After my Tudor reading, I fancy a mini reading project based around War literature. There are obviously lots of brilliant books about a lot of wars around the world so I’ve narrowed my selection down to books written about WWI and WWII, as I find this period of history interesting.
I’ve picked eight books that are all on my Classics Club list. Two birds, one stone and all that, and this way I can also stick to my attempt to stop buying new books and read the ones I already have.
- Faulks, Sebastian, Birdsong
- Gibbons, Stella, Westwood
- Graves, Robert, Goodbye To All That
- Grossman, Vasily, Life and Fate
- Hemingway, Ernest, A Farewell to Arms
- Nemirovsky, Irene, Suite Française
- Vonnegut, Kurt, Cat’s Cradle
- Wells, H. G., The War of the Worlds
And will add to this list some novels written recently:
- Beauman, Ned, Boxer Beetle
- Hollinghurst, Alan, The Stranger’s Child
- Kerr, Philip, Berlin Noir
- Littell, Jonathan, The Kindly Ones
- Young, Louisa, My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
So, thirteen books, six about the WWI and seven about WWII. I could read them chronologically, I could read the modern novels separately, I might read the two science fiction novels together. I’m not sure I’ll manage to read all of these in a row – I have an unspecified timeframe, but as you know I chop and change what my reading plans are whenever I feel like it. But if this works, I have similar lists for projects that I could start. I’m looking at you, gigantic stack of Edwardian novels…
The books have been moved to their new home – in an oppressive stack next to my bed. I’m feeling quite enthusiastic – it’ll be brilliant to have read all of these books. I am also quite curious to see if any of them will replace my current (I’m not sure ‘favourite’ is the right word) most admired war novel: All Quiet on the Western Front. If any of them even come close, I’ll be onto a winner because that book is truly astounding. Actually, make that fourteen books because I’ll have to re-read this one too.
Edit: I’ve just managed to get hold of a copy of Regeneration by Pat Barker so now there are fifteen books!