BBC Big Read update

As of yesterday, I now have just 39 books left to read from The BBC Big Read Top 200. Just 39. That’s light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel stuff, that is.

The 40th book was the wonderful ‘I Capture the Castle’, by Dodie Smith, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Written in the first-person by 17-year-old Cassandra, in the form of her private journal, this is a beautifully-told story of poverty, family, unrequited love and growing up. I loved that I could really feel seventeen again, and that the rich descriptions of the surroundings conjured up such strong pictures in my mind. I also loved that there were elements of predictability mixed with loose ends. Definitely a novel worthy of all the praise!

Now I’m allowing myself to deviate from the list for a while, starting with Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest’, followed by John Irving’s ‘Last Night in Twisted River’, and Hakuri Murakami’s ‘Kafka on the Shore'(which I will be reviewing for 1001 Books to Read Before You Die – go check them out if you haven’t already, there are some fantastic reviews already written, with many more to come).

A couple of chapters into the final of the Millenium Trilogy, and I’m hooked once again. When I finished the second in the series, back in March, I planned on reading this one straight away, but life – and other books – got in the way. I half expected the start of this book to be all about re-hashing what had happened previously, but Larsson has very cleverly written gentle reminders into the start of the story without the usual, boring re-cap.

I don’t see this one lasting very long on my bedside table, that’s for sure.


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