Last week, I received a request (via comment box, yes) asking me to list down some of my personal book recommendations that I think everyone should read. I haven’t been much into reading lately since I’m still oscillating between the demands of grad school and the large pile of work that needs to be done in time. Right now, I’m currently reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes From Underground – a very difficult novel, something that requires a higher sensibility, of which I cannot fully give this time around. So my reading pace lately is slow and halting, but only because I want to experience what Dostoyevsky probably wanted me to experience as well – to eclipse into “the underground” and to look into myself, in a very existentialist manner. A little bit scary, but most of the time enlightening.
Truth to be told, I have so much books to recommend! But I’ll try to limit the list to a three, a list that constitutes some of my personal favorites. Of course, I threw in some of the reasons why.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Even William Faulkner said this novel was the best book ever written ever. If I have to think about my most favorite novel then I wouldn’t have any second thought of choosing this one. You probably have read hundreds of reviews about this novel but what I like best about it is that it is both an “external and internal narrative”. A lot of people find this book too difficult to read. Much of this “inaccessibility” is because the prose requires a lot of thinking while reading it.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Lately, I’m too engrossed with the sixties culture and I was recently introduced to Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. I’ve never read a prose anything like this one – it’s erratic and very beat; it’s the rhythm of everyday life pulsating through you. Which is a good thing by the way. I found it hard to get through the book on the outset; I wasn’t used to this kind of prose style as I spent much of my time reading the sophisticated and refined prose styles of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Yates, Vladimir Nabokov, etc. Kerouac’s prose was something new for me but once I got the hang of it, it was liberating. He was a prolific speed freak in his words but on an everyday basis, aren’t we all?
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
This is not your average romance novel although the subject is very much cliched in both in literature and film: a marriage gone sour. But Richard Yates has a different approach to presenting this subject and this is why I consider his Revolutionary Road the quintessential marriage novel. Yates is very subtle when it comes to dealing with emotions. This is not an ordinary, murky romance novel – this is life.
It’s been a long time since I didn’t get in touch with this blog, mainly because I was busy this summer. Even without summer classes, I’m pouring over stacks of books this summer. Lol. Not for academic purposes or so, just chillax.
I’m reading many books one after the other, as I’m easily bored concentrating on one book. Most of my books are collections of short stories, and some novels. I prefer not to read too many novels this summer because I’m prone to middle-of-the-book blues, or what you call midnovel blues. You know, when the enthusiasm with which you started out reading a book has evaporated. Most of the readers I know feel that.
Before I’d share what books I’m reading this summer I would like to share first my top four books that I’ve ever read. That’s as of the moment, as I’m constantly reading both the classics and the contemporary pieces. So here it is guys. I need suggestions of what books that I should read 😉
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – you gotta read this. This novel is kinda heavy for me, but you’d like it anyway. Tolstoy is a good writer, nevertheless.
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – one of the most highly criticized book I’ve ever known, but it’s an excellent read. Nabokov’s language is the best there is.
- The HP Series – nothing beats the exciting series of Harry Potter for young readers like me.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I first read it when I was in high school because my sister keeps on nagging me to read it, but I didn’t manage to finish it back then. When I read it again in my British Literature class, I was so delighted because the novel is SUPERB! (So I guess it takes time to comprehend the complexities of Heathcliff and Catherine – and a little maturity too!)
And so these are the books I’m reading as of the moment, and I hope that in anytime now, you’ll read it too.
- The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (novel)
- World’s Enough and Time by Dan Simmons (short stories/novella)
- In a House of Dreams and Glass by Robert Klitzman MD
- Prize Stories: O. Henry Awards 1985 (short stories)
- Azur Like It by Wendy Holden (novel)
- Vanilla Bright Like Eminem by Michel Faber (short stories)
- Germ by Robert Liparulo (novel)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel)
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish the whole bunch this summer, but it’s still good to know that you have the whole lifetime to read it anyway. XOXO
Posted in current waves
- Tagged anna karenina, azur like it, dan simmons, emily bronte, germ, Harry Potter, in a house of dreams and glass by robert klitzman, JK Rowling, leo tolstoy, lolia, michel faber, midnovel blues, must-read, Nathaniel hawthorne, novels, o. henry awards, prize stories, robert liparulo, short stories, summer 2009, summer books, the house of the seven gables, vanilla bright like eminem, vladimir nabokov, wnedy holden, world's enough and time, wuthering heights