I’ve finally done it – read 10 new books on the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die list. These were my final three:
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God reminded me of The Awakening in the way that they both focused on women who acted against society’s expectations in pursuits of their own happiness. Or maybe not happiness, maybe more satisfaction and freedom. They were both great. Highly recommended.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This was another one of those mystery “cheats”, set at a small liberal arts college in New England and focused on a close-knit group of friends. It reminded me of The Likeness a lot, to the extent that I wondered if Tana French, who wrote The Likeness had read The Secret History. Both are good. Tartt has another book – the Little Friend that I haven’t read, but would definitely pick up someday.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre is one of those classics that I read on DailyLit and thoroughly enjoyed. I wonder if I would have liked these Classics as much if I had read them for school. I think I wouldn’t have, that it would have felt too forced, but I’m glad that I’m reading them now. It bothered me that Eyre called Mr. Rochester her “master”, but otherwise I was hooked – and surprisingly unspoiled when it came to plot. It surprised me to discover that I didn’t really know what was going to happen, which seems so unlikely with such a well known book.
So it only it only took me a year and a half, but I managed to finish the challenge (albeit only having read 2 of the books on my original list). Now I’ll need to find another one. I’d liked that this pushed me to read things I wouldn’t normally have tried and I’d like something else that does that in the year ahead.