Saturday, November 30, 2013

Classic Book Recommendations

Currently Reading: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

So I’ve really struggled with this last post for Nine New November Novel ‘Ntries. It’s not that I don’t have books that I’ve finished and need to write about. In fact, I still have two to write about in order to be caught up. The problem is that the next book I completed after Death of a Salesman was Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was an incredible book and I just don’t feel like I’ve had enough time to digest all my thoughts about it and thus be able to do it justice in a post. So I’ve decided to hold off on that post until I can properly put all of my thoughts in order.

Plus, my best friend from college is coming to visit me today and, therefore, I have a limited amount of time to complete this post and with it my goal for the month.

So I’m slightly copping out and doing another book recommendations post. But with a twist.

As of today, I’ve read 27 of the books on my list of classics. I’m sure that I’ve been pretty clear about which ones I did and didn’t enjoy, but I’m not sure it’s been clear which ones I have enjoyed the most and believe you should read. So today, I’m going to give you book recommendations from my Reading List. As always, descriptions come from the backs of the covers when available.

WARNING: My blog posts about these novels most likely contain spoilers. I would love to know your opinions of the books once you’ve finished, but if you intend to read them, it’s probably better to save my posts for after.

“He’s a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the ward of a mental hospital and takes over …

He’s a lusty, profane, life-loving fighter who rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Big Nurse. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women. At every turn, he openly defies her rule.

The contest starts as sport (with McMurphy taking bets on the outcome) but soon it develops into a grim struggle for the minds and hearts of the men, into an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Big Nurse, backed by the full power of authority … McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will.”

“Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
            Together, this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.
            Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars!”

“At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. From their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of this new America, Steinbeck creates a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and morale vision, tragic but ultimately stirring in its insistence on human dignity.”

And now I've technically completed this goal for November!

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