1949 – the sheltering sky ~ paul bowles

There are times when I feel rather like an obnoxious tourist in the land of literature, slowly learning the ways of the traveller.

Over the past year (and a half!) I’ve discovered books I wouldn’t previously have considered reading; books by authors I hadn’t heard of this time two years ago. I’ve revisited familiar stories, still warm with memories of my childhood. I’ve found new favourites that sit comfortably at the very core of my being, curled up like contented cats…

For me, reading has become an adventure. I never really know what’s going to happen next. It’s actually quite thrilling.

I’m completely aware that I’m not exactly doing this whole “life” thing terribly well. But reading these books, writing these words, makes me feel as if I might just be doing something right.

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1948 – the harp in the south ~ ruth park

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

I was about halfway through Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky when I realised what that little nagging voice in the back of my thoughts had been trying to tell me all week:

I was reading the wrong book.

The Sheltering Sky was published in 1949. I should have been reading Ruth Park’s The Harp in the South, published in 1948. Oops?

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1947 – the diary of a young girl ~ anne frank

I started this blog with just one firm rule: fiction only.

But when I began to compile a list of some of the books I intended to read and review, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl somehow made its way onto my list…and stayed there.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time. But as 1947 loomed closer, I remembered why I hadn’t read The Diary of a Young Girl earlier in my life…

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1946 – zorba the greek ~ nikos kazantzakis

Reading Nikos Kazantzakis’ classic Zorba the Greek for the first time was like stumbling upon a canteen filled with fresh water after wandering, lost and thirsty in the desert for days.

My first impulse was to greedily devour the whole thing, to pour it over myself and revel in it without restraint. But, at the same, I know that once it’s gone, there won’t be any more.

It’s a special kind of painful ecstasy, reading a life-changing novel for the first time. With every page you turn, the looming terror of that final page grows stronger, more tangible.

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