Here they are, the first books of 2010. I've even read one already and began another!
The Spare Room by Helen Garner: Canongate declared this "the decade's best unread book", I popped it on my wish-list and when Frances of Nonsuch Book was cleaning out some book, I took this one off her hands; Frances describes it as "Spare and dark and unsentimental treatment of caring for a cancer patient not viewing their illness with much realism. Quick and memorable read."
To Bed With Grand Music by Marghanita Laski: As you know I acquired several Persephone Books recently when I visited the shop with Verity of The B Files but this is the one I purchased and that I am most excited about. I intend to read this soon not least of all because I know many of you are tempted by this one yourselves.
Life & Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee: Disgrace was one of my favourite reads last year and Coetzee an amazing new-to-me author discovery. I couldn't resist his other Booker winner when I found a new copy for £2 and I'm tempted to go on a bit of a Coetzee binge this quarter.
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates: this is the book that I wish I had read last year. The film adaptation was sublime and I am excited to finally read this, more so as Rachel of Book Snob is hosting a Season of Yates and has some lovely things to say about him (but then she has lovely things to say generally).
Les Liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos: Polly of Novel Insights chose this as our next Riverside Readers book group read and I purchased it immediately, I was so excited. This is a French classic that I have been wanting to read for some time, I have never seen the film (I intend to before we discuss the book) and I have started to read the book and I am enjoying it immensely.
The Passport by Herta Müller: until Müller won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year I knew nothing about her and this was something that I sought to rectify. The Passport is a slight novella by her, which seems to be touted everywhere as the book of hers to read, so I thought it was the one to go for; Simon of Savidge Reads implies that it is a challenging and unique reading experience, which makes it sound as if it could be inaccessible but I'm up for a challenge! Ultimately he enjoyed it though so that's all that matters.
Pastors and Masters by Ivy Compton-Burnett: a good friend wrote her Master's thesis on the works of Ivy Compton-Burnett when we were at University together and that was going on four years ago ... I have been reading to read Ivy since that time and Simon of Stuck In A Book has been another advocate. Simon recently reviewed Pastors and Masters and conveniently I had just won a copy to review from Hesperus Press (via LibraryThing). Simon classes it as "ICB-lite" so I'm thinking it is a good place to start.
Audition by Ryu Murakami: another writer that I've been wanting to read for some time and one I was discussing with Jackie of Farm Lane Books in relation to gritty Japanese thrillers last month. Ôdishon was a Japanese film released over a decade ago based on Ryu Murakami's novel; Bloomsbury released the novel in translation last year and kindly sent me a copy.
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez: this novel was cited in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and I wanted to read it from then and when Nymeth of Things Mean a Lot reviewed it shortly after, I purchased it. I am trying not to plan my reading but it is all I can do not to score out a couple of days in my diary in early February so that I can curl up and devour this book.
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde: I have already read and reviewed this acquisition (because I couldn't wait!) Many thanks to Steph of Steph & Tony Investigate for sending me a copy of this book when I won one of their generous bloggiversary give-aways. I loved this book and have no qualms in declaring it my favourite and most enjoyable read of 2010 so far.
Wild Child by T.C. Boyle: Bloomsbury also sent me the latest collection of short stories by T.C. Boyle, which I am looking forward to savouring. T.C. Boyle is a writer I admire a lot, whose works I plan on reading more of this year and that is thanks to JoAnn of Lakeside Musing and her enthusiasm for him. It's been a few years since I read any of his novels but read his short story "Chixiclub" recently and he can write short fiction along with the best of them.
Just as I was about to post this yesterday my internet died. We have an engineer coming to fix it tomorrow but until that time I will be offline.