Friday, November 24, 2006

Notting Hill Napoleons Whittle It Down to 12

As promised last week, I wanted to post the titles of the 12 books that made it into the Notting Hill Napoleon reading list for 2007. The discussion over what books would make it into the elite picks was a little more tense than usual -- a sign that even with 15 years behind us, we still have some wide divergences in our reading preferences. That, of course, is hardly surprising. However, personal reading preferences are one thing; the enjoyment of reading and discussing books as a group is quite another.

You would think that by now there would be a clear consensus as to what kind of books are the most successful for this shared experience, but I'm afraid that still eludes us.

Claire and I are pleased with most of the books that made the cut but we certainly were surprised (and disappointed) that such quality writers as Sir Walter Scott, Alexander Dumas and Jane Austen were left out in the Nebraska cold. We'll keep trying.

Here's the list:

January -- The Betrothed by Allesandro Manzoni
February -- Peace Like A River by Leif Enger

March -- Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

April -- A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

May -- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

June -- The Song of Roland (translated by) Dorothy Sayers

July -- Witch Wood by John Buchan

August -- Bellarion the Fortunate by Rafael Sabatini

September -- Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

October -- Tales of the Long Bow by G. K. Chesterton

November -- Bleak House by Charles Dickens

December -- The Good Shepherd by Gunnar Gunnarsson

In a few days, I'll post here the complete Notting Hill Napoleon reading list dating back to 1992. I think you'll enjoy looking through it.