What's a book I should be embarrassed not to have read yet?

What book do you recommend I read next? What book should I have already read??

I’m not sure whether I’d say ‘embarrassed’ not to have yet read, because there are only so many hours a day in anyone’s life, but I read a book by Alice Hoffman several year’s ago called Property Of which was a very ugly topic (drugs, gangs, etc), but such beautiful, poetic prose that I ended up loving the book. Recently I started reading another of her books: Practical Magic. Whilst I have seen the film of this book, I chose to read it to savour the language. I have not been disappointed. Her voice is incredible, but I can’t pinpoint exactly how she makes her language so fluid. For me personally, I will probably work through the remainder of her reasonably extensive repetoire both for the pure enjoyment of her stories, and also to garner a better understanding of how she uses language.

So there is my recommendation for you: anything by Alice Hoffman.

3 Likes

I hope play scripts can be classified as books. Anything written by Christopher Fry. He’s humane, deeply observant, and gently humorous. I’ve returned to his writings in these strange times, just to get some reassurance that we don’t have to scream to get our point across. Special mentions: A Phoenix Too Frequent; The Lady’s Not For Burning; The Dark is Light Enough.

2 Likes

Interesting! I will read.

2 Likes

I love that sort of book, where the style is lovely and yet not too showy.

2 Likes

This was the first play I directed (2007) and costumed, Daniel. Great cast. My husband designed the set and a dear friend and artist created the Attic-style urn and drinking vessels which still have pride of place on a top shelf in our sitting room. Great memories from start to finish.

2 Likes

I love The Lady’s Not For Burning. It’s one of my favorite plays. Definitely worth rereading.

2 Likes

I need to check it out!

1 Like

I have yet to finish, “Moby Dick”. Required reading 11th grade senior lit. Calvin Hanrahan. We turned his attentions to James Joyce and “Ulysses”. The man thought we were champions unto the literary world.

3 Likes

Ugh - “Moby Dick”! Yes, I had to read it for 11th grade senior lit and hated every minute, sadly. I’m now much older (dare I say, four decades later) and I still remember with horror the need to read that book. Fifty odd pages of a description of sperm whales and their uses still makes me recoil.

Having said all that, I’ve met so many people over the years who loved the book. And it is a classic, after all, but if we had no differences in tastes it would be a very boring world. I’d add, however, that I loved the rest of that class, so it was only one book of many that I could not relate well to.

5 Likes

For me, the absolute requirement is to skip all the “whale facts” chapters. Then the book is much shorter and the genuinely terrific writing becomes easiest to absorb.

6 Likes

Perhaps that’s what I should have done, and maybe one day will re-read (minus the whale facts chapters), but we analysed it to death too, which probably didn’t help. I stil recall being told that the three masts represented the holy trinity and other similar analogies. It didn’t “do” it for me. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But don’t let me put others off. You’ve got to make up your own mind on such important contributions to the literary universe.

1 Like

My mother loved the book. At her encouragement, I tried my best to read it, but I only made it about halfway. I kept getting bogged down with too much information or else my mind would start to wander and I’d lose track of what was going on. I doubt I’ll ever try again.

3 Likes

I mentioned having bought the Kindle (via Amazon) version of Rachel Aaron’s book ‘2k to 10k - Writing Better, Writing Faster’ - in the Facebook group. I hope this is where you suggested I might repeat that post, Daniel.

2 Likes

Michael Ende’s Momo.

1 Like

Chapter 133 seems cherry.

1 Like

Her writing style as described in your post was enough for me - and I’ve just bought two of her books, Kas. :nerd_face:

1 Like

@Lita Which two did you go for? I’m still reading Practical Magic at present (very different, so far, from the filmed version) and thoroughly enjoying it when I get the chance to read, but she has written quite a few, so I’d be interested in your view once you’ve read it/them.

1 Like

I am embarrassed to say that I struggle to read some of those old British classics. I know they are supposed to be good because they portray the era the author lived in but many are so sordid and depressing. I find DH Lawrence particularly difficult.
An new author I did enjoy reading was Diane Setterfield. I loved the writing of the ‘13th Tale’ and the initial idea but wasn’t so sure about the plot, in the end. I also liked ‘once upon a river’ which was similarly told in a very interesting way.

1 Like

Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic, Kas. I’ll post my review/s here once I’ve read them. :nerd_face:

3 Likes