Great pick this year by the Nobel committee. Author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro wins the highest accolade of all, and, unlike last year’s winner Bob Dylan, is excited about it! ‘Flabbergastingly flattering’ was his comment to the press. Of his eight novels, The Remains of the Day, which has become a modern classic, is probably the most enduring. Never Let Me Go, also made a profound impression on me when I read it years ago. I was less keen on his latest novel The Buried Giant, which came out in 2015 and is reviewed here. I would start with Remains of the Day if I were new to Ishiguro. And there are always the filmed versions of that and Never Let Me Go, both worth your while.
Close on the heels of reading a good book, watching a great film is up there amongst my absolute favourite things to do. Looking at this autumn’s upcoming releases of film adaptations, then, fills me with joy! There are some delicious ones coming up, just look at this list!
I’m never a slave to the Man Booker Prize but it’s hard to completely ignore it. Apart from all the hullabaloo it creates, or rather, I should say, is created around it by publishers and booksellers, who all sees this as a major selling opportunity, they do sometimes pick some great books. I say sometimes as I’ve just noticed that I have to go back to 2011, the year Julian Barnes won for The Sense of an Ending, to find a winner I really, really liked.
I’m of the conviction that life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy. I read many books for this blog, for example, which I end up ditching after 80 or so pages. I try to give all books a fair chance and read at least 50 pages, preferably a bit more, before I put the book, guilt free, to the side. It has happened to me that a book all of a sudden picks up after a while and turns out to be excellent. I don’t want to miss those.
I have to confess. Shakespeare scares the hell out of me. Plain and simple. I sit through Shakespeare plays with my British-educated friends watching them nod and smile, while I struggle to understand even half of what’s being said. But hasn’t she studied English Literature, you might be thinking? Indeed, I have, but only in my later degrees at which point I could choose other kinds of courses. Which I happily did. The only piece of Shakespeare I’ve ever read (parts of) was King Lear as an undergraduate student in America.
Time to fix that.