Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pleas of a Literature Major

I've fallen into a literary rut.

For the last several days, I've been skipping from book to book-- from Dan Brown to Margaret Atwood to Salman Rushdie. I read the first couple pages, then my mind floats away from the words on the page. One minute Gibreel and Chamcha are plummeting to earth; the next minute I'm thinking really hard about how nice a turkey sandwich would taste.

I'm currently deep into The Last Jew by Noah Gordon, a novel about the Spanish Inquisition. The dialogue is entertaining, the characters are well-rounded, and the topic is interesting. However, though these are the required criteria to make it on my reading list, I don't know how long this book is going to last. I've been too unpredictable to judge.

Personally, I believe the problem is that I no longer have an assigned reading list compiled by a herd of professors. During the long haul of the school year, I scour the great works of literature required in class, all the while dreaming of the other books that really wanted to read. But now I have the free time and, well, I've read all the books that I had dreamed about during the year. What now?

Dear readers and lurkers, please give me some reading recommendations. Classics, summer reading, bestsellers-- it doesn't matter. Is there a book that stuck in your mind? Made you think? Made you laugh? Made you cry? Tell me about it.

Seriously. Tell me about it.

Because I may soon end up bringing cheesy romance novels to my brother's soccer games, which would be awwwwkward.



  1. If you haven't read him yet, try something by Haruki Murakami. I really dug The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. He was described as Phillip K. Dick with a sense of humor. How could I resist?

  2. Speaking of Philip K. Dick, you should check out the Man in the High Castle. Although, it might be too slow in the beginning for you to keep reading it. Other books I always recommend are anything by Herman Wouk, The Ender books by Orson Scott Card (they are basically 7th grade level sci-fi but they are pretty good) and the Rule of Four.

    I usually have a few books going at once, right now I am trying to read As A Driven Leaf but its taking me forever.

  3. My absolute favorite is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It is the greatest novel ever. :) For some people it takes a few pages to get used to the style, but it is certainly worth it. Such wit!

  4. If you haven't read Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, I would definitely suggest that. It's a book of short stories, and her novel The Namesake is also excellent.

    The Time Traveller's Wife? The Kite Runner? Middlesex? All are also good, contemporary bets if you haven't read them yet.

  5. Mad- Haruki Marakami. Got it. :)

    Leaf- I love Herman Wouk books. I should really re-read them.

    Lady Jane- Oooh, you know, I've never read Pride and Prejudice , but I've enjoyed other works by Austen. Thank you for bring that up.

    Eli7- I've read the three contemporary novels you listed and loved all of them. You have good taste. ;)

    Thank you all for the comments!