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Saturday, 6 February 2010

Favourite Books.....

Saw that some of my fellow bloggers had listed their favourite books. It may be my turn....

1. Emile Zola's L'assomoir....a gritty tale of realism about a laundry woman living in a poor district of 19th century Paris, worn down by the men in her life and their respective addictions to alcohol, money, philandering etc....a tale of losers, tragedy. 'Germinal' is also a good read.

2. Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, the story of decadence in the late Russian empire and the saintly Mishkin, who has a big heart and incredible kindness people mistake for weakness. Most touching is the tale of the woman he falls in love with, the crazy Nastasya who is as troubled as I can be....feeling the void, with a severe self esteem problem. Mishkin loves her.....but she falls for the bad guys.

3. The Devils or The Demons by the same author....interesting story about a particular brand of leftist or anarchist who claims to want to put the world to rights but is more interested in his own ego....I have come accross those types.

4. As far as modern epics go you can't beat Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.....Does for 80s New York what Dickens did for Victorian London, they rarely make novels like that any more.

5. Wuthering Heights.....who can resist a ghost story with the extra ingredient of romance added.

6. Can't name a particular favourite....but you can't beat Jane Austen for documenting the lifestyles of the wealthy and middle classes in early 19th century England. Social comedy which exposed well their hypocrisy and pretensions.

7. Middlemarch by George Eliot, a great epic with so many layers, deep and colourful characters and a great description of middle class life in semi rural England not long after Austen.

8. Anything by Thomas Hardy, I love the descriptiveness of rural life.....even makes me nostalgic for times life appeared simpler...although deep down I know lives must have been hard for most people then.

9. Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hugh Selby Junior.....a steamy tale of life in a Brooklyn ghetto in the 1950s, not for the faint hearted, graphic scenes and all, written in beat style prose. A great read, telling of the consequences of poverty on people's lives. 'The Willow Tree' is another great read, a tale exploring the issues of racism and the hatred it causes.... by the same author.

10. Thackery's 'Vanity Fair' - another great 19th century social satire and commentary.

11. TC Boyle's 'Drop City' - an American realist writer who documents a hippy commune who decamped to Alaska.....and how it all went wrong. Tortilla Curtain by the same author is another good bet....concerns the issue of Mexican migration to the US for cheap labour.

12. And how could I possibly have forgotten John Steinbeck? It is hard for me to decide which one to go for......'Grapes of Wrath' or 'East of Eden' as they are both wonderful epics......

13. Last but not least the fantasy novels I have enjoyed and loved....Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' is a whole world within the pages. Stephen Donaldson's novels get top marks also, and I was a fan of Terry Pratchett a while ago.

14. As for non fiction....nothing beats for me reading the psychodynamics of Freud, Jung, or others within that movement.....Check Melanie Klein, Rd Laing etc. Also I love Camille Paglia, and other feminist lit of an alternative stripe....Elizabeth Wurtzal's 'Bitch' is a classic of modern feminism.....'In praise of difficult women' lol.

Sadly my issues have caused me to lack concentration lately......so I haven't been reading as much as I once did....but I will start again, it is one other way to escape apart from drugs......A broken heart needs solace. I've felt at times my life is over........but it won't be. No man is worth dying for, tears have been enough....it is time to start repairing my life and be the person I want to be, with no unsolicited 'help' from abusive men....Don't think it is because of the drugs....they are not to blame. My problem is being to ready to accept abuse from men who claim to love me one day and hate me the next. I need time alone, as seeing him even just brings it all back......

5 comments:

  1. Ooh yeah, some nice titles you have there girl...especially Hubert Selby. I used to, and still do like his abrasive, take no prisoners approach to writing.
    When I was younger I was a big fan of Dostoyevsky (from what I could understand) and have revisited his stuff recently, The Idiot shining a big light on me.
    I'm probably preaching to the converted but I found great solace in reading Kafka's The Trial, about a man arrested and executed for something he knows nothing about. The crime he commits is never mentioned.I know I certainly feel like that at times.
    Keep up the writing, I am fast becoming a huge fan of yours. I trust things work out for you...

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  2. The Idiot is fucking beautiful...and may I suggest to you, based on your life, music taste, and what "moves" you, "Please Kill Me" By Legs McNiel. I got through it in half a day...it's so entertaining and free-flowing you can read it while you're totally pissed.

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  3. I've lost or sold my old college paperback copy of Germinal. Had always meant to read it. Very plain green and white printed cover. No gloss.

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  4. I will check that out, mainlining, thanks.

    Also forgot to mention The Trial, Dan....indeed I feel that way too at times...

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  5. Nice list you have there, Snow Queen. A couple of you titles are on my list too; The Idiot and Grapes of Wrath. And, yes, The Trial is a great book. The fun of reading great books is to read the thoughts of all these weird minds. Typically, books I like present non-trivial thinking; the trivial thinking, I can do myself.

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