The TBR Dare. However, my good friend Amanda from The Zen Leaf -- yes, the very same blogger that got me sucked into the world of book blogging -- asked if I'd like to do a reading swap in 2011.
Basically, she chose five books for me, and I chose five books for her. Here's what she chose for me:
1. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. I was underwhelmed by Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but Amanda swears this is so much better. And there's an audio version narrated by Alan Rickman, need I say more?
2. Flush by Virginia Woolf. Because it's on my to-read shelf, and Amanda really liked it. And she knows how much I love dogs. And it's a Persephone!
4. Kindred by Octavia Butler. A great time-travel novel about the antebellum South. Enough said.
5. Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov. Because Amanda swears it's nothing like Lolita.
Amanda and I both have eclectic tastes -- sometimes wildly different. Sometimes she absolutely hates books I love, and vice versa. I'm really excited about the first four books (especially because I own copies of East of Eden and Flush, so that counts for the TBR challenge!). The one book on this list that scares me a little is the Nabokov. I read Lolita years ago, in college, and it still creeps me out. But I am willing to give him another shot.
1. Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh. Because she was underwhelmed by Brideshead Revisited, and this is nothing like that. If you haven't read it, it's hilarious.
2. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. Because it's on her to-read list, and I thought it was just wonderful. One of my favorite books from the Modern Library Top 100.
3. West with the Night by Beryl Markham. Because she loved Out of Africa, and because it's one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. Also a ML Top 100 Non-fiction pick. If you haven't read it, go out and get it right now. You won't be sorry.
4. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence. Because she hated Lady Chatterley's Lover and I think she should give Lawrence another try. I was afraid of this book but after one chapter I was really hooked. The characters are kind of repulsive, yet I couldn't put it down.
5. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Because Amanda still hasn't read any DWJ and I think she'd really like this one. DWJ is wildly unappreciated in this country and it is my personal responsibility to fix that. Howl is brilliant, and I liked the movie but the book is soooo much better.
So -- we both have a year to finish these books. I think it's doable. Bloggers, have you read any of these books? Loved them or hated them?