It’s National Novel Writing Month, and to celebrate/honor/sympathize, FBFFers are talking about books: their favorites or the ones they’ve read recently. These are the five I’ve gone through in the last few weeks:
1. “Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton. I just finished this last night, and while I really liked it, I’m glad I waited until now to read it. If I’d had to read it in high school, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much. It reminded me a lot of “The Great Gatsby,” which took me a couple years to learn to appreciate it. So, if you like “Great Gatsby,” you should give this a try. (Bonus: it was the first book by a female author to win a Pulitzer!)
2. “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman. If you like having your fond childhood daydreams destroyed by a disillusioned, ruthless, cynical reality, “The Magicians” is for you. It’s kind of like “Narnia” meets “Fight Club,” or “Harry Potter” meets “Catcher in the Rye.” If you’re interested in reality and existentialism and philosophy, you should give it a try, but don’t expect any Teen Titans happy-fun adventure times.
3. “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. This one I do wish I’d read in school because I could have seriously used the analysis. Reading this book was how I imagined reading Margaret Atwood would be: lyrical, mysterious, and with the constant sense that something awful was going on just under the surface. Atwood doesn’t do much to hide the awful. “Never Let Me Go” had its flaws – specifically tendency to “flash forward” annoyingly often – but overall it was a beautifully-written story.
4. “The Twentieth Wife” by Indu Sundaresan. Epic sweeping drawn-out romance set in the tremendously wealthy Mughal empire. Add a dash of feminism and early Portuguese colonization (and no first-person narrator) and you have yourself a good story.
5. “You Know When The Men Are Gone” by Siobhan Fallon. This collection of short stories set on an army base isn’t anything spectacular, but it still gives an interesting peek into the complexities of army life.
Et vous? What’s on your nightstand? See the other FBFF responses here!