Jonathan Franzen is one of those writers who I’ve always avoided. Initially, I didn’t mean to. But when a writer is labelled as the Great American novelist or some such grandiose term, I tend to back away from their books. And then I read about all his weird interviews, and the bird-watching (not that I have anything against it), and most important – the number of reviews that talk about his white male worldview, and his problematic approach to writing female characters. Let’s say nothing I read compelled me to go read his books.
This year however, something made me change my mind. #FranzeninFebruary happened and I saw a number of tweets chattering on about all the Franzen books. Finally, reading Laura Frey’s tweets convinced me that there wouldn’t be any harm in reading one of his books, and trying him out for myself.
Hello and welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday of 2017.
Last year, I dropped the ball on this meme, and really all memes, but I thought I’d revive at least this one. I ended up with just nine books for this meme, not because I read everything else released last year, but because these books are the only ones I regret missing out on. You can be sure they ended up on my TBR list for 2017.
I never wanted to read this book for the longest time. From all the descriptions and reviews I read online, it seemed like another The Book Thief – a book I loved, but I didn’t particularly want to read another book about children in World War 2.
I eventually caved in and got this book because all the reviews were just too glowing to ignore any longer.
I am on a roll right here. Two Man Booker prize-winning novels in a row. That usually never happens. Usually award winning books are such powerful experiences, that I need to take a break to clean up my mind a bit.
But Bring up the Bodies hardly feels like a Booker prize winner. It’s fast-paced, taut, and has a very tense quality in it, which is very surprising for a historical novel.
And yes, the language is out of the mind beautiful. But Mantel is not an author in love with her writing. At no point does the wonderful writing overshadow the story.
I’ve been a huge fan of the singer Bob Marley ever since I was a kid. I’m probably dating myself here, but my parents had a record player, and we used to listen to Bob Marley and the Wailers all the time.
I”ll admit though that I never actually dug deeper into his lyrics and background. I just learnt the lyrics and sang along to hits without realizing what it all meant.
So, it came as a bit of a surprise to me last year when I learnt that Bob Marley had almost been shot dead, and that there was a whole, hidden conspiracy behind that incident.