Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vacation reading

I find myself compulsively reading Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I'm staying up too late to read it, which is one of my measuring sticks for books--will I forgo sleep for it? The answer here is yes, because this is an intense book, and I never seem to be at a restful place to stop. How does this young woman write so confidently about the horrors of the Nigerian civil war?

I'm also getting ready to go on our family vacation for the summer, to Cape Cod. This year there is a great book to bring, and my sister-in-law and I had the same idea. We're both going to try to read Annie Dillard's The Maytrees: A Novel, which is set on the Cape. I'm hoping to have that meta experience of reading about the place I'm going to be.

Last time I was on the Cape, I bought Thoreau's book Cape Cod (Nature Library, Penguin), but it intimidated me, and I was much too lazy to open it. It would probably be wishful thinking to drag it along with me again, since we'll only be there a week.

Over at The Books of My Numberless Dreams, the wonderful Imani recently did a meme that I've seen floating around a lot, in different forms. I think I'll do it this time, so thanks for tagging me (and everyone), Imani!


I’ve read it
I want to read it
I’ve seen the movie*
I’m indifferent
I have it on DVD+
I want to marry the leading man/lady!

The list:

1 Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë, 1847

2 Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813*+

3 Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, 1597*

4 Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, 1847*

5 Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936*

6 The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, 1992*

7 Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier, 1938*

8 Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, 1957*

9 Lady Chatterley’s Lover, DH Lawrence, 1928

10 Far from The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy, 1874

11 My Fair Lady, Alan Jay Lerner, 1956*

12 The African Queen, CS Forester, 1935*

13 The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald, 1925

14 Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen, 1811*

15 The Way We Were, Arthur Laurents, 1972*

16 War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, 1865

17 Frenchman’s Creek, Daphne du Maurier, 1942

18 Persuasion, Jane Austen, 1818*+

19 Take a Girl Like You, Kingsley Amis, 1960

20 Daniel Deronda, George Eliot, 1876

21 Maurice, E.M. Forester, 1971 (posth.)*

22 The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion, Ford Madox Ford, 1915

Tag, you’re it!


Anonymous said...

Enjoy the vacation and the book. :)

It's a shame i didn't even know My Fair Lady is a novel! Gosh I think that will make my TBR list!

Maurice is one of my beloved books, and, again, I didn't know there was a movie!

I need to read more Austen.

Tara said...

I'm thinking of suggesting Half of a yellow Sun to my bookclub for next year, do you think it would be a good book to discuss?

Enjoy your vaction and your mini-bookclub, sounds wonderful!

Gentle Reader said...

matt--I didn't know My Fair Lady is a novel, either, though I have it in my head that it is based on Pygmalion. Maurice is a pretty good movie, I think one of the earlier Merchant/Ivory offerings. More Austen is always a good thing!

tara--I think Half of a Yellow Sun would be a great book to discuss, there's a lot going on in it. I'm planning to suggest it to my book group when we meet again in the Fall.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful photo! If Cape Cod looks like that your vacation is sure to be wonderful. Enjoy!

Gentle Reader said...

stefanie--thanks! And yes, Cape Cod is very pretty. I'll try to take some photos to share :)

Imani said...

Hey, I'm glad you did the meme and that you're enjoying the Adichie novel so much! She is one of my absolute favourite writers. Have you read The Purple Hibiscus? It may be hard to imagine but I think it's even better than Half of a Yellow Sun.

Gentle Reader said...

imani--thanks for the meme, and I have not yet read The Purple Hibiscus. Ooh, now I have something to look forward to when I finish this book!

Literary Feline said...

I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

Meredith said...

What an inspiring list. (I don't think I've wanted to marry anyone since High School and Robert Redford's days of glory.) Come on over and get your award.

Stephanie said...

I've heard such good things about this book!! I'm looking forward to your review!

Hope your vacation was good!

Anonymous said...

Right, I read Pygmalion when i was in high school, saw the movies a million times but not until I read your post did I realize it's a novel. But i couldn't find it anywhere yet. I'd love to read it.

Kelly said...

I put in for Half a yellow sun for my birthday. The paperback comes out next month.

litlove said...

I'd love to go to Cape Cod - it has so many romantic literary associations for me! I shy away from reading Half of a Yellow Sun as I'm afraid it might be too traumatic, as I'm foolishly tender about war and dying children in books. Perhaps one day I'll get up the courage to read it!

Gentle Reader said...

literary feline--thanks--just got back from vacation, and I did have a very good time--I'm posting pictures later.

bellezza--thank you so much for the award--I really appreciate it!

stephanie--I really enjoyed Half of a Yellow Sun, and am inspired to read Purple Hibiscus soon.

matt--I'll have to investigate the novel version, too...

myutopia--I didn't know the paperback was out so soon--good, maybe I can suggest it for my book group!

litlove--I don't think I would have picked up Half of a Yellow Sun as quickly if I had known what it was really about. I usually avoid reading about war, and children in peril. Fortunately, I was ignorant about this book, so I read it anyway--and it was a very rewarding read :)

Cape Cod is a lovely place--I hope you get there some day!

Lotus Reads said...

I agree with you, "Half of a Yellow Sun" was so hard to put down! Did I tell you I got to listen to the author speak here in Toronto? She was amazing...I cannot wait for her next book!

Gentle Reader said...

lotus--you're lucky, I'd love to hear her read! I hope she comes to L.A. at some point. I really enjoyed her book, and must get a copy of Purple Hibiscus soon...