Catching up - and the next thing?

I'm writing this from the Gold Coast, in my parents' house, where I'm currently on holiday. I'm fortunate to be in one of the few places in south-east Queensland that isn't under water at present; if you haven't heard, there's massive flooding going on in the Sunshine State, and also the part of New South Wales where I grew up: the far north coast. You can find out more, including how you can help, at the QLD Floods web site.

All this has given me some time to sit back and think about things for which I've been too busy of late. For example, here I have a list of eight (soon to be nine) books, ones I've read and not written about. It's been a time of change in the life of your humble author, but that's no excuse - a blog is for life, not just for Christmas, after all! I will soon update the site with many of these books, and more as I have more time for reading now.

But the question now remains, what will I attempt as a book project in 2011? I'm going to throw it open to you, in something I'm going to call my "Choose Your Book Adventure". (I might change that later, we'll see.)

Name me a book you think is great, of any genre, from any era, fiction or non-fiction. (The only real restriction is it must be in English, since I am monolingual.) I'll ask others to do the same in other places where I'm online. The first 12 books that I haven't read will form my list for 2010, but to keep things sane I will only take one book from each person (you can still suggest more than one), and only one from each author. I also reserve the right to ignore ones I was intending to read anyway, since I will still read books I choose myself this year as well.

I'm going to have an arbitrary cut-off date of, let's see, January 26. That gives you two weeks, and me the best part of a week in January to get started.

UPDATE: I neglected to tell anyone I was asking this, so I'm extending the deadline until...well, until I feel like it. But since I won't have twelve months - and since I'm joining a book club group with some friends as well this year - I'm going to limit it to 10 books. And the first one's already taken!


  1. The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill.

    I am fairly evangelical about this book.

  2. Dan - I've alreadt read Monte Cristo!

    Elaine - done. The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break is first on the list!

  3. Something by Raymond Chandler. I'm reading The Big Sleep at the moment, it's good stuff.

  4. The book I recommend to everyone is Jamie O'Neill's marvellous AT SWIM, TWO BOYS. It's poetic, convoluted, heartfelt and beautiful.

  5. I, as usual, recommend Milorad Pavic's 'The Dictionary of the Khazars'.

    You can borrow my copy; it's hard to find otherwise.

  6. Cat Valente's Palimpsest. Or, if you don't mind YA cooties, Liar by Justine Larbalestier.