MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Book List

Formerly I wasn't much of a novel reader, preferring instead to read mainly historical non fiction. I look at a large number of political blogs and always take an interest in the author's reading list. Unsurprisingly - for political blogs - they read only political books, which although understandable tends to lead to a rather narrow point of view. I have certainly broadened my literary horizons recently and my belief is that this enables a far more rounded personality, which simply doesn't happen when you read political books only.

Although I have began reading novels in a far higher quantity than before, I am still a long way behind the majority of serious book readers. And I have a huge Amazon.co.uk wishlist of novels which I will try to read within the next couple of years. However, I have now read enough to compile a list of my 5 favourite novels here:

  1. The Count Of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas.
Quite simply a magnificent adventure story with a central theme - revenge - which I have always found enthralling. The quality of the writing is wonderful and despite being the book being huge I was never bored reading.

2. The Mayor Of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy.

A fantastic novel with the air of a Shakespearean tragedy . The end pulls on the heart-strings and one can't help but feel sorry for Michael Henchard.

3. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell.

Perhaps the strongest polemic against totalitarianism when it was at it's height of power in the 1940's. It's uncomfortable reading but I couldn't put it down - probably the best summary is "Horribly Compelling".

4. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger.

It just seems to flow - page after page, sentence after sentence, I was simply unable to put it down.

5. This Thing of Darkness - Harry Thompson.

This is the last novel I have read and it covers the friendship between Charles Darwin and Robert Fitzroy. The central theme is their conflicting search for the meaning of life. Maybe the fact that large parts of the novel revolve around one of my favourite subjects - the sea and the age of sail - makes this one of my best read's.


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