Reading the Classics: A Top Ten List

Classics have gotten a bit of a bad reputation (feel free to hum “I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation…”). They are often referred to as boring, stuffy, and hard to understand. This can be true, for me it’s  books like Ulysses and Moby Dick. The first I find hard to understand (stillContinue reading “Reading the Classics: A Top Ten List”

In Love by Alfred Hayes

Although there are great novelists in every era, the 1950’s had more than its fair share. Steinbeck, Kerouac, Bradbury, and the egocentric Mailer (who I’ll forever remember as the man who can’t say fuck) had all recently published novels that would become highlights of their careers – East of Eden, On the Road, Fahrenheit 451,Continue reading “In Love by Alfred Hayes”

A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter

From Goodreads: “As nearly perfect as any American fiction I know,” is how Reynolds Price (The New York Times) described this classic that has been a favorite of readers, both here and in Europe, for almost forty years. Set in provincial France in the 1960s, it is the intensely carnal story–part shocking reality, part feverishContinue reading “A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter”

Backlist fiction: Ten books to remember

This week’s top ten list: backlist fiction (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). These are books that run from a few to several years old. They tend to get lost in the mix of new releases and popular classics. It’s worth noting that I included only one Stephen King and one John IrvingContinue reading “Backlist fiction: Ten books to remember”

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, based on other reviews I have already read, seems to be quite a polarizing book (everyone seemed to love it or be profoundly disappointed in it – with descriptors like “hideously irritating”, “overwritten”, and “pretentious”). I must admit I was a little bit nervous going into it, but IContinue reading “The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides”