Tag Archive: Books

Marking Time

Seven years ago I left my home in Trinidad and immigrated to Canada. I never thought I’d do something so bold. I never thought I’d leave my comfort zone, my safety net and my support system behind. I wanted to be a writer. I still want to be a writer, hence the blog. It’s been a little over seven years from the day I set foot on Canadian soil and I’m sitting and wondering where did it all go? I feel as if I’m nowhere closer to what I want. Or perhaps I am and I don’t know it yet. How far I have come from the original path I had set myself.

It was all planned out. I did very well at university. I had a job that paid extremely well and my status in society was confirmed. I was going places. In ten years I would have gotten my PhD and applied for a position as a professor in the same university I would have attended. So what made me change my mind? What made me turn another corner when I was on a straight road and the finish line was just ahead?

A restless child I always was. There was nothing that didn’t interest me. As long as that subject could provide a door out of my safe but humdrum life, I would be interested. My father used to find these books on the side of the street. One day he came home and in the trunk of the car there was an old suitcase and in it there were books. There were so many the suitcase could hardly close properly. To my astonishment many of these were new, like they hadn’t been used yet. The price tags were still on them.

“Who on earth would throw out new books?” I squealed with delight as some of these books became much sought after treasures, after all, my school had provided me with a lengthy book list for the upcoming school term and those books did not come cheap. It never mattered to me if they were tattered and torn, they became auxiliary reading material that I relished regardless of the topic.

I remember one time during an English test. The teacher was passing out the exam papers and I couldn’t wait. When we were instructed to turn over the paper I noticed that ALL of the sections were taken out of books I had read, those same books that my father picked up off the side of the street. Tattered and torn as they were, I read the comprehension passages and answered all the questions simply because I needed something to do. I tried my best to drag out the exam for the hour and a half allotted, but I couldn’t. I finished in twenty minutes. It wasn’t cheating. Technically I had done the exam over and over in my mind. One might call it luck.

Anyway, I digress, but the abovementioned is a memory I carry with me always just to remind myself that one man’s rubbish can be another man’s treasure.

Here I am in Canada and even though I’m inching my way towards a career as a writer, I find myself swimming in self-doubt. Even this blog takes a lot of effort. It’s been three almost four weeks since I’ve posted anything and it’s not for want of anything to write, it’s more of, “why am I writing this?” “what purpose will this serve?”

I should have started this blog from the time I landed in Canada, perhaps I would have had more purpose – or perhaps not. I still don’t know if Canada is the right place for me. Sometimes I feel as if I’m where I’m supposed to be and sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice. The temptation to turn back is great but the motivation to go forward is even greater. I’m at war with myself and I don’t see an end in sight. Someone told me, time will tell and everything happens for a reason. Well, I’m still waiting for that reason and I’m still waiting for time to tell me the truth.


A New Tab

Finally, I get to post something. I seriously need to get a new computer. I’m very close to throwing this one outside in frustration. I’ve opened up a new tab called The Reading List. Actually, that tab was there before, but since  most of the books being published today are a lot of low grade, amateurish schlock, I think I’ll go back to the classics. I shall go back to the time when writers knew how to write. Writers, most commonly known (not too long ago, a few decades maybe?) as Authors knew how to craft a novel. They paid special attention to details like themes, characterisation, imagery, symbolism, plot and setting. Their sentences sounded like music. Gone are the days of beautiful words. Instead we have halting sentences and dialogues that make one cringe.

Since I’m in desperate need of a literature fix, I’ve gone and gotten myself a list of some of the most acclaimed writings. Well actually someone else gave me the list, I just added some more. I get some credit right? My ultimate goal is to read, review and analyse each book, in alphabetical order, right here on this blog. Quite a daunting task I admit. I was originally hoping to get it done by the end of this year, but I believe, in order to do these books justice, I shall have to take my time with them.

So, here is the list that I shall be tackling. If you can think of more that I can add to these, let me know. Wish me luck. Trust me I’ll need it.


  1. A Bend in the River – V. S. Naipaul
  2. A House for Mr. Biswas – V. S.  Naipaul
  3. A Passage to India – E. M. Forster
  4. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  5. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  6. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  7. American Pastoral – Philip Roth
  8. An Artist of the Floating World – Kazuo Ishiguro
  9. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  10. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
  11. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  12. Austerlitz – W. G. Sebald
  13. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  14. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
  15. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  16. Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
  17. Clarissa – Samuel Richardson
  18. Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
  19. Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
  20. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  21. Don Quixote – Miguel De Cervantes
  22. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
  23. Emma – Jane Austen
  24. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  25. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  26. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  27. Half A Life – V. S. Naipaul
  28. Haroun and the Sea of Stories – Salman Rushdie
  29. Herzog – Saul Bellow
  30. Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
  31. Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  32. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller – Italo Calvino
  33. In Search of Lost Time – Marcel Proust
  34. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  35. Journey to the End of the Night – Louis-Ferdinand Celine
  36. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  37. La Confidential – James Ellroy
  38. Lanark – Alasdair Gray
  39. Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott
  40. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  41. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  42. Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
  43. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  44. Malone Dies – Samuel Beckett
  45. Men Without Women – Ernest Hemingway
  46. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  47. Miguel Street – V. S. Naipaul
  48. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  49. Money – Martin Amis
  50. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  51. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont – Elizabeth Taylor
  52. Nightmare Abbey – Thomas Love Peacock
  53. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  54. Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
  55. Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
  56. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  57. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  58. Oscar And Lucinda – Peter Carey
  59. Parade’s End – Ford Madox Ford
  60. Paradise Lost – Milton
  61. Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  62. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
  63. Scoop – Evelyn Waugh
  64. Shame – Salman Rushdie
  65. Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  66. Sybil – Benjamin Disraeli
  67. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  68. The BFG – Roald Dahl
  69. The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
  70. The Black Sheep – Honore De Balzac
  71. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
  72. The Bottle Factory Outing – Beryl Bainbridge
  73. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  74. The Call of the Wild – Jack London
  75. The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal
  76. The Children of Húrin – J. R. R. Tolkien
  77. The Count of Monte Christo – Alexandre Dumas
  78. The Diary of a Nobody – George Grossmith
  79. The Executioner’s Song – Norman Mailer
  80. The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford
  81. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  82. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  83. The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  84. The Lord Of The Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
  85. The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy
  86. The Middle Passage – V. S. Naipaul
  87. The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
  88. The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  89. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  90. The Plague – Albert Camus
  91. The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  92. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
  93. The Pursuit Of Love – Nancy Mitford
  94. The Quiet American – Graham Greene
  95. The Rainbow – D. H. Lawrence
  96. The Riddle of the Sands – Erskine Childers
  97. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  98. The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien
  99. The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan

100.The Tin Drum – Gunter Grass

101.The Trial – Franz Kafka

102.The Way We Live Now – Anthony Trollope

103.The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

104.The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

105.Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

106.Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K. Jerome

107.Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré

108.To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

109.Tom Jones – Henry Fielding

110.Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne

111.Ulysses – James Joyce

112.USA – John Dos Passos

113.Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

114.Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett

115.Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M. Coetzee

116.Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor

117.Wise Children – Angela Carter

118.Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte


David Gaughran

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