomplished cast, the film will live up to the reputation of the book. The trailer certainly seems to indicate that it will! The enemy’s gate is down…
I’ve mentioned before on The Novelettes that Carrie is one of the books that changed me as a reader and as a person. When I saw that it was being remade, I was really excited. That is, until I saw that Chloe Grace Moretz had been cast as Carrie. In the novel, Carrie is unattractive, often described as bovine, and has enormous difficulty connecting or fitting in with her peers. I find it hard to believe that a girl who looks like Chloe could ever endure the same difficulty that Carrie did. That said, Chloe Grace Moretz is well on the way to establishing herself as a truly talented actress, so I’ll suspend my judgement until I see the film.
Although it was met with mixed critical responses, The Hunger Games lived up to my every expectation. I saw it three times in the cinemas and have watched it countless times since. Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect Katniss, and I have faith that she will carry her aptitude for the role for the rest of the Hunger Games journey. That said, Mockingjay has been split into two films, parts one and two. My hope is that it’s not being drawn out simply for extra revenue (I’m looking at YOU, Peter Jackson), and that it’s being divided into two parts to do the final book justice. In Mockingjay, we see Katniss (not to mention Peeta!) suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, and the culmination of the revolution in the districts. Please, filmmakers, don’t screw this up! On the plus side, how great does the Catching Fire trailer look?
August 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
Itsnotnatalie and I have been compiling something a little bit different for you all. We’ve been putting together our (very extensive) to-read lists. Each of us has different favourite genres and authors, and different areas we would like to pursue. That said, we both want to challenge ourselves by incorporating different genres as much as we can! While I has a strong foundation in the basic and contemporary classics (a side-effect of an English lit degree!), I would like to read more contemporary fiction., while at the same time pursuing my favourite genres of dystopia, young adult fiction and fantasy.
Itsnotnatalie, who prefers contemporary fiction and is the living embodiment of Pride and Prejudice, is particularly interested in expanding her catalogue of the classics. She also wants to establish a solid foundation in her beloved fantasy genre, and is planning to start by delving into the works of Neil Gaiman.
We’ve swapped favourites, and are trying the books close to each other’s hearts. Itsnotnatalie is surely a rarity – a law student who has never read John Grisham! I’ve given her a copy of A Time to Kill, a book I hold in very high esteem, and which I hope she loves. I also thought I’d throw her in the deep end with the post-apocalyptic fiction, and have recommended Julianna Baggot’s Pure. I’m interested to see what she thinks of it! For Itsnotnatalie, I will delve into that which I despise – Jane Austen. Having completed a lit degree, I have come to hate Mr Darcy obsessees as much as the general public despises Twi-hards, but I’m prepared to have my mind changed (I think…).
Lastly, we want your input! What’s missing from our lists? What needs to go to the top of the to-read pile? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!
Kalystia’s TO READ list:
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
Every Day – David Leviathan
Skullduggery Pleasant Series – Derek Landy
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky
An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
Sunshine – Robin McKinley
The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater
The Diviners – Libba Bray
Gameboard of the Gods – Richelle Mead
Name of the Stars – Maureen Johnson
Delerium – Lauren Oliver
Fly By Night – Frances Hardinge
Starglass – Phoebe North
DYSTOPIA and POST-APOCALYPTIC
Peter Heller – The Dog Stars
Lucifer’s Hammer – Larry Niven
Unwind – Neil Shusterman
The Stand – Stephen King
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
Brave New World – Alduous Huxley
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Boneshaker – Cherie Priest
Blood Red Road – Moira Young
Chaos Walking series – Patrick Ness
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Alas, Bablyon – Pat Frank
Heart-shaped Box – Joe Hill
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
Watership Down – Richard Adams
Compete works – Kurt Vonnegut
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Complete Works – Oscar Wilde
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexander Dumas
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
1984 – George Orwell
I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
Tess of the d’Urbevilles – Thomas Hardy
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The Scarlett Letter – Nathanial Hawthorne
The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
Selected works – Jane Austen
Among Others – Jo Walton
Battle Royale – Koushun Takami
Complete works – Christopher Moore
All that Is – James Salter
The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
John Dies at the End – David Wong
The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Room – Emma Donohue
Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
The Angel’s Game – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Tampa – Alissa Nutting
The Book Theif – Markus Zusak
Codex – Lev Grossman
No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy
11/22/63 – Stephen King
The Last Unicorn – Peter S. eagle
Darktower Series – Stephen King
The Scar – China Mieville
The Tawny Man Trilogy – Robin Hobb
The Rain Wild Chronicles – Robin Hobb
Soldier Son Trilogy – Robin Hobb
Tigana – Guy Gavriel Kay
The Black Prism – Brent Weeks
Blood Song – Anthony Ryan
The Magician Series – Trudi Canavan
Little, Big – John Crowley
Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Suzanna Clarke
Sharps – K J Parker
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The Wheel of Time series – Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson)
The Shambling Guide to New York City – Mur Lafferty
A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. Le Guin
Dark Side of the Moon – Candace Farrugia
The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch
Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card
Dune – Frank Herbert
The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon
The Returned – Jason Mott
Allegiant – Veronica Roth
Warm Bodies 2 – Isaac Marion
Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive Book 2) – Brandon Sanderson
Sequel to Pure and Fuse – Julianna Baggott
The Magician’s Land – Lev Grossman
Marisha Pessl – New Novel
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
World After (Penryn and the End of Days 2) – Susan Ee
Itsnotnatalie’s TO READ list:
IQ84 – Haruki Murakami
John Dies in the End – David Wong
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Book Thief – Markus Zuzak
The Other Typist – Suzanne Rindell
The Kite Runner – Khaleed Hosseni
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenidies
Brokeback Mountain – Annie Prolux
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal – Christopher Moore
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
Possession – AS Byatt
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller – Italo Calvino
Parade’s End – Ford Maddox Ford
Naked Lunch – William S Burroughs
Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky
Fanny Hill – John Cleland
Austerlitz – WG Sebald
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M. Foster
The Birds Fall Down – Rebecca West
The Graduate – Charles Webb
The Casual Vacancy – JK Rowling
Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl
The Family Law – Benjamin Law
He Died With a Felafel in His Hand – John Birmingham
Picnic at Hanging Rock – Joan Lindsay
The Happiest Refugee – Anh Do
Schindler’s List – Thomas Keneally
Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey
The Year of Living Dangerously – Christopher J Koch
Cocaine Blues – Kerry Greenwood
CRIME AND THRILLER
Carrie – Stephen Kin
A Time to Kill – John Grisham
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
ABC Murders – Agatha Christie
Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
The Postman Always Rings Twice/Mildred Pierce – James M Cain
Fire in the Hole – Elmore Leonard
Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy – John le Carre
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Trial – Franz Kafka
Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
In Search of Lost Time – Marcel Proust
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Bronte
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Les Liasons Dangereuse – Pierre Choderlos des Laclos
The Rainbow – DH Lawrence
Bel Ami – Guy de Maupassant
Gigi – Colette
Camilla – Fanny Burney
A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
Animal Farm – George Orwell
FANTASY and SCI-FI
LOTR Two Towers and Return of the King – JRR Tolkien
Outlander Series – Diana Gabaldon
Gormenghast Series – Mervyn Peake
Complete Works of Terry Pratchett
Complete Works of Neil Gaiman
Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Dune – Frank Herbert
Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
Watership Down – Richard Adams
The Magician King – Lev Grossman
Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson
The end of A Song of Fire and Ice – George RR Martin
Wheel of Time Series- Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson
POST-APOCALYPTIC and DYSTOPIA
Pure – Julianna Baggot
Red Moon – Benjam