Read or skip #5


Inspired by book blogger Davida, at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, herself inspired by a couple of other bloggers (see here for instance). I plan to post about it on Saturdays, except the 1st Sat of the month, when I usually feature another meme.

The rules are simple:

  1. Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf from oldest to new
  2. Pick the first 5 or 10 (or whatever number you choose, depending on how large your list is) books you see
  3. Decide whether to keep them or get rid of them.



12, 13: skip
14: I’m actually reading it right now!
15 and 16: keep. I was not going to keep 16, but you convinced me to keep it




As there may not be many to skip here, I am considering 8 titles today.

14) Desert Solitaire

  • “Written while Abbey was working as a ranger at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah, Desert Solitaire is a rare view of one man’s quest to experience nature in its purest form.
    Through prose that is by turns passionate and poetic, Abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness and the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world as well as his own internal struggle with morality.”
  • I think I started this years ago, and I think I should get back to it
  • What do YOU think?

15) We

  • Classic scifi and dystopia

16) An Artist of the Floating World

  • I like Ishiguro
  • BUT: “In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.” Is there a lot about WWII? (I have read way too many on the topic) Would it be better to read another book by him and skip this one?

17) Manazuru

  • I really enjoy Japanese fiction, but I need to acknowledge that I cannot read all Japanese novels available in English or French translation…
  • Have any one of you read this one? There seems to be a lot about relationships, not sure that’s my thing.

18) Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words

  • Same as above, I need to acknowledge that I cannot read all books about language…
  • BUT this one does sound good, right? “Wierzbicka seeks to demonstrate that every language has “key concepts,” expressed in “key words,” which reflect the core values of a given culture. She shows that cultures can be revealingly studied, compared, and explained to outsiders through their key concepts, and that the analytical framework necessary for this purpose is provided by the “natural semantic metalanguage,” based on lexical universals, that the author and colleagues have developed on the basis of wide-ranging cross-linguistic investigations”.

19) Travels with Charley

  • Steinbeck!

20) The Book on Fire

  • About the Alexandria library
  • BUT the synopsis seems to point to too much romance.
  • Also some readers consider it as a Fantasy. What fantasy element does it contain?? I often don’t do too well with romance nor fantasy

21) Physics of the Future

  • This author has been intriguing me
  • The topic sounds fascinating

What do YOU think? Please help me with 16 and 21. Am I doing the right choice for the others?



8 thoughts on “Read or skip #5

  1. Thanks for the shout out! I’m thinking maybe you might not skip the Ishiguro, only because… how many books about Japan’s part in WWII have you read? I’ve never read any, that I can think of.


  2. I haven’t read any of these in full – I started Travels with Charley once and would like to finish it — generally I like Steinbeck a lot. I think your instincts sound pretty good. The idea of understanding cultures through their languages’ key words is fascinating to me too.


  3. I have not read Desert Solitaire but have read lots of Edward Abbey. He is a phenomenal writer. Travels With Charley is great also. So I agree with those choices.


  4. Here are just my thoughts….Travels with Charley is a product of its time, so much so that I was disappointed with the book. This book didn’t pass the test of time, Desert Solitaire is a book I remember loving at the time, but I’ve never felt the need to reread it. It would have been a good book for me to reread when I was writing my Yellowstone story last November.


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