Well, The 1968 Club has come and gone in a flash. I got to read and review two books for it but there were so many more that I could have chosen. Although it seems quite a short time, only a week, I think it works well being such a short time-span as it’s meant to be a snapshot of a particular year not a comprehensive review of all the books published. It also means that we leave open the possibility of revisiting a year again if we feel like it. Anyway, thanks to Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon at Stuck in a Book for hosting this challenge once again.
I thought I would have a quick look at those I read, those I wanted to read, those I’d read before and so on. During 2017 I have been trying to read as many books from my TBR pile as possible; I even joined a GoodReads group to keep me on track. However I didn’t have a single unread book from 1968 on my TBR list and I didn’t fancy re-reading anything as there were enough unread books from 1968 that I wanted to read—I just didn’t own them. So the two books that I read and reviewed were:
I also wanted to read Bukowski’s Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 Story Window but copies of it are expensive and I couldn’t even find a list of the contents of it so I wasn’t sure if any of the poems were contained in the collections that I had.
I only reviewed two books but I also started Paul Bowles’ collection of short stories, Pages from Cold Point, which I had intended to include but which I only finished today. I’m certain I’d read it before, years ago, but couldn’t remember much about it. But it was nothing special, the stories are all set in North Africa and are a mixture of realism and fable but they didn’t really do anything for me. I think Bowles was a better novelist than short story writer.
When I was trying to decide on books for this challenge I noticed that there were quite a few from 1968 that I had read before. They are:
- The Wild Cherry Tree by H.E. Bates
- Pages from Cold Point and Other Stories by Pul Bowles
- In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
- Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
- Chocky by John Wyndham
In some of the previous year challenges I had included reviews of comics or children’s books, such as Krazy Kat (for The 1924 Club) and Dr. Seuss (for the The 1938 Club). Well 1968 was the year that underground comix really took off, especially with Zap Comix, and I was going to include a review of as many underground comix from 1968 as possible, but it would have meant hunting down my copies and re-reading them, scanning relevant parts and in the end I just didn’t have the time to do it. But, I am already regretting not doing so.
There were many books that I considered reading before making the final decision. I was always going to include some Bukowski as he had been a favourite author of mine from years back and besides I thought I’d include him to bring the tone down a little.:-) I decided on Brian Moore’s book because he’s quite a new writer for me and I only needed the smallest excuse to try another book by him. But here are some of the others that I thought of reading:
- A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
- Come Along With Me by Shirley Jackson
- La Place de l’étoile by Patrick Modiano
- Tigers are Better-Looking by Jean Rhys
- I Used to Believe I Had Forever Now I’m Not Sure by William Saroyan
- My Youth in Vienna by Arthur Schnitzler
- The Public Image by Muriel Spark
- Couples by John Updike
- Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal
- The Quest for Christa T by Christa Wolf
I was glad to see that some of these were reviewed by others in the challenge.
What books did you consider for ‘The 1968 Club’ but didn’t make it to the final cut?