… And We’re Back. (Plus My Top Ten Favourite Book Titles.)

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Regular readers may have noticed I’ve been rather silent these past few weeks. It’s been about a month since I last posted, a fact which I was amazed to discover when I logged on this morning for the first time in a long while. There is a (fairly) good explanation for this, and for my neglect of my favourite blogs and websites.

Here in the southern hemisphere it’s that most joyous time of the year: winter. Unfortunately, before we can all enjoy wrapping ourselves in blankets and sipping warm tea of a chilly afternoon, university exams loom over the immediate future. As a long-standing Arts student I don’t actually have exams, but I did have to write roughly eight thousand words’ worth of essays before the semester was over. So, naturally, the past few weeks have been spent in a kind of robotic sleep-eat-work-sleep routine, punctuated by the occasional anxiety attack (complete with paper-bag breathing exercises) and sleepless night.

Despite this routine (or perhaps because of it), I have finally made it through to the other side of the semester. Setting aside the two unwritten chapters of my end-of-year project, I now have a lovely four weeks in which to read, catch up with my favourite blogs, and readjust my sleeping pattern. In the meanwhile, I thought I’d share a post I prepared a few weeks ago for Top Ten Tuesday, although I am aware that it is several weeks late and also that today is a Wednesday. Still, never mind; I’d like to offer you:

My Top Ten Favourite Book Titles

  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez. Undoubtedly my favourite book title of all time. It has a lovely lyrical quality to it, as do all of Marquez’s titles.
  2. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. For the longest time I thought this book was called The Beautiful and the Damned. Which has absolutely nothing to do with certain daytime soap operas. Nosir. But Fitzgerald’s title sums up the fate of his protagonists so well.
  3. Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Marquez. Perhaps it has something to do with the process of translation, but all of Marquez’ titles sound beautiful to me. This one is just stunning.
  4. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino. I know I keep harping on about this book, but I think the title is just brilliant. Especially when you get to the twist at the end.
  5. Let us Compare Mythologies by Leonard Cohen. I don’t know why, but I really love the title of Cohen’s first volume of poetry.
  6. The Girl Green as Elderflower by Randolph Stow. This particular Australian author has some wonderful titles. It was difficult to choose between this and The Merry-Go-Round-in-the-Sea, but in the end I decided on the book I liked the best.
  7. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. This title is so evocative; I think it’s one of the best ever.
  8. Hiroshima Mon Amour by Marguerite Duras. It doesn’t even need to be translated. Not to mention that it doesn’t have the same power in English as it does in the original.
  9. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Another translated title that is like a piece of micro-fiction. It is almost a work of art in and of itself.
  10. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I loved this book when I was in high school. Perhaps I felt like the title captured something of the teenage experience, and the beautiful imagery of this lovely novel.
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4 thoughts on “… And We’re Back. (Plus My Top Ten Favourite Book Titles.)

  1. Wow, what a list – you’ve sent me to fix the gaps in my reading AGAIN!
    Good luck with the 8,000 words of essay – that’s a lot of work. I know what you mean about blogging – reading and writing – there is just so much to take in and it’s time-consuming when you have other pressing deadlines. *off to edit (with tea)*

    • To be completely honest, I haven’t read every single book on that list… but I love the titles themselves, and most of them have been sitting on my to-read list for years. But I’ll get there eventually. :)

  2. I know it’s only about the titles,but..
    I’ve read The Unbearable Lightness of Being,and it transformed my life.
    I have One Hundred Years of Solitude at home,but I think I won’t be able to read it before heading to university.
    ‘The Beautiful and Damned’ and ‘Things Fall Apart’ sound promising,and are on my wish-list!

    Let’s get back to get the titles! I think the ones you’ve listed are all great,especially Hiroshima Mon Amour! (I like the striking,yet beautiful,juxtaposition in it)
    Maybe I would add Love in the Time of Cholera in it!

    • It is really hard to pick just one favourite title when it comes to Marquez. One Hundred Years of Solitude isn’t my all-time favourite when it comes to Marquez, but it is an incredibly powerful book. I haven’t read The Unbearable Lightness of Being yet, but it’s definitely on my list. I’m glad to hear it will be worth the wait!

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