Dorama review: Good Morning Call

Good Morning Call

I have come full circle from a year ago – from Japanese TV dramas to Korean shows and now back to Japanese ones. Aside from confusing myself language-wise (I had just started to pick up some words in Korean), I found it really interesting to watch a similar teen drama to many of the K-dramas I binged last year, but set in a city I have actually visited.

Good Morning Call originally aired in 2016 on Fuji TV and a second season Good Morning Call: Our Campus Days was made a year later by Netflix. It’s a light-hearted romance set in Tokyo, where teenagers Yoshikawa Nao (played by Fukuhara Haruka) and Uehara Hisashi (Shiraishi Shunya) are both looking for an apartment to live alone for their last two years of high school. They are scammed into leasing the same apartment and, realising that they could not possibly afford such a nice place individually, agree to secretly live together.

Nao is a sweet, scatty, popular girl who feels things deeply and is incapable of hiding her volcanic emotions. Hisashi is a distant, clever loner who is good-looking enough to be fawned over by all the girls at school but has no patience with most people. They are not an obvious pairing and initially they fight a lot. But of course they learn each other’s virtues as well as flaws, not to mention their secrets. Enmity becomes friendship becomes…romance?

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K-drama review: Hello, My Twenties!

This was another random Netflix recommendation, and it was a really good one. Hello, My Twenties! (also known in English as Age of Youth) cuts through a lot of the tropes of Korean TV. The lead characters are all women and they’re not lame! Some of them have sex before marriage and it’s not a big deal! There’s not even one overarching storyline, but instead several intersecting ones!

This show is also unusual among K-dramas in that it’s had two seasons and has been renewed for a third, and that doesn’t spoil it at all. Both seasons one and two wrapped up some storylines while leaving others open-ended and each time this felt right as both an ending and a possible opener for more to come.

The basis is a shared house in Seoul called Belle Epoque and the five women who share it (one of whom changes for the second season). Over the short seasons (12–14 episodes) we get to know the women – their friends, their love lives, their taste in food and clothes – and we watch them becoming friends with each other. As this is a typical flatshare, the women didn’t know each other before moving in and are very different. They probably wouldn’t have met, let alone become friends, without this house. In season one, each episode largely concentrates on one of the women, so their secrets are revealed gradually – and they all have secrets.

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K-drama review: Uncontrollably Fond

Uncontrollably Fond poster

As all K-dramas, no matter the genre, seem to have a heavy dose of romance, I decided to check one out that is 100% romance. And oh man, I certainly got what I asked for. Uncontrollably Fond (2016) is overblown, overwrought, over-serious melodrama. But it looks beautiful. And it isn’t pretending to be anything it isn’t – the warning signs were there from the start.

The opening scene is peppered with shots of a blossom petal floating gently to the ground – a recurring motif so cliched I almost laughed out loud. But then this is a series full of cliches: secret relatives, arranged marriage, super-rich people using the poor to gain advantage, critical illness, blackmail and lots of lies. A surprising amount of this information is revealed in the first two episodes, meaning that a quick plot summary can’t be all that quick.

Sin Jun-young is a major star – actor, pop idol, model (much like Kim Woo-bin who plays him) – and we meet him refusing to film a death scene, which we shortly after learn is because he is dying of an inoperable brain tumour. He of course hasn’t told anyone this, but he has started searching for his ex-girlfriend No Eul (Bae Su-ji, better known as Suzy from K-pop group Miss A), who handily turns up on his doorstep trying to persuade him to take part in a documentary series. Directing this show will save her career, which is faltering thanks to a bribe she accepted to stop investigating a corrupt company – a bribe she desperately needed to keep loan sharks at bay.

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K-drama review: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo

I think this might be my favourite K-drama so far. It’s another one recommended to me as having a kickass female lead, and this time I actually agree. It’s not perfect, but it has a lot going for it.

The setting is Haneul Sports University in Seoul. Our lead characters are 21-year-old athletes from three of the university’s sports teams: swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and weightlifting. There’s swimmer Jung Joon-hyung (Nam Joo-hyuk) who would be the best swimmer on the team but he keeps getting panic attacks at competitions. There’s his ex-girlfriend Song Shi-ho (Kyung Soo-jin) a rhythmic gymnast who has just come back from the national training centre after losing her place on the national team. And of course Kim Bok-joo (Lee Sung-kyung), the star weightlifter in her year.

Bok-joo is quickly established as a good daughter, a good friend and a defender against bullies. She helps her father and uncle at the fried chicken restaurant they run and goes to as many of her father’s dialysis appointments as her training schedule allows. She spends her free time with besties and fellow weightlifters Jung Nan-hee, a very girly girl, and Lee Seon-ok, a straight shooter who tends to hide her emotions. Bok-joo herself is a tomboy, which is working well for her until her first big crush, when she becomes self-conscious about the fact that she weightlifts and doesn’t have a traditionally feminine appearance.

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K-drama review: Doctors


No, I’m not reviewing the soap opera set in Birmingham that’s been running since 2000. This Doctors is another K-drama, which might be my new favourite thing. This time it’s a 2016 series starring an actress everyone recommended I look out for: Park Shin-hye.

This is pretty much Grey’s Anatomy transplanted from Seattle to Seoul, but with what I am starting to recognise as K-drama characteristics. The thing that possibly attracts me the most is that they all appear to be a single season. They’re long seasons – in this case 20 episodes that are an hour apiece – but they are complete stories where everything gets wrapped up, unlike the usual pattern in TV where storylines get changed, delayed or sped up each time a show gets renewed.

The reason I picked Doctors for my second K-drama was that my main problem with Boys Over Flowers (aside from its addictive quality meaning I stayed up far too late watching it) was the lameness of the main female character, so I looked up lists of K-dramas with kick-ass female leads. This show quite literally opens with its female lead kicking ass, which seemed promising.

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Sunday Salon: #LoveToRead

The Sunday SalonI love the BBC. It’s not perfect, but it produces a lot of great stuff, especially for lovers of music and books. This weekend has been the BBC’s #LoveToRead weekend, with a deluge of book-related programmes, articles and partnerships with schools and libraries, to promote the importance of reading for pleasure. It’s a campaign I can get behind.

I first knew this was coming thanks to (best radio station in the world) 6 Music‘s new series of Paperback Writers, in which bestselling writers talk about the music that inspires them. Today’s writer was Zadie Smith, who I think is even more awesome now I know that her music of choice includes Lauryn Hill and Bob Dylan.

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Gilmore Girls returns!

gilmore-girlsThe news that Netflix is going to revive Gilmore Girls with a series of four feature-length episodes written by original creator and producer Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino has got me pretty excited to say the least. While, like everyone else I am curious to see who will be back and what developments will have happened in their lives in the last 8/9 years (and whether they map what I imagined for the characters), I am also looking forward to a general revival of interest in the original TV show, so that my fandom doesn’t seem quite so out of date!

I am unapologetically a Gilmore Girls fan. I don’t own any merchandise but I recorded every episode off the telly and have watched them all…well, a lot. Now this may seem a decidedly unbookish topic for a book blog (though it’s my blog and I’ll write about whatever I want to) but Gilmore Girls might be the most bookish fictional TV there ever was. In fact, it’s so bookish that there are countless reading lists out there based on it, including my own version of the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge in which I have attempted to list every book read in the show by Lorelei or Rory. And let’s not forget that the show’s star Lauren Graham is a bona fide author (of a book that has been languishing on my wishlist since it was announced).

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TV shows based on books

jeeves-and-woosterI seem to be watching several TV shows based on books at the moment. Not that it’s in any way a new phenomenon. I was raised on The Waltons, M*A*S*H, Lovejoy, Jeeves and Wooster, BBC Shakespeare and the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes. (To be honest, I didn’t even know those first three were based on books until recently.) And let’s not forget Woof! and, well, basically all children’s TV shows from my youth (or so it sometimes feels). Books, and especially series of books, are ripe for TV adaptation, where more time can be devoted to the plot than a film allows.

Of the examples I’m currently watching, I have read none of the books. There’s The Walking Dead (Tim is reading the comics and says they’re more graphic and violent than the TV show, which I can’t say appeals to me), Orange is the New Black (how have multiple series been made from one slight memoir?), Mr Selfridge (same question re this biography), Masters of Sex (this is one book I’d like to read, actually) and True Blood (I really can’t tell if I’d like the books but I lean towards not).

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The Veronica Mars Movie

Veronica Mars movie poster

I know: it’s not a book, or an author event, or even a play, but I’ve noticed over the last year that I’m far from the only V Mars fan, so I thought those who haven’t caught the film yet might be interested to hear what I thought of it. And those who have seen it, please weigh in in the comments!

Disclaimer: I am not only a fan of the series, I am also a Kickstarter backer of the film. But then, who isn’t?! You probably already know the storyline from the countless news articles but here’s my summary.

The film is set several years after series three ended. Veronica “I got a PI licence for my 18th birthday” Mars has left her home town of Neptune, California to study law in New York and is about to sit the bar exam. She’s interviewing for a job at a top law firm, she has a steady boyfriend in Piz (her college boyfriend from series three, but interestingly they have only been back together for a year, they’ve not been together the whole time) and she’s still in touch with best friend from high school Wallace. The world is her oyster. So of course this is the precise moment for Logan “trouble follows me everywhere I go” Echolls (her high school ex-boyfriend) to call Veronica and ask her for help as he’s the number one suspect for the murder of his pop star girlfriend. Veronica heads back to Neptune, coincidentally arriving in time for her 10-year high school reunion.

The film is packed with nods and winks to fans and all (or very nearly all) the beloved old characters from the TV show not only make an appearance, but for the most part are intrinsic to the plot. It’s a typical Veronica Mars plot with three or four storylines overlapping, including the stark divide between rich and poor that preoccupied much of the TV show. There’s also the familiar sense of humour, the snappy dialogue, the indie music track and my favourite fictional father–daughter relationship (because Keith Mars is the best).

Does it look and feel like a film rather than a feature-length episode of the TV show? Honestly, I’m not sure. Personally I think the TV show was quite visually stylish anyway, and it certainly didn’t look out of place on the big screen on Friday night. I also don’t agree with Mark Kermode’s complaint that the plot is labyrinthine – yes there’s a few different things going on but it’s not hugely complicated. Then again, am I saying that because I have years’ worth of background information going in?

All told, I loved it. And I was relieved when at the Friday night showing of this in Bristol the (busy but not full) audience applauded when the credits rolled. (Incidentally, do make sure you watch to the end of the credits; the second easter egg is a particular gift to fans.)

I don’t think it was flawless. Mac was criminally under-used. There were some plot holes, or at least things that I didn’t think entirely made sense. But for the most part it was exactly what I, as a fan, wanted and I look forward to watching it again just as soon as we have figured out this digital download business.

Have you watched the film yet? What do you think of it?

Sunday Salon: Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

The Sunday Salon

So, this one’s just for fun. The challenge has been around for a while but then it’s a long list to get through! I love the TV show Gilmore Girls and wish I could be half as smart and frankly lucky as Rory, or have half of Lorelai’s style and wit.

To borrow the intro from It’s Time to Read: With some wonderful people on the Book Club Forum we are reading through some of the books that Rory Gilmore read in the TV show Gilmore Girls. Here is the list of books she has read (taken from this forum – thanks!).

I have annotated the ones I have read and the ones that are already on my TBR.

1984 by George Orwell – read multiple times, originally in my teens
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – read in 2003, but I also half remember my Dad reading it to me and my sister many years earlier
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – read multiple times, originally when at primary school
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabonread in 2010
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt – read in my teens
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – read multiple times, originally in my teens
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulknerread in 2010
Atonement by Ian McEwan – read
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin – read for my degree
Babe by Dick King-Smith – read (under its original title of The Sheep-Pig) when at primary school
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie – read 2009-ish
Bambi by Felix Salten
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plathread in 2010
Beloved by Toni Morrison – read
Beowulf A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney – TBR
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – read in 2009
Brick Lane by Monica Ali – read, I think, almost certain
Brigadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaireread in 2011
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer – I’ve read the odd extract but not enough to strike this off
Carrie by Stephen King – read in my teens
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – started and gave up. I know, I know, I must try again sometime
The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger – read
Charlotte’s Web by E B White – read when I was at school
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – read multiple times
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – started and gave up. Another one I intend to try again
The Code of the Woosters by P G Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare – TBR
Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornbyread in 2012
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe – I’ve read several but certainly not all
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père – read
Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky – TBR
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cujo by Stephen King
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – read in 2003
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – read
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Don Quixote by Cervantes – started and gave up
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – read in my teens
Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austen
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J Sobol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – read
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson – read 2002-ish
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – read
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – read 2008-ish
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – read 2008-ish
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – read multiple times, originally for my A levels in 1998
Franny and Zooey by J D Salinger – read
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
George W Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford – read for my degree
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom by Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – TBR
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – read
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – read multiple times, originally in my teens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare – read
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J K Rowling – read
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J K Rowling – read
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers – read
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare – TBR
Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare – TBR
Henry V by William Shakespeare – TBR
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – read
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
How the Light Gets in by M J Hyland
Howl by Allen Ginsberg – read 2004
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer – TBR
I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote – read
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee
Iron Weed by William J Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – read multiple times
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare – read for my degree
The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – read
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence – read
The Last Empire: Essays 1992–2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman – read for my degree
The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis – I started this and ended up giving it away because I really didn’t like it
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yann Martel – read
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen – read
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – read multiple times
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Fliesby William Golding – read
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien – read
The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – read
The Love Story by Erich Segal
Macbeth by William Shakespeare – read
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert – read
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov – TBR
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of General W T Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
A Mencken Chrestomathy by H R Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare – read for my degree
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka – read
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides read in 2011
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Moby Dick by Herman Melville – started, did not finish
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – read (for A levels, I think)
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath by Seymour M Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H R Mencken
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – I’m actually not sure whether I’ve read this…
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – read 2004-ish
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson – read some of them, not all
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – read for my degree
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E Cain, Laurie A Finke, Barbara E Johnson, John P McGowan
Novels 1930–1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – read in my teens
Old School by Tobias Wolff – read
On the Road by Jack Kerouac – TBR
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquezread in 2011
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Othello by Shakespeare – read for my degree
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens – read for my degree
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
The Outsiders by S E Hinton
A Passage to India by E M Forster – TBR
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – TBR
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi – read
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austenread in 2011
Property by Valerie Martin – read
Pushkin: A Biography by T J Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shawread in 2012
Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
Rapunzel by the Grimm Brothers – read
The Razor’s Edge by W Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi – read
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurierread multiple times
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – read multiple times, originally for school in 1994
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolfread in 2011
A Room with a View by E M Forster
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L Baum – read
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – read for my degree
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913–1965 by Dawn Powell
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – read
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegutread in 2011
Small Island by Andrea Levy – read
The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingwayread in 2010
Snow White and Rose Red by the Grimm Brothers – read
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby [31 Songs in the UK]
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare – read
Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning – read some of, but not all
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron – read
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E B White
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – read
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald – read
Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – read 2005-ish
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway – TBR
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – read
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare – read for my degree
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka – read
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Ulysses by James Joyce – read for my degree
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950–1962 by Sylvia Plath – TBR
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera – read
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – read for my degree
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – TBR
The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett – I’ve seen the play. I know that doesn’t count, but it was excellent.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau – read for my degree
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum – read
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – read
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

So that’s 336 titles, I think, of which I have read 96. (I wasn’t sure how to count the “complete novels of” collections.) I have edited the list a little, removing duplicates for example. And I don’t know whether the TV series actually showed Rory reading all of these. I suspect a lot of the titles just came up in conversation or can be read when she packs her book bag. If you think you see any errors in the list, let me know.

The ones I own but have not yet read make up a bit of a heavy list, which may be why they have all sat on the TBR pile for a while. But perhaps having this challenge in the background will be a good way to finally get round to them! In addition, I would really like to read these:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Code of the Woosters by P G Wodehouse
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Songbook by Nick Hornby
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

I have half a plan to come back to this list every six months or so and see how I’m doing. I may have to transfer it all to a spreadsheet of some kind 🙂 And I’ll be keeping a close eye on book titles when I watch Gilmore Girls repeats!

I have been meaning to do something with this challenge for a while, so thank you to Reading in Winter for reminding me!

Are you taking part in this challenge? What do you think of the list?