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Tag: Le Monde

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Alongside The Big Sleep and Wuthering Heights, I was introduced to The Great Gatsby in high school. I wrote an essay about the themes of illusion and reality in both Gatsby and a novel called The Last Resort, which I thoroughly detested. Part of that may have been the incredibly disparity in my instant affection for the former and tedious acceptance of the latter. Since the first few pages, The Great Gatsby has captivated me like no other novel. It’s…

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The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

More years ago than I like to think about, my dad bought me a complete Sherlock Holmes collection from a bookshop in Newark marketplace. I’ve still got the same book today and return to it every few years, unable to do anything but read each mystery in order. The cover has come off and the font is tiny, but it includes illustrations by Sidney Paget and mimics layouts from The Strand. The volume seems so dense that it’s countless passages of…

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For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is one of a small class of writers, along with names like Dickens, Austen, and Proust, who can simultaneously terrify and excite a reader. Perhaps most like Jane Austen, we’re often judged not by which of their books we’ve read but whether we’ve read something by them. It’s the mark of a truly great author that one can’t choose a single piece of work, like we might with a Fitzgerald or Salinger. For me, Hemingway has always been…

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The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Much like my introduction to Tintin, I was first passed a copy of The Big Sleep by a favourite teacher. This time is was well into Secondary School, either GCSE or A Level years and it was my English teacher, Mr Dawson. Beyond my family, he was most responsible for both my love of reading and long-standing dream of writing my own stories. Following a class reading of The Adventure of the Speckled Band, which I’d read before and was…

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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It’s almost impossible having now read The Little Prince, but I seem to remember a time before I knew about it. I certainly only read it for the first time recently, but the image of the cover seems to have been with me since before my memories begin. Like many books, I picked this copy up for next to nothing at a book fair. I’d promised myself one novel from my long list and, despite finding several options, I returned…

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the first novel on my list that came with a stigma attached. I, like many others, had only heard of it in relation to its sexual content and the obscenity trial of the 1960s. Thanks to this, I had low expectations of the story as I imagined that being famous for including a few choice words meant there was little else of merit in the writing. The book was also the first that I found no…

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The Blue Lotus by Herge

The Blue Lotus by Herge

Tintin has long played a part in my life, through the large comic-style albums I owned as a child, to the reissued collection I’m halfway through today. In between there’s been the old cartoon series of films and the 2011 motion capture experiment from Steven Spielberg. What grounds my love of Tintin is my own adventure creating a comic in primary school. Called The Giggle, I wrote and drew about half an issue each week with two friends. After collecting…

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Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

As with The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum, Bonjour Tristesse and Francoise Sagan were unknown to me before I began my reading challenge. Similarly to Heinrich Boll’s novel, discovering another non-English novel has been a delight and feels well overdue. Since writing out my list of books I’d like to read, the title of this novel has stuck in my mind, despite never seeing it before. The superficial link in my limited memory is to La Tristesse Durera, a track…

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by 
Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by 
Agatha Christie

As a Poirot and Agatha Christie fan, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the first novel on my to-read list that I have read before. Probably more than twice. And seen the TV adaptation. Despite my familiarity with the story, and its famous twist, it was the most engrossing book I’ve read so far. The mystery works just as well if you know the secrets or don’t. My first memories of Agatha Christie’s works begin with a bookcase that used…

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The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll

The best part of my project to read some of the best books ever written is finding completely new authors. I’d never heard of Heinrich Boll or this novel before adding it to my Library list. Reading a book with no expectations can have startling effects. Like A Room of One’s Own, I read this novel in a few days. It’s gripping almost throughout, with only a slight middle-act sag. Much of this comes from the unusual structure that leads…

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