Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blast From The Past - Books To Re-Read

The thing with having a demanding job, two demanding daughters and a host of blogs to read is that one rarely has time to read books. This, coupled with having picked up a few boring books over the last few years has meant that reading has become even more tedious. Especially reading fiction! I was today reading the blog Beanbag Tales on some of the books on love that the blogger will be reading this love month, and suddenly I remembered some of the novels I considered classics when I was growing up. I started reading very early, when I was 8 years old I was stealing Enid Blyton books from the local library, and by the time I was about 12 or 13 years I was done with the Hardy Boys (and *whispering* Nancy Drew) series. I will not easily admit it when questioned by I even read the James Hardley Chase and Mills & Boon series and by the time I was 15, I could not read any novel below 500 pages. But it was when I had all the time in world -- that is college -- that I really did indulge myself in reading. I read an average of about 3 novels a week, especially during the hot Udaipur summers. The following is a list of titles that I read then that I considered the mothers of novels (classics excluded) and that I have decided I am going to read again this year -- about 13 years later!



I read this book in 1995, and then read it again that same year -- The only other book I ever read by Anthony Grey was Peking but it never came close to this. Surprised I have not heard of a movie version of this.



The image of Howard Roak was in my head for days after reading this book. I never read it again but last year I got to read Atlas Shrugged. I still prefer The Fountainhead



I got this novel just after I had finished high school, and this was because they were showing the series on television but the TV timing was not good for me. I don't know whether I will find it a bit cheesy now that I am no longer a teenager but nevertheless let me give it a try. I never read any other book by her so I don't know if she was a good writer...



I read quite a number of books by Erich Seagal but this was the standout. It was the monsoon season in 1995, I had no option but to stay indoors and read and this book happened to be laying about...



I was never really a fan of Harold Robbins but after graduating from the James Hardley Chase type of books, this was the first "big" book I read, mostly the book placed under the table during Maths lessons. Good thing I was seated at the back of the classroom. I also never let people in on what I scored in Maths....



A friend gave me this book but I did not think it was worth reading and kept it in the house for a few days. I only picked it up because I had run out of materials to read. Let's just say that I found it hard to put it down after a few chapters. I remember dreaming about the characters in my dream. Does anyone know if it was ever made into a movie?

I would also like to get some recommendations from you (for fiction that is) on books that you read years ago and would love to read again...

28 comments:

  1. Shogun was a TV series in the 1980s (starring Richard Chamberlain).
    This year I started doing reviews of books I read (I have no TV so read lots) Try the Long Song by Andrea Levy ... its an interesting read!

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  2. It strains my mind to think of books I read years ago and would like to read again. Truth be told I didn't read as much in university as I do now since there was already a lot of required reading. One book that I did read while still in university that I might like to read again is "East of Eden" by Nobel Prize winner, John Steinbeck. Another one is "The Invention of the World" by Jack Hodgins, a local writer (here). If I think of anymore I'll let you know. By the way, when I was in Kenya, I found it hard to locate bookstores that sell a variety of books. Can you tell me where you buy or get yours?

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  3. jane.healy, I will mark down that title for near future reading. Was the TV series good? Sometimes I find that TV and film do not really capture a good novel to my liking.

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  4. Joyful, you are right in your observation that bookstores here do not stoke a variety of books. On many occasions I have asked friends abroad to send me books as I could not find them here. We are a bit obsessed with "inspiration" books and those you will find everywhere. However Bookpoint on the main Moi Avenue used to have a variety of books a while back but its been long since I visited. There is also a small bookshop on Kimathi Street near The Stanley hotel that has good variety. Most of the times I get books from friends and street vendors

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  5. 3 novels a week...what were u doing in Udaipur?
    Are the summers there hotter than Africa?

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  6. Jon, I spent 5 years in Udaipur having fun and studying part-time! And the summers were quite unlike anything I had ever experienced. Parts of North Africa are hotter but in Kenya we don't experience a summer as we are on the equator.

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  7. I tend to have pint size memory, so other than telling you that I cleared all those mills and boon, hardley chases, hardy boys, e.t.c., I'd have to hop on back to my library to tell you what I've read. I read Thornbirds though... I'm kind of cheesy like that, and that's why I read Gone with the Wind. Twice. I'm not much of a TV person. Luckily, my library, that I guard with my life is still intact. Then there was a recent windfall and I'm quite well occupied.

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  8. Carolk, I also read Gone with the wind, I think I was in high school and my friends could not understand what I was reading. Anyway almost done with the other one so I will be yelling in your direction soon!

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  9. If there is a book you really want and cannot get, let me know and I will send it to you (preferably paperback, lol).

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  10. Hello! You show some really good books to re-read, and liked Atlas Shrugged. and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Saigon is pretty good too.

    You have an interesting blog.

    I wish you peace.

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  11. Thanks Joyful for the offer!!

    Isha Shiri, thanks for stopping by and commenting, I hope you will enjoy my blog. Will check out yours as well

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  12. Why is Nancy Drew in whispers? That was a hot shot detective.

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  13. The fountainhead is a classic...

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  14. Oh goodness, I am such a book lover! I think it is so fun to get other people's ideas and recommendations and sometimes re reading a book you enjoyed previously can be so fun, like visiting an old friend.

    Have you read the Don Camillo series? They are wonderful and hilarious.

    I have always read a lot and always loved mysteries but am finding now I am getting more into other genres.:)

    Great post!

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  15. Shiko-Msa, during "our days", a boy never openly admitted to reading Nancy Drew!

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  16. Colleen, thanks for the suggestion, I have not read the Don Camillo series, will check it out!

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  17. Hmm..this is an interesting list of books, right when I was looking at something to read.Thanks!

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  18. Sara, I am happy to know the list could have been of some help!

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  19. As your flatmate in Udaipur if we can call our little digs that? I wasn't keen on books my brain just had enough of colle books so I resigned to readers digest where I can skip an article if it's too lengthy,I was also eargerly awaiting the postman wether it was my letter or not just something from home and hopefully it will be the much liked and hoped for registered mail,I remember the greeting cards I wonder if the kids of today still send them to their lovers?

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  20. Erico, the good old days (or at least now they seems so!)... I remember the readers' digest!!

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  21. I went through the Enid Blytons, Hardy boy, Moses Kibaya, Nancy Drews and THOSE books we only whisper about :-) and i loooved the experience...and you read Ayan Rand. Now that's seriously awesome stuff. I'll look for Saigon

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  22. Nyambura, Ah...the Moses series by Barbara Kimenye was really interesting!

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  23. I just finished reading The Fountainhead this morning, and cannot wait to read Atlas Shrugged; Ayn Rand's thoughts and words dazzled me. Just fantastic.

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  24. I think about Barbara Kimenye's Moses a lot and would love to see it as a TV series or a movie. Make your kids read Moses before they read Harry Potter!

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  25. damn charles, i have been trying to remember that book Saigon - a book i would recommend rather a trilogy is the Cairo trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz.
    3 books Palace walk, Palace of desire, and Sugar street. If you loved the epic that Saigon was you would love this.

    You probably read a book - 'Paloverde' i think it was in circulation about the same time as Saigon.

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  26. Louis, that trilogy sounds interesting, I will check it out. I think the writer of Saigon tried a follow up, Peking or something of the sort but I did not enjoy it like I did Saigon

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  27. Adede, I recently came across one of the Moses books and enjoyed it. I think I should seek out Barbara Kimenye about turning into a TV series, I used to enjoy those books when I was young!

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