Book: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
#72 on the Telegraph’s 100 greatest novels of all time.
What is the book about?
The story is about Pearl’s life: her marriage, her 3 kids, their ups and downs, until her death.
I really enjoyed this book. I think out of all the books i read so far on this list, this is the most realistic life story so far. Any of these kids can be any one of us today. It was just so relatable, so very real.
Tyler’s writing is so comfortable and flows in such a beautiful way that it was really comforting picking up the book late at night after being locked up with my kids at home and the craziness of this lockdown.
True there wasn’t alot of things or action going on in this story, except life itself. A beautiful look into a family trying to make sense of life.
I honestly think more than the story itself, I loved Tyler’s writing and the comfort of it. I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.
Next book on the list:
The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin.
Book: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
#79 on the Telegraph’s 100 greatest novels of all time.
What is the story about?
The story follows the life of Antoinette Cosway, beginning with her life in the West Indies to her marriage to her demise. It is supposed to be a prequel to Jane Eyre. Antoinette is Rhys’ attempt to humanize Bronte’s mad ghost, Bertha, from Jane Eyre.
The book was a short and easy read, even though it covers a dense subject like mental health. Now i don’t feel so bad for giving the last book an F because this book, in comparison, flows so nicely and easily.
I do remember that I enjoyed reading Jane Eyre but I forgot a lot of it as read it maybe 15 years ago. I was worried that I wouldn’t ‘get’ this book because it’s meant to be a prequel.
But that was not the case at all. This can be read as a stand alone book and you don’t need any prior knowledge about Rochester, Bertha, or Jane Eyre to enjoy it.
To be honest, I enjoyed reading the book. Maybe because it’s within the classic genre that I am comfortable with or is connected to a classic that I remember I loved.
I do realize it’s not for everyone but I liked it. It was a breath of fresh air after reading such dense and difficult novels. Weird to say this about a book that revolves around mental illness. So i guess Rhys did exactly what she intended to do .. she humanized the insanity of Bertha.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Believe it or not I haven’t actually seen the entire cartoon, so this will. E the 1st time I will be introduced to Alice’s story.
Looking forward to it!
Book: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
#80 on the Telegraph’s 100 books everyone should read.
What is the story about?
I would like to say Oscar and Lucinda, but seeing that they only met page 270, not really convinced.
I usually average reading 2 novels a month, this took me around 4 months to finish. It was such a hard novel for me to finish as I didn’t feel any connection to it at all.
It was very confusing too. Each chapter is short, around 2 or 3 pages max; but each chapter has a different narrator or can jump between regions/time. It takes me awhile into a chapter to figure out what is actually going on or who/what I am reading about.
I almost feel bad for giving this book an F .. almost.
It shows that Mr. Carey tried his best, maybe he over tried. Mr. Carey himself says he was anxious while writing the novel. He says he “would take other books off the shelf to check my chapter length was ok.” Mr. Carey I am sorry to say that even though your chapter length was ok, your book length was not. The entire story could’ve been told in 100 pages or so, not 500.
The best way to describe what I feel about this is like watching an anxious cook who wants to get a Michelin star dish but ruins it by trying way too hard and overdoing it.
I can see that you tried, but i’m sorry to say Mr. Carey, you ruined your dish.
Wide Saragosa Sea by Jean Rhys.
Book: The Stranger by Albert Camus
#82 on the Telegraph’s 100 novels everyone should read.
What is the story about?
The story is about a French Algerian, Meursault, who finds himself committing a crime, shooting an Arab 5 times.
I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. After finishing the book, I don’t hold any strong feelings for the character or the story to be honest.
The book was a very short and quick read (123 pages). At first it was awkward a bit. Thought it might be from the translation but I think it’s deliberate to build up the characters awkward personality.
I don’t know why people are so bothered by his nonchalant character and lack of empathy. Honestly, maybe I just feel this way because I read much worse books on this list lol. But his attitude is real, it’s not overdone or made up. It’s real. It’s just the way the world is now (and I guess back when the book was written too).
What annoyed me the most is that there was no definite closure to the book. Was he executed or did he get his pardon? Most likely I think he got his pardon because that’s the way life is .. isn’t it? People are almost always pardoned when it’s a crime against a minority .. sad but very true.
I think the major debate and uproar about this book is Meursault’s lack of empathy or concern for his crime. Coming from a person who is over emotional about everything, I almost envy his thick skin. Of course not to the point of shooting a guy 5 times just because you’re bothered by the sun. But the thick skin that will make you resilient and can adapt to any situation thrown at you.
All in all, a short read that to me was just mediocre.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. The novel is set in a 14th century Italian monastery .. should be interesting.
Till next time ❤