mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Really, are there any books you *do* like?

Having been negative all over the FL lately on the subject, I got to thinking.

There are indeed books I liked, but I don't know if I still do because I don't reread things any more. That was for earlier decades; now I have TWCS (Time's Winged Chariot Syndrome) and a bit of hurry-up involved on account of my life's in danger (my how old films come back to one) my eyes are disintegrating even as I type. The sure-fire favourites- Judge Dee and Mary Renault (except Fire From Heaven, because once again I can't see what other people saw in that book; I thought it the weakest of her historical works except for Funeral Games) and childhood loves like Narnia and Antonia Forest and The Gentle Falcon and The Ship that Flew and Mara Daughter of the Nile- well, those I have memorized, so I know I like them.

However last year when I started rereading a book from twenty years ago that I remembered as absolutely stunning- Brothers Karamazov FWIW- it uhh wasn't. At all. Boy was it bad. (Translations. They always make other cultures look idiotic.) So I don't reread; and the following *may* be books I like.

The short list of books I think I like:

Pride and Prejudice
Our Mutual Friend
Dream of Red Chambers (which I reread in bits cause it's necessary for talking to the Chinese a classic)
Heike Monogatari (Tuttle edition, I have to keep saying. The other scholarly annotated one was done by-- a scholar who is very much not a writer.)
No Longer Human- Dazai Osamu
Claudine at School, Claudine in Paris- Colette (but not the other two)
Tristram Shandy
The Flatearth Books- Tanith Lee
Terra Nostra- Carlos Fuentes (remembered as a brilliantly coloured nightmare)
Titus Groan- Mervyn Peake (remembered as a claustrophobic nightmare)
The Three Imposters- Arthur Machen
The Father Brown stories (which I have reread), and The Man who was Thursday (which I haven't)
The Rebel Angels- Robertson Davies (because it's about a Toronto I recognize even if the characters are impossible)
Sanshirou- Natsume Souseki (most Souseki, come to that; *the* Meiji writer: who can resist?)

And Dick Francis, but him I reread occasionally just for fun.
Tags: reading

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