Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish.  
The following are the top books I have read since January 1, 2014. They are in no particular order. I highly recommend all of the following:

  1. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. This novel enthralled me with its chronicle of the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, in a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, over a period of twenty years, from the nineteen forties to the sixties

  1. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. I recently reread this classic of Science Fiction that was first published sixty years ago. It gets better with every reading.

  1. Collected Poems of Robert Frost. Reading the poems of Robert Frost reminds me of both his stature as an American poet and his intelligence. Every line has depths of meaning that bear reading and study. Ultimately one of the poets I truly love.

  1. The Roots of Heaven by Romain Gary. This prize-winning novel won me over with its passion and beauty. The striving for freedom of its main character and the descriptions of Africa were superb.

  1. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. In this play the unexpected becomes what you expect and the absurd becomes the norm ; the story shows characters search for meaning in the nothingness of their presumed existence. 

  1. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. The quintessential novel of ideas with philosophical debates central to the message of the novel raising questions and speculations that mirror our own. The world of Hans Castorp, upon leaving the sanatorium, becomes a mirror for ours. 

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. One of my lifetime favorites that I reread for the first time in the new century. It never grows old as Bronte's tale of Jane Eyre seems to inhabit my being more closely than most others.

  1. The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato. This was a mesmerizing story of a man who has lost touch with reality and his obsessions over a married woman who eludes his grasp. He is an artist who cannot abide this world so he creates a world of his own.

  1. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. What would my reading life be without some Shakespeare? And this is one of his best comedies with questions of identity and more.

  1. Kabloona by Gontran de Poncins. This is an extraordinary adventure of an encounter with the Eskimos.. It is a true example of sui generis writing and it is unlikely that anything quite like it will be written again. 

Some very good books I read this year that came close but did not make the top ten included:  Executive Suite by Cameron Hawley;  Straight is the Gate by Andre Gide;  and, Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw.


Brian Joseph said...

This is indeed a great list James. The fact that I have only read four of the works will help motivate me to read more in the coming year.

I appreciate that Childhood's End made the list. It is truly a thought provoking work.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Thanks for your comment. I was impressed with Clarke's literary style and perceptive ideas about the future, especially considering that he wrote the book in the early fifties.
Tim Winton was the author that affected me most and due to that I expect to read more of his writing.