Friday, November 20, 2009

"Don't just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it." Rohn, Jim

READ

"1984" by George Orwell
"My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult
"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" by J.K. Rowling
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
"Bones to Ashes" by Kathy Reichs
"The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy
"Cloudstreet" by Tim Winton
"Rides a Dread Legion" by Raymond E Feist
"Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
"A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey
"Dune" by Frank Herbert
"Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit" by Sean Hepburn Ferrer
"The City of Falling Angels" by John Berendt
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Lucky Man" & "Always Looking Up" by Michael J Fox
"The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet" by Benjamin Hoff
"The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger
"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak
"Breath" by Tim Winton - "Breath" by Tim Winton is a (fictional) first-hand story narrated by Bruce Pike. Bruce is a paramedic who attends the apparent suicide of a teenage boy. However, everything is not as it seems.
This job sends Pike down memory lane; to his childhood in a small country town in WA, when he was friends with the wild Loony. We learn the story of how he began to surf, under the tutelage of the enigmatic Sando, who bestows upon him the nickname "Pikelet". We follow his crazy summers of dangerous big wave surfing and a perilous romantic liason.
I found the writing style much easier to follow than Winton's previous book "Cloudstreet"; it is more clear cut but still very emotive. I have no knowledge or experience of surfing but found that I could understand every feeling, every rush, every fear that Pikelet felt, simply through the power of Winton's writing. Although, he still seems to have an aversion to quotation marks. I didn't feel that this detracted from the story. However, I have heard of others that felt this way.
My only complaint is that last quarter of the book felt rushed; the last 2 chapters span over 30 years of Pikelets life. I can understand that the story is centered on his childhood, however the ending felt as if it was almost written in bullet point.
I remember feeling that "Cloudstreet" contained a million events, even when I was only half way through. This didn't make it seem too long but rather like a "complete" book. "Breath", however, gave the impression that Winton had a page limit to adhere to and ran out of room.
Nonetheless, even with this minor complaint, I found "Breath" to be a fantastic book and Winton is fast becoming one of my favourite writers.
Whilst popular thought seems to be that this is Winton's best book, I would still rate "Cloudstreet" higher.

STILL TO READ

"The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying" by Sogyal Rinpoche
"Tokyo Cancelled" by Rana Dasgupta
"Einstein" by Walter Isaacson
"The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"War & Peace" by Leo Tolstoy
"A Confession" by Leo Tolstoy
"Monet & The Impressionists" by George T M Shackelford & Terence Maloon
"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins
"The Consolations of Philosophy" by Alain De Botton
"The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer
"The Beatles and Philosophy" - am halfway through. Great so far!
"Derrida: writing and difference"

2 comments:

Kylie said...

Winton is one of my all time favourite writers. I'd highly recommend Dirt Music, which is set in WA and The Turning which is a collection of short stories that are often inter related.

Cassie said...

Thanks Kylie! Will definitely look into those