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Aberdeen
27-05-14, 20:29
What are your favorite novels? This is not meant to be an argument about which modern novels are the best from a literary standpoint. Just discuss which novels you have most enjoyed reading and tend to revisit again and again, as if they were old friends. Hopefully, we can be international enough that they don't all have to be European, unless all the novels you've read and liked happened to all be European.

Here's my list.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


Surfacing by Margaret Atwood


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin


Fifth Business by Robertson Davies


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot


Dead Souls by Nicholas Gogal


The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass


Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


Kamouraska by Anne Hebert

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway


Demian by Herman Hesse


Les Miserables by Victor Hugo


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce


The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence


The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann


100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro


1984 by George Orwell


St. Urbain's Horsemen by Mordecai Richler


The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy


War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Barnchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope

Echetlaeus
27-05-14, 22:32
A Brief History of Time, S. Hawking

Juliette, Marquis de Sade (yes I know, "no good")

Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Worldly_Philosophers), R. Heilbroner

Elric of Melnibone, Michael Murcock

Zorba the Greek, Kazantzakis

The Last Temptation, Kazantzakis

Engel
27-05-14, 23:46
dan brown fictions

Angela
28-05-14, 01:55
What are your favorite novels? This is not meant to be an argument about which modern novels are the best from a literary standpoint. Just discuss which novels you have most enjoyed reading and tend to revisit again and again, as if they were old friends. Hopefully, we can be international enough that they don't all have to be European, unless all the novels you've read and liked happened to all be European.

Here's my list.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


Surfacing by Margaret Atwood


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin


Fifth Business by Robertson Davies


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot


Dead Souls by Nicholas Gogal


The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass


Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


Kamouraska by Anne Hebert

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway


Demian by Herman Hesse


Les Miserables by Victor Hugo


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce


The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence


The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann


100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro


1984 by George Orwell


St. Urbain's Horsemen by Mordecai Richler


The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy


War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Barnchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope




Some of mine are on your list, starting with Pride and Prejudice, although I'd put the whole Jane Austen opus on my list. I have a complete Jane Austen volume and I re-read the whole thing every couple of years. So,...

Jane Austen-all of them
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (and Jude the Obscure)-Hardy
One Hundred Years of Solitude (and Love In The Time of Cholera)-Marquez
The Magic Mountain-Thomas Mann
Les Miserables-Victor Hugo
A Tale of Two Cities-Dickens

Others Not On Your List:
The Count of Monte Cristo-Dumas
Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte
Portrait of a Lady, The Golden Bowl and Wings of the Dove-Henry James
The Age of Innocence-Edith Wharton
Brideshead Revisited-Evelyn Waugh
A Passage to India and A Room With A View-E.M.Forster
How Green Was My Valley-Richard Llewellyn
Little Women-Louisa May Alcott
The Secret Garden-Hodgson

Crime and Punishment and The Idiot-Dostoyevsky
Fathers and Sons-Turgenev
Dr. Zhivago-Pasternak

The Sound and The Fury, Absalom, Absalom-Faulkner
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter-Carson McCullers
To Kill A Mockingbird-Harper Lee
Band of Angels-Robert Penn Warren
Lie Down In Darkness-William Styron
Gone With The Wind-Margaret Mitchell

Sophie's Choice-William Styron
The English Patient-Ondaatje
The Road-Cormac McCarthy
Corelli's Mandolin-DeBernieres
The Mambo Kings Sings Songs of Love and Mr. Ives'Christmas-Hijuelos
The Shipping News-Annie Proulx
The Color Purple-Alice Walker
Beloved, The Song of Solomon-Toni Morrison
Nobody's Fool, Risk Pool, Empire Falls-Richard Russo

Italian novels:
The Leopard-Lampedusa
The Moon and the Bonfires-Cesare Pavese
Zeno's Conscience-Italo Svevo
Storia-Elsa Morante
Reeds in the Wind-Grazia Deledda
The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love-Elena Ferrante

These aren't novels, they're memoirs, but I go back to them again and again...
Christ Stopped at Eboli-Carlo Levi
If This Is A Man-Primo Levi
Memories of a Tuscan Childhood-Kinta Beevor
War in the Val D'Orcia-Iris Origo
Memoirs of a Catholic Girlhood-Mary McCarthy
Flame Trees of Thika-Elspeth Huxley
Out of Africa-Isak Dinesen

Sorry, much too long, but the titles just came pouring out...I didn't even have to think about it.

Nobody1
28-05-14, 02:56
Stephen King (It/Shining/Green Mile)

Echetlaeus
28-05-14, 03:12
Angela has read a lot of stuff. That's for sure.

Echetlaeus
28-05-14, 03:15
Lemme add some others in the list, although of Economic and Political nature.

The Road to Serfdom, von Hayek

Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman

Aberdeen
28-05-14, 09:31
Lemme me add some others in the list, although of Economic and Political nature.

The Road to Serfdom, von Hayek

Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman

The subject is novels, specifically. And although I'd consider Milton Friedman's ideas to be inventions that have nothing to do with reality, he'd probably disagree.

Aberdeen
28-05-14, 09:37
Some of mine are on your list, starting with Pride and Prejudice, although I'd put the whole Jane Austen opus on my list. I have a complete Jane Austen volume and I re-read the whole thing every couple of years. So,...

Jane Austen-all of them
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (and Jude the Obscure)-Hardy
One Hundred Years of Solitude (and Love In The Time of Cholera)-Marquez
The Magic Mountain-Thomas Mann
Les Miserables-Victor Hugo
A Tale of Two Cities-Dickens

Others Not On Your List:
The Count of Monte Cristo-Dumas
Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte
Portrait of a Lady, The Golden Bowl and Wings of the Dove-Henry James
The Age of Innocence-Edith Wharton
Brideshead Revisited-Evelyn Waugh
A Passage to India and A Room With A View-E.M.Forster
How Green Was My Valley-Richard Llewellyn
Little Women-Louisa May Alcott
The Secret Garden-Hodgson

Crime and Punishment and The Idiot-Dostoyevsky
Fathers and Sons-Turgenev
Dr. Zhivago-Pasternak

The Sound and The Fury, Absalom, Absalom-Faulkner
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter-Carson McCullers
To Kill A Mockingbird-Harper Lee
Band of Angels-Robert Penn Warren
Lie Down In Darkness-William Styron
Gone With The Wind-Margaret Mitchell

Sophie's Choice-William Styron
The English Patient-Ondaatje
The Road-Cormac McCarthy
Corelli's Mandolin-DeBernieres
The Mambo Kings Sings Songs of Love and Mr. Ives'Christmas-Hijuelos
The Shipping News-Annie Proulx
The Color Purple-Alice Walker
Beloved, The Song of Solomon-Toni Morrison
Nobody's Fool, Risk Pool, Empire Falls-Richard Russo

Italian novels:
The Leopard-Lampedusa
The Moon and the Bonfires-Cesare Pavese
Zeno's Conscience-Italo Svevo
Storia-Elsa Morante
Reeds in the Wind-Grazia Deledda
The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love-Elena Ferrante

These aren't novels, they're memoirs, but I go back to them again and again...
Christ Stopped at Eboli-Carlo Levi
If This Is A Man-Primo Levi
Memories of a Tuscan Childhood-Kinta Beevor
War in the Val D'Orcia-Iris Origo
Memoirs of a Catholic Girlhood-Mary McCarthy
Flame Trees of Thika-Elspeth Huxley
Out of Africa-Isak Dinesen

Sorry, much too long, but the titles just came pouring out...I didn't even have to think about it.

That's a long and impressive list, and I'd have to agree with many of your suggestions. But when it comes to the novels of Henry James, we'll have to agree to disagree. I found his writing to induce a state of trance from sheer boredom. But some of the others, such as Wuthering Heights, yes, I have to agree. Other books, I haven't read, but will look for some of them in my local library or bookstore. As for non-novels, I definitely agree about Out of Africa - still one of my favorite books.

I imagine one's list is shaped partly by circumstances of one's birth. I haven't read a lot of American novels - when I was in school, there was a definite trend in Canada to value European authors more. I suspect a younger person from Canada would know more about American fiction, as I believe it's taught more in our schools now. And there are a lot of really good Canadian authors who are probably unknown outside this country. And of course, after a lifetime of reading, one's list of treasured novels could change from day to day, as old favorites pop back into one's mind.

Angela
28-05-14, 15:00
That's a long and impressive list, and I'd have to agree with many of your suggestions. But when it comes to the novels of Henry James, we'll have to agree to disagree. I found his writing to induce a state of trance from sheer boredom. But some of the others, such as Wuthering Heights, yes, I have to agree. Other books, I haven't read, but will look for some of them in my local library or bookstore. As for non-novels, I definitely agree about Out of Africa - still one of my favorite books.

I imagine one's list is shaped partly by circumstances of one's birth. I haven't read a lot of American novels - when I was in school, there was a definite trend in Canada to value European authors more. I suspect a younger person from Canada would know more about American fiction, as I believe it's taught more in our schools now. And there are a lot of really good Canadian authors who are probably unknown outside this country. And of course, after a lifetime of reading, one's list of treasured novels could change from day to day, as old favorites pop back into one's mind.

Henry James has that effect on a lot of people. http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/grin.png I read him at university and had a hard time getting through the novels. It's only in the last couple of years that he's grown on me.

You're right; so much of this has to do with exposure. My high school English courses were a marvel when I compare them to what kids are assigned today. Then, I took a course in Victorian English literature, so that's where I learned to appreciate many of those novels. I also took a course in the literature of the American south, and I was hooked for life.

Then, there's my lifelong interest in Italian history, and, because of the stories on which I grew up, books about the war.

I was also blessed to live in a neighborhood with a lot of very "arts" oriented people who formed a book club years ago. We started with people's recommendations of their favorites, but then moved on to working from the national book awards lists from the U.S. and the U.K. One book a month, and it starts to add up. http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/smile.gif I just listed the ones that immediately came to mind...which reminds me...how could I have forgotten Angle of Repose, Stegner?

Btw, we do read Canadian authors, including the work of Alice Munro, and I admire her, but for whatever reason, her short stories don't "speak to my heart". I did like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace very much. I somehow missed Surfacing, but I'm going to pick it up.

Oh, and I like the "new" Canadians. Ondaatje is on my list, and Mistry's A Fine Balance should have definitely been on it. I loved that book.

Angela
28-05-14, 15:23
A Brief History of Time, S. Hawking

Juliette, Marquis de Sade (yes I know, "no good")

Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Worldly_Philosophers), R. Heilbroner

Elric of Melnibone, Michael Murcock

Zorba the Greek, Kazantzakis

The Last Temptation, Kazantzakis

I should have included both the Kazantzakis books on my list.

As for Madame Bovary, we'll have to agree to disagree, as Aberdeen said. I very much admire the craftsmanship of the novel, but I always found her too shallow, superficial, and materialistic. I didn't really care what happened to her. If she was bored by provincial life, why didn't she take up good works, or the life of the mind, instead of frittering away her life in meaningless affairs?

I have the same problem with Anna Karenina, the other great Victorian novel about a woman. In that case, perhaps it's because I don't understand a mother who is willing to lose her children over such a trivial man. I was itching to slap her face and tell her to "snap out of it", the whole time I was reading the book.:annoyed:

You are forgiven your taste for the books of Dan Brown so long as you don't believe they are accurate historically. :grin:

Aberdeen
28-05-14, 15:45
Henry James has that effect on a lot of people. http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/grin.png I read him at university and had a hard time getting through the novels. It's only in the last couple of years that he's grown on me.

You're right; so much of this has to do with exposure. My high school English courses were a marvel when I compare them to what kids are assigned today. Then, I took a course in Victorian English literature, so that's where I learned to appreciate many of those novels. I also took a course in the literature of the American south, and I was hooked for life.

Then, there's my lifelong interest in Italian history, and, because of the stories on which I grew up, books about the war.

I was also blessed to live in a neighborhood with a lot of very "arts" oriented people who formed a book club years ago. We started with people's recommendations of their favorites, but then moved on to working from the national book awards lists from the U.S. and the U.K. One book a month, and it starts to add up. http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/smile.gif I just listed the ones that immediately came to mind...which reminds me...how could I have forgotten Angle of Repose, Stegner?

Btw, we do read Canadian authors, including the work of Alice Munro, and I admire her, but for whatever reason, her short stories don't "speak to my heart". I did like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace very much. I somehow missed Surfacing, but I'm going to pick it up.

Oh, and I like the "new" Canadians. Ondaatje is on my list, and Mistry's A Fine Balance should have definitely been on it. I loved that book.

I love Alice Munro's books, precisely because they speak of a world I'm familiar with, especially in books like Dance of the Happy Shades, when she talks about the past. Her writing has been described as "Southwestern Ontario Gothic", and I think she speaks to me in the same way that William Faulker apparently speaks to some people from the southern U.S. He's one American writer I am familiar with, and I can see and admire his expertise, but I just don't connect with his writing. Whereas Munro's characters are like people I knew in my rural childhood - even if I don't always like them, I can understand them and predict what they'll do and why. But I do think that a truly great and immortal writer can make us feel at one with the characters in his or her story, even if they live in a world we can't necessarily imagine because it's too far outside our experience - I'm thinking of Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain. So perhaps Munro may not prove to be one of the immortals, and perhaps people in Serbia or China won't be reading her work 200 years from now. But if I had to pick one favorite author, it would be Alice Munro (or possibly Margaret Lawrence, who also captures some of that "Canadian Gothic" feel in her writing, despite setting her stories in a different part of the country). Whereas I don't connect with Ondaatje or Mistry at all, although I do admire them.

sparkey
28-05-14, 17:30
Henry James has that effect on a lot of people. http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/grin.png I read him at university and had a hard time getting through the novels. It's only in the last couple of years that he's grown on me.

What's the secret to enjoying anything by Henry James? I find his style unbearable. It's like he is constantly trying to make the reader reread his unnecessarily long and convoluted sentences.

Anyway, my favorite novel is probably The Monk by Matthew Lewis. Maybe that gives away the style I prefer.

ebAmerican
28-05-14, 19:36
When I have time for fiction - The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato. My wife laughs at my enjoyment of text books. Recently, I have read UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Great Myth of Britannia by Miles Russell, The Celts: A Very Short Introduction by Barry Cunliffe, and The Aegean from Bronze Age to Iron Age: Continuity and Change Between the Twelfth and Eighth Centuries BC by Oliver Dickinson.

Sile
28-05-14, 20:20
anything except fiction books

oriental
29-05-14, 01:04
I used to read a lot when I was a teenager. I loved Agatha Christie. I spent a week on Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind. I even read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, a lot of trash books and trash magazines, Alfred Newman, comics and a lot of non-fiction. Now I realize Ayn Rand is quite ignorant. As a teenager it was something strange to read almost a courtroom dialogue arguing about economics and socialism. That is what Randian literature is. Give me trash and or trash comics and I will read them. I used to read all the crime stuff too. A childhood friend's dad was a police officer and he had all those crime magazines which I used to look through. There were a lot weird stuff so now nothing fazes me. There was a story where a husband killed his wife by making pills from faeces and put them into her food. It seems faeces are poisonous and bitter. Sometimes I wonder if it could be true as eating that awful stuff would be detected by the taste unless she is a swallower. I know a lot of people just swallow their food. I know it is disgusting but that is me. I lived in a Dickensonian world so I am used to it.

Angela
29-05-14, 01:40
sparkey;432874]What's the secret to enjoying anything by Henry James? I find his style unbearable. It's like he is constantly trying to make the reader reread his unnecessarily long and convoluted sentences.


Patience? Lots of Caffeine? http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/smile.gif On the chance that the question is serious, I'd say start with short pieces from the "early" James, things like Washington Square, or The Turn of the Screw, which is a good ghost story. I enjoyed those even years ago.

As for the "later" James, in his masterpiece The Golden Bowl, for example, you can't read James as if you have to know the exact meaning of every clause. The suggestion is, and this is not original with me, to read it the way that you would look at an impressionist painting, just gliding along, almost skimming, and absorbing "feelings", "impressions", more than hard edged facts, until, voila, you arrive at the meaning, usually revealed through a brilliant bit of dialogue. Or, think of it like being swept along by a river of words. I'd also say read it in chunks so it has time to sink in. Anyway, if you put the effort in, you're rewarded. I don't know a single author who more deeply sees into the complexities of the psyche and the soul of human beings.

Or, you can cheat, and watch the movies.http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/grin.png There are good versions of Washington Square (the old one with Olivia DeHavilland is better) and The Turn of the Screw. There's even a good one of The Golden Bowl...best friend is sleeping with your husband, and has just married your very wealthy widowed father in order to stay close to your husband. How bad can it be?



Anyway, my favorite novel is probably The Monk by Matthew Lewis. Maybe that gives away the style I prefer.

Now there you surprised me.

Echetlaeus
29-05-14, 02:18
anything except fiction books

But most books are fiction. Do you mean that you only like historical and biographical books?

Echetlaeus
29-05-14, 02:20
I should have included both the Kazantzakis books on my list.

As for Madame Bovary, we'll have to agree to disagree, as Aberdeen said. I very much admire the craftsmanship of the novel, but I always found her too shallow, superficial, and materialistic. I didn't really care what happened to her. If she was bored by provincial life, why didn't she take up good works, or the life of the mind, instead of frittering away her life in meaningless affairs?

You are forgiven your taste for the books of Dan Brown so long as you don't believe they are accurate historically. :grin:

With madame Bovary, I think this is what the author wants to criticise.

I did not say that I consider Dan Brown as a supreme writer. Why do you say that broette?

Angela
29-05-14, 02:27
I love Alice Munro's books, precisely because they speak of a world I'm familiar with, especially in books like Dance of the Happy Shades, when she talks about the past. Her writing has been described as "Southwestern Ontario Gothic", and I think she speaks to me in the same way that William Faulker apparently speaks to some people from the southern U.S. He's one American writer I am familiar with, and I can see and admire his expertise, but I just don't connect with his writing. Whereas Munro's characters are like people I knew in my rural childhood - even if I don't always like them, I can understand them and predict what they'll do and why. But I do think that a truly great and immortal writer can make us feel at one with the characters in his or her story, even if they live in a world we can't necessarily imagine because it's too far outside our experience - I'm thinking of Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain. So perhaps Munro may not prove to be one of the immortals, and perhaps people in Serbia or China won't be reading her work 200 years from now. But if I had to pick one favorite author, it would be Alice Munro (or possibly Margaret Lawrence, who also captures some of that "Canadian Gothic" feel in her writing, despite setting her stories in a different part of the country). Whereas I don't connect with Ondaatje or Mistry at all, although I do admire them.

I understand what you're saying. I "get" Italian literature, or let's say that it "resonates" with me in a way that English language literature doesn't, but that doesn't mean that this vast body of literature can't move me very profoundly. (What I had to do years ago with literature written by the British and the Americans of a certain era was to turn off the voice in my head that constantly wanted to ask, why don't you just tell him or her, or touch him or her. )

What a specific piece has to do is speak to me about what I suppose I'd call "universal" themes depicted through characters with whom I can connect emotionally. A poetic sensibility, figurative language, is also very important to me. So, for example, although in America I am probably most "foreign" in the American south, the literature of "southern" writers (which I don't think is really regional at all) is the one with which I most deeply connect, and not just because of its excellence in terms of style, etc., but because it speaks to me about the burden of history, the scars of a war fought on one's own soil, the demands of family and culture and tradition, the power of communal narrative, the shifting sands of memory, all things that I understand. That, and they're just good stories, and if all that weren't enough, they deal, as no other literature of the world did, with the corrosive power of racial politics.

Likewise, while of all Ondaatje's work, I only really connect with The English Patient, which has very little to do with his ancestral roots, Mistry's A Fine Balance, while grounded in Indian culture and history, is very universal I think, and most importantly, for me, I absolutely love and admire the characters. So often, with books like Frantzen's The Corrections, for example, I find the characters so repugnant that only duty forces me to to finish them. I actually remember going to the book club meeting and saying, "I don't know how much I can contribute here, because I hated these people so much I can barely talk about them." Luckily almost everybody else had the same problem, so it was actually a good start for a discussion.:smile:

Ed. This reminds me...I really like The Kite Runner too.

And, I'm going to give Alice Munro another try, and not only because of your explanation of her work, but because they obviously don't give out Nobel Prizes for literature for nothing!

Angela
29-05-14, 03:26
But most books are fiction. Do you mean that you only like historical and biographical books?

I don't know that I'd say that most books are fiction, but the title of the thread is "favorite novels", and novels are fiction by definition. That doesn't make them necessarily less "true" than history or biography, however, in my opinion.

I agree with you that the author isn't holding Madame Bovary up as a model; it's just that I don't enjoy re-reading books about people I neither like nor admire. No offense was meant to the author and his amazing accomplishment. Favorite isn't always synonymous with greatest, or most influential. I listed Gone With The Wind, for example, which as literature isn't on the same level as many of the other books.

No offense was meant to you either, about the Dan Brown books. I was teasing, which apparently is difficult to convey in posts on a site like this.

Echetlaeus
29-05-14, 04:21
Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck.

Animal Farm, Orwell

The Trial, Kafka

The Little Prince, Saint-Exupery

The Name of the Rose, Eco

....

I did not hear any Brecht and Camus here so far ... I have not read them, but these names are very well known, don't you think?

Aberdeen
29-05-14, 14:06
Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck.

Animal Farm, Orwell

The Trial, Kafka

The Little Prince, Saint-Exupery

The Name of the Rose, Eco

....

I did not hear any Brecht and Camus here so far ... I have not read them, but these names are very well known, don't you think?


I forgot about The Little Prince. That's a great book.

I never liked Brecht - I always thought his writing was immature and confusing. And I've always thought that it's unwise to embrace a political philosophy with religious fevour. And while I recognize the intellectual ability of Camus, I don't agree with his philosophy of life. I don't think life is absurd or meaningless, I don't think that all search for spiritual meaning is escapist (although the blind acceptance of the religious status quo is) and I don't think life is best lived with the belief that it's meaningless. And I don't really like the characters in his writings - when I was reading The Stranger for the first time, I kept wanting to kick the protagonist and tell him to stop being an idiot. Whenever I've re-read the book, I found that I still had the same reaction. Is this the reaction that Camus wants us to have? No, I think Camus wants us to identify with the protagonist as someone lost in a confusing and meaningless world, and I don't see things that way.

julliana
27-02-15, 10:42
The Great Gatsby is my favorite novel that is written by an American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. In my opinon, it is a nice fiction novel!! Who read this novel?

Angela
27-02-15, 20:54
The Great Gatsby is my favorite novel that is written by an American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. In my opinon, it is a nice fiction novel!! Who read this novel?

Yes, I've read it. It was required reading in my American Literature of the 20th century course. Interesting that it's your favorite book...I've always thought of it as a sort of quintessentially American book...an American fable really.

Have you seen the latest film version? I thinks it's been done five times.

Oh, and welcome, by the way. :)

Aberdeen
27-02-15, 21:34
Yes, I've read it. It was required reading in my American Literature of the 20th century course. Interesting that it's your favorite book...I've always thought of it as a sort of quintessentially American book...an American fable really.

Have you seen the latest film version? I thinks it's been done five times.

Oh, and welcome, by the way. :)

I think you're right in regarding that book as being somehow quintessentially American. I tried to read it several times, but just didn't understand it. I think The Great Gatsby is just one of those artifacts that make English speaking Canadians say "They seem so much like us in some ways, and yet ...".

Angela
27-02-15, 22:40
I think you're right in regarding that book as being somehow quintessentially American. I tried to read it several times, but just didn't understand it. I think The Great Gatsby is just one of those artifacts that make English speaking Canadians say "They seem so much like us in some ways, and yet ...".

It really does have some insightful things to say about the "American dream" and what that means, and about some negative aspects of capitalism as it was developing, but while I think it's very well written in parts, I find that the characters are more "types" than fully rounded human beings (the characters' motivations are still opaque to me after reading it twice and seeing two film adaptations), and the symbolism is a bit heavy handed for my taste. That's why I called it a fable or a fairy tale. There are a lot of American critics who feel the same way, so perhaps Americans and English speaking Canadians aren't so far apart after all. :)

I'm probably more negative about his work than I should be because I know too much about Fitzgerald. A lot of sour grapes motivated that book because people he considered parvenus who were beneath him, or men who weren't as "cultivated" as he was made a whole lot more money than he did, and were a lot more successful. Also, the ideas for all his books, the "golden girl" character in all of them, and many of the events are just transcribed from his poor, mad wife's life. It's as if he consumed her...grist for the mill. The real woman wasn't given much care.

Of course, it can just be read and seen as a love story as well. It works much better on that level, in my opinion.

Ed. Oh, on your recommendation I read Alice Munro's Dance of the Happy Shades, and liked it very much. The setting and some of the behavior patterns may be different from those to which I'm accustomed, but it's a very universal story in many ways, and beautifully realized and written, in my opinion.

Dutch Michael Gilson
18-10-16, 21:32
Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens Great Expectations, Charles Dickens Hard Times,Victor Hugo Les Miserables, Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility.

StevenEvans
11-06-18, 13:20
My favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird, maube because I like main character and his quotes like https://freebooksummary.com/quotes-about-atticus-finch-82804 Check it!

Alcuin
11-06-18, 21:56
Tristram Shandy, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights & Gawain and the Green Knight

StevenEvans
24-07-18, 13:05
A Cry of Stone
by: Michael D. O' Brien

An edifying Catholic novel about a young Native American woman's life of vivacious charity and deep integrity as she deals with a variety of characters throughout her life from 1940-1973. Rose, the main character, is born into abject poverty on the Canadian prairies, abandoned by her parents immediately after her birth, suffers from severe scoliosis, raised by her frail grandmother, but due to the discerning eye of a motherly school teacher, discovers her precocious talent for drawing. Rose's artistic talent exposes her to the world's rapid social changes occurring throughout the 1960s. She maintains a strong, positive attitude in spite of the problems thrown into the plot from the self-involved people who enter and depart from her life. Her humped back, (caused by her severe scoliosis), and her child-like goodness cause some people to find her revolting while other people look at her with compassion. Thankfully all is not doom and gloom, Rose meets many people who, like herself, also possess a wise and unassuming spirit. These good and gentle people help her deal with her various struggles. Rose never allows self-pity to crush her spirit, but at the same time, she's not insipid. She does question why God allows her to suffer so much, but she believes that God sees the full picture while, even with her limited spiritual vision, she firmly trusts in His Providence. She deals with a continual, painful spiritual stripping in her life, but remains close to God in prayer. Her tender encounter with a little mute boy named Jimmy Doe in a special ward within a hospital for abandoned special needs children and adults brought a few tears of joy to my eyes as she (and I) were powerfully reminded of God's infinite love for His children. I was so impressed with this scene that I immediately read it aloud to my wife.

This is a character-driven novel and not a fast-paced plot-driven novel. It's over 800 pages, but I deeply enjoyed it. I have read many well-written books in my lifetime, but I have never gotten emotionally involved with any characters as I did with little Rose. I remember feeling slightly blue as the novel's denouement approached. I wanted Rose's global travels to continue thus allowing her to remind many people that they are tenderly and intimately loved by God. I re-read this book every couple of years. It always leaves my enlightened and reminded that there are no accidents with God. About it I write at my blog, check it (https://book-summary.net/)

Gabriele Pashaj
24-07-18, 15:04
1984 -George Orwell[emoji7]


Sent from my iPhone using Eupedia Forum (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89698)

kdm1984
09-08-18, 06:20
I tend toward the short story and poetry, but as far as novels go --

Tolstoy - War and Peace, Anna Karenina
Steinbeck - Grapes of Wrath
Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Hugo - Les Miserables

davef
09-08-18, 12:29
The Cat in the Hat

Wheal
09-08-18, 15:55
So many books, so hard to choose.

I liked the book London by Edward Rutherfurd. It's a Michener type novel about the development of London through the eyes of the descendants of one family.

And Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo (who was sued for plagarism but still is a good book)

StevenEvans
25-01-19, 15:04
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Carlos
25-01-19, 19:49
La colmena - Camilo José Cela
Crónica de una muerte anunciada - Gabriel García Márquez
El amante de lady Chatterley - David Herbert Lawrence
Los miserables - Víctor Hugo
La metamorfosis - Franz Kafka
Don Quijote de la Mancha. Miguel de Cervantes
Trópico de Cáncer. Henry Miller
La familia de Pascual Duarte - Camilo José Cela
Historia de O - Pauline Rèage
Eloísa está debajo de un almendro - Enrique Jardiel Poncela
El diario de Anne Frank - Anne Frank
Al Este del Edén - John Steinbeck
Claudio, el Dios y su esposa Messalina - Robert Graves
Yerma - Federico García Lorca
Platero y yo - Juan Ramón Jiménez
Crimen y castigo - Fiódor Dostoiesvski

(The titles are in Spanish because I read in Spanish, in English I imagine they will be the same)
So suddenly these would be my favorite among many others, highlighting as my most favorite: Crime and punishment

Archetype0ne
26-01-19, 00:39
Herman Hesse is definitively up there: Steppen Wolf, Damien (which you mentioned).

Coelho's the Alchemist is a very easy read, and feels much like a fable.

I would recommend existentialist novels, L'Etranger is a good start into the genre.

Also Kafka is a pretty engaging, yet draining to read. Would recommend his short stories, rather than jumping straight in the Metamorphosis.

If looking for classics Faust, The Iliad, Dante's Inferno, Paradise Lost in no particular order.

As for relatively underrated imo... with Stefan Cveig's novels you can rarely go wrong.

Carlos
26-01-19, 01:24
Esperando a Godot - Samuel Beckett
El Principito - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Edipo Rey - Sófocles
Fortunata y Jacinta - Benito Pérez Galdós
Cañas y Barro - Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
La Barraca - Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Un enemigo del pueblo - Henrik Ibsen
Juanita la larga - Juan Valera
El hechicero - Vladimir Nabokov
La ciudad y los perros - Mario Vargas Llosa

I have remembered these other titles.

Angela
26-01-19, 04:19
La colmena - Camilo José Cela
Crónica de una muerte anunciada - Gabriel García Márquez
El amante de lady Chatterley - David Herbert Lawrence
Los miserables - Víctor Hugo
La metamorfosis - Franz Kafka
Don Quijote de la Mancha. Miguel de Cervantes
Trópico de Cáncer. Henry Miller
La familia de Pascual Duarte - Camilo José Cela
Historia de O - Pauline Rèage
Eloísa está debajo de un almendro - Enrique Jardiel Poncela
El diario de Anne Frank - Anne Frank
Al Este del Edén - John Steinbeck
Claudio, el Dios y su esposa Messalina - Robert Graves
Yerma - Federico García Lorca
Platero y yo - Juan Ramón Jiménez
Crimen y castigo - Fiódor Dostoiesvski
(The titles are in Spanish because I read in Spanish, in English I imagine they will be the same)
So suddenly these would be my favorite among many others, highlighting as my most favorite: Crime and punishment

I've read and enjoyed the ones I highlighted, especially the Marquez and Crime and Punishment.
I'll put the others on my try list.:)

hrvclv
26-01-19, 19:17
To those of you voracious readers who might be getting tired of the "serious stuff", I recommend leafing through one of Tom Sharpe's novels.

Warning : some of the anecdotes can be crudely farcical (or just plain crude, for that matter). Do not expect anything "classical". His novels do not rank among any "top 100" list.

This said, the English itself is blithe, supple, rich, and unlike some of the contents, elegant. And, more importantly, it's hilarious, insane stuff!

I'd suggest The Throwback or Wilt as appetizers. Ever so British!!

Stuvanè
27-01-19, 18:13
I know that I am wronging many great authors - classical and otherwise - and their works.
This is an incomplete and personal list, but if I had to bring titles of the twentieth century literature that actually left me something important inside, I would definitely quote


Andrić, The Bridge on the Drina

Buzzati, A Love Affair

García Márquez, Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Eco, The Name of the Rose

Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

Márai, Embers

mitty
27-01-19, 22:15
The Possessed - Dostoevsky
War and Peace - Tolstoy
Crime And Punishment - Dostoevsky
The Way We live Now - Anthony Trollope
The Go Between - L.P. Hartley
The Return Of The Native - Thomas Hardy
The Falls - Joyce Carol Oates
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles
Far From The Madding Crowd- Thomas Hardy

Oxxy
24-04-19, 20:15
My list has become much more longer now! I adore Gatsby. Magic story about love. Sad but beautiful

25-04-19, 00:48
I've read and enjoyed many of the books on the lists above, and was pretentious enough as a teen to read the novels of Samuel Beckett. But recently I've been intrigued by the free content available on Kindle. This has allowed me to find and read many of the lesser novels of the 19th and early 20th century; London, Stevenson, Burroughs, Morris, Haggard, Marryat. While not great literature, I enjoy these because of the insight they give to their times. It is also interesting to imagine the reaction of a midwestern American boy to the strange adventures of a Tarzan, a Pimpernel, or a Bengal Lancer.

25-04-19, 01:02
Now, if I had the option of starting a new thread, it would be "Secret Sins," the trashy novels you love to read even though they're not great literature. I'm a ****** for naval topics so Patrick O'Brien is my sin. LOR is the sin I'd prefer my wife didn't know about (yes, she mocks me).

Angela
25-04-19, 04:00
Now, if I had the option of starting a new thread, it would be "Secret Sins," the trashy novels you love to read even though they're not great literature. I'm a ****** for naval topics so Patrick O'Brien is my sin. LOR is the sin I'd prefer my wife didn't know about (yes, she mocks me).

LOR isn't a literary sin. If that is then so are the Narnia Chronicles. :)

The "trashy" novels I like to read are detective stories/crime procedurals.

I like Elizabeth George, P.D. James, Tana French, Stieg Larson, Gianrico Carofiglio, Antonio Manzini, Andrea Camilleri

I also like historical fiction and spy novels of the LeCarre type.

27-04-19, 03:45
I love detective novels, especially the classics: Christie, Sayers, Ngaio Marsh. I love that their characters are so real, even Whimsey. Of course I've read all of Conan Doyle and the early detective fiction of Poe. I must admit I'm not much good at solving the mystery, though I have figured out that with Christie, it is almost always the least obvious character that did the deed.

lukah.izreal
07-11-19, 17:45
I love detective novels, especially the classics: Christie, Sayers, Ngaio Marsh. I love that their characters are so real, even Whimsey. Of course I've read all of Conan Doyle and the early detective fiction of Poe. I must admit I'm not much good at solving the mystery, though I have figured out that with Christie, it is almost always the least obvious character that did the deed.
Same here ) also like detectives. I'd add Akunin and his Fandorin's series. It's gorgeous!

07-11-19, 18:36
Same here ) also like detectives. I'd add Akunin and his Fandorin's series. It's gorgeous!

I should have mentioned Dick Francis. I've never found a book of his that failed to please (and there's so many to pick from!).