#54321 Challenge – Just for fun

Lisa posted this challenge, which she got from Lizzy Siddal, who nicked it from somewhere on Instagram! Love the provenance here!

Each of us has interpreted it in ways that suits us. For me, my interpretation is to draw on authors who have died (except for #1) because there are too many living authors that I love for me to choose from. So, with that proviso, here goes …

#5 Books I love

In author’s birth order:

Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • Pick an Austen any Austen, let’s go with Persuasion (my post), which has such a lovely, mature heroine who, nonetheless, had to learn to make her own decisions. 
  • Edith Wharton’s The house of mirth, which I read before blogging, but which has left a lasting impression for its story of a woman who was torn between love and integrity, and (what she thought would be) security.
  • Patrick White’s Voss, which I read in my teens, long long before blogging. It was the book that turned me on to White.
  • Albert Camus’ The plague/La peste (my post) which I also first read in my late teens, which I encouraged my reading group to read many years later, and which continues to resonate with me.
  • Thea Astley’s Drylands (my post), which is just one of Astley’s novels that has stuck with me for its expressive writing and intellect.

#4 Autobuy authors

Albert Camus, The plague

After the 19th century classics, my first autobuy author was

  • Albert Camus

who was followed by …

  • Edith Wharton, whom I discovered in the 1980s during our first posting in the USA, and
  • E.H. Young, who was recommended to me by a Kiama, NSW, bookseller, in the late 1980s. I subsequently bought, or was given, all of her books that were published by Virago.

And then an Aussie, but which one? Perhaps the first Aussie, besides Patrick White, whom I wanted to autobuy was

#3 Genres I love

Most of you could probably guess this:

  • Literary fiction
  • Classics
  • Literary biographies

#2 Places I like to read

Where else but stretched out on a sofa, or in bed.

#1 Book I’m Going to Read Next

I haven’t quite decided, but my next reading group book is Audrey Magee’s The colony. This will not be my next review, however, as I am currently reading a First Nations’ book, and will probably read a couple more before I read my reading group book!

23 thoughts on “#54321 Challenge – Just for fun

  1. #5, books read in 2022 that I loved: A Theory of Justice by John Rawls; Changing Places and Small World by David Lodge; On Beauty and Being Just by Elaine Scarry.

    #4, autobuy authors: G.E.M. Anscombe, Jacques Barzun, Mary Beard, George Kennan, W.V.O. Quine.

    #3, genres I love: Autobiograpy, biography, memoir (provided always that the memoirist has live long enough to have or at least watch out for gray hair); fiction, not necessarily literary; history; philosophy; poetry.

    #4, places I like to read; on the front porch, if the weather is decent; at the dining room table if I am at all tired.

    #5, next book. Not sure: Hobbes’s De Cive? I wouldn’t mind taking along a book by Philippa Foot on a vacation that is coming up, but the bookstores of Washington don’t seem to have anything by her on their shelves.

    • Subversive as always George! I don’t know Philippa Foot but I’m glad you have a vacation coming up.

      I have yet to read David Lodge though I do have him on my TBR.

      And, oh yes, re memoirists! There are some far too young ones out there, I agree. Occasionally, they may be justified anyhow, but not often.

  2. Hi Sue, The 5 books I have read and loved in 2022: Horse by Geraldine Brooks, Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart, Dinner with the Schnables by Toni Jordan, French Braid by Anne Tyler, and Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes
    Auto buy authors Geraldine Brooks, Ian McEwan and Helen Garner
    3 Genres I love, fiction, non fiction and memoirs
    Places I like to read, inside – sitting on the couch, and outside – sitting on my balcony
    Next book to read will be non fiction Seven Pillars of Science by John Gribbin, and alternate with Cowboy by Robert Bolano.

  3. Lovely to see Edith Wharton in your list, especially The House of Mirth. Lily Bart is probably my favourite Wharton character so far, although I’ve been saving The Custom of the Country for ages, just to have a top-tier Wharton to look forward to!

    • Ha ha, I know what you mean, Jacqui, I saved an Austen till my 30s which was hard given how few books she wrote. I agree with you re Lily Bart. A thing I love about The custom of the country is the heroine’s name. Undine Spragg! Unforgettable for the name, but Lily Bart is unforgettable for who she is.

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