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Thread: Favorite Novels

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    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 ...".

  2. #27
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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    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.


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    Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens Great Expectations, Charles Dickens Hard Times,Victor Hugo Les Miserables, Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility.

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    My favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird, maube because I like main character and his quotes like https://freebooksummary.com/quotes-a...us-finch-82804 Check it!

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    Tristram Shandy, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights & Gawain and the Green Knight

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    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

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    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

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    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)

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    check this website

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    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

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    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.
    “Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, and at the same time that indestructible something as well as his trust in it may remain permanently concealed from him.”

    Franz Kafka

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    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.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
    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.:)

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    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!!
    It is therefore worth while to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent and moderate our persuasion. (John Locke)

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    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



  18. #43
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    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

  19. #44
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    My list has become much more longer now! I adore Gatsby. Magic story about love. Sad but beautiful

  20. #45
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    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.

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    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).

  22. #47
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Angela; 25-04-19 at 06:17.

  23. #48
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    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.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukah.izreal View Post
    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!).

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