Book of the year

As my first post in the AccountingWEB Book Club discussion group, a quick hello from myself as contributing editor of AccountingWEB. 

It's almost the end of the year and having ploughed my way through more than my usual amount in the last 12 months, I've been thinking of the novel that stood out most. 

This year's Booker winner - Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending - was a particular favourite, and a particularly short read if you've got a long train journey planned. I also read Wuthering Heights for the first time (a bit late in the day, I know), which was utterly compelling and a strong contender.

However, the award really has to go to Tea Obreht, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction for her first novel The Tiger's Wife. A little bit fantastical but very insightful, the novel follows the story of butcher Luka, the taxidermist Dariša the Bear and an unknown group of diggers. Natalia Stefanovi, a young doctor, narrates the tale as she learns to deal with her grandfather's death. 

At only 25, Obreht is the youngest ever winner of the prize and it's clear to see why. I've given this book as a birthday gift numerous times since it's release and will certainly be doing the same for Christmas. 

So, that's my 2011 favourite. Fact or fiction, what's yours?

Comments
Old Greying Accountant's picture

I haven't had a great year for reading ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... most of what I have read is re-reading favourites.

What time I do get I have been writing my own poetry rather than reading someone else's work, but as part of my journey into poetry that only really began in the last two or three years I have been reading Stephen Fry's "The Ode less Travelled".

I say reading, but it is akin to a text book as he explains poetic terms and techniques, illustrates them with examples from great and classic poets and then sets exercises for you to practice the techniques yourself.

I am still only about 10% in but am enjoying it immensely, and only wish I had read it sooner. Even if you don't want to write your own poems, it will enable you to reap much more pleasure from others poems by appreciating the skills and nuances used in writing them!

My main genre though is science fiction and fantasy, I like a book to be a ripping yarn with a quest or two, not into books on people and relationships and the like, I like escapism.

I did try Wuthering Heights, as I thought I should, but I didn't get very far in before my brain seized up from tedium, I prefer Kate Bush's synopsis!

I have recently found the Jeremy Clarkson books compiling his weekly Sunday Times articles. I was given one for Christmas and now scour the charity shops for more as they are great to read when time is short as each article is only a couple of pages or so.

Steve Holloway's picture

The Passage - Justin Cronin

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

Sort of post-apocalypse horror with a difference. I have rarely been as gripped by a narrative and although the genre is not particularly one I bother with I found the story telling compelling. Sadly, my work suffered badly in the week it took me to read it as kept trying to find 10 minutes here and there that stretched to an hour quite often!

AnnaKournikovasKnickers's picture

Ode less travelled

AnnaKournikovas... | | Permalink

The original is much better; and easy to learn verbatim.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I assume you mean the Frost poem ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... called The Road Not Taken?

I find the scansion a bit tortured in places but a pleasant enough poem, but likening it to a book, albeit one on poetry, is like matching apples with pears!

ShirleyM's picture

The Day of the Triffids

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I've been reading John Wyndham lately, alternating with Terry Pratchett books.

Day of the Triffids got me well and truly hooked. It is much better than the film, and compares human reactions to the global disaster. Not very much of the book is devoted to Triffids and it isn't too fantastical.

This book made me really think about what would happen if we lost all our modern machinery, power, communications, etc. Well worth a read, but maybe not 'Book of the Year'.

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Then you should read ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... Wydham's "The Chrysalids"

Very believable scenario of post apocolyptic nuclear war!

ShirleyM's picture

Thanks OGA

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I'll be reading that one next :)

Steve Holloway's picture

... and the book I recommended above ..

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

The passage is  very much the same genre as the Triffids ... the fact that there is 'something' out there is very much second place to the people involved with the post apocalypse.

ShirleyM's picture

Thanks Steve

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I'll look out for that one, too.

Does anyone know of a good e-book club where you can get e-books at reasonable cost, or 'loan' them for a monthly/annual fee?

Natalie Brandweiner's picture

Reading group

Natalie Brandweiner | | Permalink

Is anyone interested in participating in a reading group on AccountingWEB? It can be fact or fiction, and open to your suggestions.

We could give ourselves a month to read the title, then arrange a specific date and thread where everyone can post their thoughts.  

 

Yes! And what about

jpcc1 | | Permalink

 

I'd second the Readers Group idea above but what about a writers group as well?

I see from the thread above that OGA is writing poetry. There must be others of you out there.

I’ve started several books over the years and never got far past the beginning.

I’m determined to actually finish one now though. I’ve just got over the 20,000 words point (aiming for 40 to 50 thousand) and it seems to be coming together.

I wonder if others would be willing to share how they cope with writing etc. I could do with some encouragement!!

Steve Holloway's picture

I got to about 170 pages once ....

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

but I began to get bored with it and I concluded the reader might too! Time is now my enemy so I tend to content myself with writing small articles for magazines etc. One day ....

ShirleyM's picture

Not for me!

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I once joined a 'Creative Writing' class run by Ian Clayton (a local celebrity writer) but I was a disaaaaaaaster!

I am too impatient, and got bored with all the analysing. And when it came to comparing writing talent, I had my story started, told, and finished in about 3 pages ;)

For some reason the other members of the group were not impressed!

I love reading but I can be impatient with that too, and I get annoyed at page after page of 'flowery' bits. I want to know what happens next!!!!

number3's picture

book i try to push on people

number3 | | Permalink

book i try to push on people because i was so blown away by them are:

Lies of Locke lamora

fantasy -ish you carnt tell till the very end , lies is a bout thieves in a Venice type city awsome con jobs

 

 

AnnaKournikovasKnickers's picture

Book of the year

AnnaKournikovas... | | Permalink

The brief is a little imprecise. Does it mean the one I happened to read this year. Or must it have been published this year. Or does it refer to some accolade or other?

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I think Euan ... (Anna, whoever!!!)

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... it's whatever you want it to be!

ShirleyM's picture

Euan???

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Are you getting confused OGA, or, is Euan disguising himself as someone else, or am I getting confused??

Old Greying Accountant's picture

It's me Marion ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

.. I meant Anna, senior moment - :oP

ShirleyM's picture

Hehe

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Join the club, OGA :)

Natalie Brandweiner's picture

Book of the year

Natalie Brandweiner | | Permalink

Hi all, 

To clarify, I meant the books that you've read this year - they can be published at any time and don't require accolades. 

So for those of you who are interested in the reading group, if you would like to nominate a title and a date when we can discuss our thoughts, we can get reading!

 

Marion Hayes's picture

@Shirley

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

most reasonable ebooks are on Project Gutenburg - they are free

http://www.gutenberg.org/ 

Others depend on the author - I just reread the Edgar Rice Burroughs series about John Carter of Mars, and am going onto other old favourites shortly.

Phillip K Dick, H G Wells, Kurt Vonnegut, etc etc

You will like this story OGA

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29492/29492-h/29492-h.htm 

ShirleyM's picture

Thanks Marion

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I bought a CD's that has about 25k books on it and I assume these are the ones that can be published free of royalties.

The problem is seraching thought the 'not so good' and knowing which of the 25K I would enjoy reading.

But I will have a nosy at those sites ... thank you :)

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Group: AccountingWEB Book Club
An informal group where members can review and discuss books.