Friday, March 09, 2007

Theme Reading

Inspired by Iliana, Danielle, and Susan, who started it, here are some Themed Reading Lists from my stacks.

I could easily spend several months reading nothing but CANADIAN authors.

I could also just as easily spend the rest of the year reading only CLASSICS, including some seriously CHUNKY ones, such as:
War and Peace-Tolstoy
Les Miserables-Hugo
The Count of Monte Cristo-Dumas
The Three Musketeers-Dumas
Don Quixote-Cervantes
The Decameron-Boccaccio

I could spend some time with my favourite season. I seem to subconsciously, or not, be attracted to books with winter or snow in the title! Maybe I should try this when it's hot, sticky and unbearable this summer.
A Spell of Winter- Helen Dunmore
The Snow Geese- William Fiennes
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow- Peter Hoeg
Encyclopedia of Snow- Sarah Emily Miano
Snow- Orhan Pamuk
Light on Snow- Anita Shreve
Ice Road- Gillian Slovo
The Ice Palace- Tarjei Vesaas
The Winter Mantle- Elizabeth Chadwick
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller- Italo Calvino
The Winter Queen- Boris Akunin
Snow Country- Yasunari Kawabata

And I could do a fair bit of armchair traveling.
in addition to a handful of Japanese titles,
Lands of Glass-Alessandro Baricco
Soldiers of Salamis-Javier Cercas
The Half Brother-Lars Saabye Christensen
The Visit of the Royal Physician-Per Olov Enquist
The Name of the Rose-Umberto Eco
The Silence of the Rain- Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
Silence in October- Jens Christian Grondahl
Hunger- Knut Hamsun
Fateless- Imre Kertesz
The Unbearable Lightness of Being- Milan Kundera
Embers- Marai Sandor
My Name is Red- Orhan Pamuk
Journey by Moonlight- Antal Szerb
...among several others.


  1. I havve been really wanting to read more Canadian authors. Would be able to suggest a couple for me, apart from the obvious Munro etc.

    Have you read Alligator? I hear a lot about that.

  2. You guys with your darned lists!! Argh. I'll never reach the top of TBR Mountian! (yet somehow I'm delighted with that!)

  3. be_zen8,
    If you click on "Canadian authors" in my post, it'll take you to the list of over 30 Canadian books in my TBR stacks. Of those I'm probably most looking forward to The Birth House- Ami McKay, something by Timothy Findley, David Adams Richards, Camilla Gibbs...
    Of course Ann-Marie MacDonald is great, I've really enjoyed both of her books.
    I haven't read Alligator, which I've heard mixed reviews about.
    I'm also not very current as not living there I don't hear about them much and then for Giller Prize winners and such I usually wait for the paperback. I used to try to participate in a Yahoo Group, CanLitReaders, which was a good place for recommendations, but I found I just didn't have the time to keep up with it. Also they tended to read together current hardbacks which are too expensive to get sent here.
    Sorry for the long-winded reply!

  4. Heather,
    LOL! You mean mountain range! :P

  5. Oh great lists. I am going to have to make note of some of the International Voices especially.

  6. Iliana,
    When we lived in England, and I browsed the bookshops regularly, "translated from ..." were magic words! I could've easily joined the Reading Across Boundaries challenge but decided not to since I'm working on Japan (and Canada) this year. Maybe next year? :P

  7. I like your lists, and I invite you to drop in to my blog about international crime fiction. I especially invite suggestions about Canadian crime-fiction authors. It would be nice to rediscover a bit about my roots!


    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  8. Peter,
    Thanks, I'll be sure to stop by, but I have to admit that I really haven't read a lot of crime fiction, international or otherwise. I would like to get into some series though and keep jotting down names. For Canadian crime, one I do have on the stacks waiting to be read is the first by Giles Blunt.

  9. I was investigating some of the books on youe list (and stealing a few for my own tbr list) but I can't find the Barrico book on either Amazon or Alibris! What's it about and why do you want to read it?

  10. the traveller,
    Sorry I mistyped, it should be Lands of Glass (I've corrected it now). It's supposedly his first published novel, originally published in Italy in 1991, the UK version I have was published in 2002. I found a couple on abebooks, but it seems like it might be out of print already.
    I've read 3 of his other books, Silk, Ocean Sea, and Without Blood, and enjoyed them all so picked it up, (while we were living in the UK) and another one called 'City' purely based on that.

  11. No, I am sorry I missed the link - silly me! :)

    I am off to check it now. I started The Birth House but for some reason, could not get into it.

  12. I love the idea of these posts. I'll have to make my own - I certainly have enough 'TBR' books around here!

  13. Cool lists. I don't know if I can stand to look through my books in order to generate more lists, but I'm sure there are a host of themes that I've never noticed.

  14. Thanks for sharing your lists! I love finding new authors this way!

  15. be_zen8,
    No worries. I'll be curious if you read anything from the list.

    I look forward to seeing your lists. :)

    I sortof know where my tendencies lie- always interested in foreign fiction, Canadian lit, etc. I'm sure I could've come up with some more categories though.

    It was fun to look through my TBR list on my spreadsheet. So many I'd like to get to soon.

  16. I, too, love Winter. Snow. Ice. Cold. It was great to find your list of "snow" books. I remember Smilla's Sense of Snow, which I dearly loved as a thriller as well as a mood maker. I look forward to delving into the titles you posted, even though it's supposed to be Spring here. There's a certain peace about Winter, a certain permission to be still and quiet, that I don't find in any other season.

  17. Bellezza,
    I certainly agree with you about winter being peaceful, especially with snow outside and curled up in front of a fire inside, ahhh!
    I've heard mixed reviews about Smilla's Sense of Snow so I'm glad to hear you loved it. :)


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