Seventh Decade Summary

This was an interesting decade. It basically took me four months to get through all the books this time. I started it in Prague and finished it in the U.S., and now I have a completely different job than I had before. I’ve even moved twice between now and back when I started reading for this group.

This is the first time I’ve gotten this burned out on this project. Even there were a couple books that I really liked, I had trouble finding things to say about most of the books I read this time. There were a healthy amount that I didn’t enjoy, too.

Since I read all these books several months ago, I’m not going to do a normal recap of the books I read this time. Instead, I’m just going to list my favorites and least favorites. Once I get more caught up, hopefully this blog will get more “normal” again.

There were several books this time that I just “didn’t get.” I enjoyed them a little bit, but I didn’t quite understand why people consider them such great books. I had a lot of trouble with The Hamlet and Mercier and Camier in particular. They weren’t awful books and I didn’t hate them, but for me, they just didn’t live up to the “hype” this list seems to create, at least for me.

The most pleasant surprise of the group was Crome Yellow. All I really knew about Aldous Huxley was that he wrote A Brave New World, which I liked. Crome Yellow showed me a very different, more playful side of Huxley that was refreshing.

I’m having trouble picking a favorite book out of this group. There were three: The Last Temptation of ChristThe Master, and The Magus, that were amazingThe Last Temptation of Christ was a really interesting look at the life of Jesus Christ, and it brought up interesting points and told a very familiar story in a very different way. I read The Master at the absolute perfect place and time; it was exactly what I needed to read, just when I needed it the most. And The Magus was one of the wildest, most fun reads I’ve had in awhile. It’s strange magic and twists and turns made it really fun to explore.

I chose The Master as my favorite from this group, because of how it resonated with me when I read it. I’m not completely satisfied with my choice, but Toibin’s incarnation of Henry James was a comforting companion for me when I needed one. For that reason, I have to give The Master the top spot this round. 

My next book on the list will be Pat Barker’s Regeneration.


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