As part of my challenge to clear my shelves this year, I’m reading to many of my backlist books–those that have been sitting on my shelves for years with the promise of being read someday. February 2023 was a big month of checking off to-be-read books from my shelves, particularly for books that are recognized as part of the literary canon. So here is my quick recap review of three books I should have read sooner than when I’m in my forties…
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beloved is the book that won Toni Morrison the Pulitzer Prize, and it deserves all of the praise that I can give. It is a brutal, lyrical book that sears the pain of racism, slavery, and generational trauma into your brain. I listened to this book as Ms. Morrison was the narrator, and I found that experience to be even more powerful. I can’t recommend this book enough, and if you can find the audiobook, get it.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The 2007 movie adaptation of Atonement left me sobbing in my car after leaving the movie theatre. Knowing the twist of the story kept me from reading the book, even though I knew Ian McEwan’s book would be exceptional, and I found that I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I think I would have if I hadn’t watch Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy on screen. But, it was still a four-star book for me.
The Plague by Albert Camus
I was supposed to read The Plague by Albert Camus in my last semester of college, and if my annotations in this copy are evidence enough, I must have at least skimmed it. However, reading and listening to the audiobook in 2023 brought an entirely different meaning and weight to this reading experience. I didn’t enjoy the book; Camus’s writing style is not for me, and it felt much too raw in the wake of COVID-19.
So, February was the month in which I cleared 10 books off my to-be-read list, and I’m grateful that I checked these off. Beloved is the read that will stay with me the longest, and reading it excites me to pick up more of Ms. Morrison’s novels.
One thought on “Quick Reviews from My Shelves”
I’ve been doing something similar, going through all the books listed to read on Good Reads and updating. Many I have read already, many I abandoned because I didn’t enjoy enough to continue. I’ve glad you loved Beloved—one of my favorites too. I read Atonement a long time ago and really enjoyed the first half, but then was disappointed with the last part—can’t remember why now. I’ve never read The Plague.
LikeLiked by 1 person