To become a betterer, more literate-er person

To become a betterer, more literate-er person

books not tvHere’s my list of carefully thought out REALLY GREAT BOOKS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, THEY’RE QUITE LOVELY WHY NOT GIVE THEM A TRY?

1. BEACH MUSIC ~ Pat Conroy

beach music pat conroyThis is a deeply moving, beautifully written novel. The characters are so real and the plot so intrinsically thought out that it feels like real life; an autobiography of a particularly interesting nature.

Based in both South Carolina and Italy, Jack has moved away from his destructive family and family-in-law to try to raise his young daughter without their influence in Italy, after a family tragedy. But the past has a way of pulling you in…

2. THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR ~ Jean M. Auel

clan of the cave bearThis fascinating and well-researched book is set in the Ice Age, during the dawn of humankind. A young homo sapiens (90% sure she is anyway!) named Ayla is separated from her family during a pre-historic earthquake, and is adopted by a Neanderthal family. Fiction with just enough historic accuracy to be interesting.

3. EAST OF EDEN ~ John Steinbeck

east of edenI had my first literary crush while reading this book. Cal OWNS dark and broody with deep issues about stuff. Push your way through the loooooooong description of scenery in the beginning (I found it beautiful; my brother, boring) because the characters and plot are enthralling.

4. REBECCA ~ Daphne du Maurier

rebecca by daphne du maurier

We never learn the main character’s name, but we do know the name of her husband’s deceased wife and her rival: Rebecca. Rebecca, who haunts the halls of Manderley Place; Rebecca, who’s name is on every servant’s lips; Rebecca, that every neighbour loved; Rebecca – her husband’s only true love? But no, my dear, this story is much darker than that…

“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

TIP:

PJ O'ROURKE QUOTES
That's why I made this handy list for you guys!

5. THE WRONG BOY ~ Willy Russell

This book is both hilarious and tragic. To quote Bernard Black from the British TV show ‘Black Books’: “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll change your life!”

Raymond Marks is hitch-hiking across the UK; a last-ditch attempt at adventure before starting his new job as a construction worker. The entire novel is composed of letters to Morrisey from The Smiths.

“There were times I could really have murdered her/ But you know I would hate anything to happen to her/ No I don’t want to see her…”

Though I normally hate the letter format in novels, this works very well. It intertwines the present and past beautifully and dramatically. Light, but moving.

6. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE ~ Jane Austen

pride and prejudice
I know this image is from the movie, but it still makes my heart melt into a puddle of glazed pink.

Three words: beautiful, romantic, Jane Austen. MUST READ!

7. CATCH-22 ~ Joseph Heller

catch 22Many people have tried, and failed, to read Catch-22.

Granted, it gets pretty confusing. The narrative switches between both characters AND times  during World War II. But it’s well worth giving a bash. The characters and situations are funny; thought often the war and the events in it are not.

This is where the term Catch-22 came from – damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

 

 

 

That’s enough for now… Will write about the other eight at a later date (haha! That rhymes!)

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4 thoughts on “To become a betterer, more literate-er person

  1. I’ve read four of these! Clan of the Cave Bear and East of Eden is on my list though. Never heard of The Wrong Boy.

    Does this make me acceptable?? I love lists like this…thanks Sam!

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