Apart from my book group books, I've been reading my way through a list of books for a course I'll be taking later this year. Then today, I had an email from the university in question, which mentioned that that course is no longer offered. Aaaargh!
I've never read anything by Norman Mailer though I have visited the street in Brooklyn Heights where he used to live. I didn't read his work because many years ago I saw him in that feminist documentary Town Bloody Hall and that was the end of the story, for me. Joan Smith thinks he was a sexist homophobic reactionary too. I'm glad she said it.
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I were discussing our book groups and she asked me which books stayed in my mind as most memorable. Of course my mind immediately went blank. (I wish I'd kept a list of the books we've read in the two years of the group - I've noted many of them here but there've been some gaps.)
The book which first came to mind was Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel. At the group meeting to discuss it, last year, we had an invigorating discussion - two women disliked it (one of them described it as "horrible"), one said she had initially enjoyed it but then was very disappointed, whereas two of us liked it very much. Very much indeed: I thought it was brilliant.
Via Philobiblon, Jody found The Guardian's report of 20 twenty books re-read by Britons. I've italicised those books I've read (which isn't many!) and bold-faced the books I've read more than once. But as I once wrote here, I tend not to re-read at all, so the bolds are few in number. And yes it's true I've never read Pride and Prejudice - but I have seen the tv series and the movies! (I don't do very well at all on this list.)
My book group's latest read was The Broken Shore by Peter Temple. A friend of mine's book group read the same book this month - I think its popularity was due to it winning the 2007 Duncan Lawrie Dagger for Best Crime Novel.