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  • Writer's pictureIan Ayris

My January Book Journey


Books completed:


The Oaxacan Kid by Ricky Bush


Pages: 250


Very enjoyable Southern Blues crime novel with a great atmosphere and a compelling plot.

FULL REVIEW TO COME.


Henry VI Parts I, II and III by William Shakespeare

Pages: 357


Reading an Act per day was a good pace for me. Read Part II then Part III - the Wars of the Roses storyline, then Part I - the debacle in France storyline. Favourite was Part II.


Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy


Pages: 337


A simply incredible read. Has shot straight into the top two or three books of all time. The swirling, Biblical, Melvillian, Faulknerian prose is spectacular. Like nothing I have ever read. Unbelievably violent. But, like I said, incredible.


Still to complete:


Les Miserables by Victor Hugo


Pages: 353 of 528


Realised this is possibly an abridged edition. Will read to the end, though, then get hold of the unabridged edition to possibly read next year. Wonderful, wonderful book. Evocative and beautiful. Hugo's insight into the human condition and a storyline that is simply relentless is making me absolutely plough through this one. Brilliant stuff.


War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Pages: 210 of 975


As Les Miserables above, Tolstoy's insight into what it is to be human leaves me without words. A million different characters, but each one is so fully rounded it's like I am seeing through their eyes and feeling every subtle emotion. A monster of a book, but so utterly transcending.


Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Pages: 674 of 764


Listened to mostly from the brilliant Librivox audiobook version by Mil Nicholson (https://librivox.org/nicholas-nickleby-by-charles-dickens/ )

Dickens is on top form in this one. Hilarious, moving, characters that pop into existence never to be forgotten. A bit melodramatic at times, but that's half the fun with Dickens. And the language, the way Dickens writes, it is just an absolute joy.



The King James Bible

Pages: 118 of 1145


Reading the Bible as literature rather than as a spiritual book is a really interesting experience. Having completed Genesis, Exodus and halfway through Leviticus, what strikes me most is how clear this book has influenced western literature. I sort of knew that anyway, but the reading of this book will add so much more depth to my future readings of the likes of Pilgrims Progress, Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and pretty much everything else. Reading this alongside Blood Meridian was a truly insightful experience.





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