This week, the Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie. We each get to decide which theme we want to write about. I’ve decided to make a Top Ten list of books that I want to reread – mostly books that are so complex that they need to be read more than once to get the most out of them. As usual, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and here are my list for this week.
Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace. Come on – does anyone really expect that you can grasp everything that is War and Peace by reading it just once? Not going to happen! I loved it when I read it – and I know I want to research a bit more about Napoleon’s France and his wars before reading it again. But it is an amazing book – which has the huge amount of sidestories in common with the next book on my list.
Victor Hugo: Les Misérables. I’m reading Les Misérables right now and even though I still have about 400 pages to go, I can say with complete conviction that this book deserves – and needs – to be read more than once. The main story of Jean Valjean and Colette is easy enough to follow and really draws you in and keeps your attention, but the book is so much more and this more is what demands more readings because you sometimes have a tendency to read rather quickly to get back to Colette and Jean Valjean and find out what happens with them.
Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses. I so didn’t get this book the first time I read it. I read it through, I googled stuff and understood more – but I didn’t get this book. I think it was a combination of not having read a lot of magical realism, not having read anything else by Rushdie and not knowing enough about Islam. I have read more magical realism now, I have read Rushdie and plan on reading more and I do know more about Islam now and will probably brush up on my knowledge before attempting to read this book again. It’s a book I really want to understand and like because of the consequences it had.
Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov. Another Russian novel. I think I just need to come to terms with the fact that these classic Russian novels need to be read more than once. This is also a really great novel – and I thoroughly enjoyed it while reading it – and I need to read it again…!
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights. The reason for adding this to my list is mainly that I was underwhelmed by it. Before reading it I had heard so much good about it – and maybe that’s what somewhat ruined my experience of it. However, after reading it, I’ve again heard and read so much about it that I’m pretty sure that I will like it better if I give it another chance. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Harry Mulisch: The Discovery of Heaven. This is another of those books that just has much in it on top of a brilliant story so you just have to read it again. It’s by a Dutch author and it talks about friendship, religion, art, philosophy, WWII and so much more – and it’s amazing! Definitely worth a reread!
George Elliot: Middlemarch. Big and wonderful, I really loved this novel when I read it. But I can’t quite articulate why I loved it so
Georges Perec: Life – a User’s Manual. I recommend this book every chance I get – even though I strongly believe it’s not for everyone. Perec was a very experimenting author and this novel is no exception. Set in a block in Paris, we follow the lives and deaths of the people living here – there’s no real forward moving story, except maybe for this one guy who paints pictures, get them made into puzzles, put them together and then has them destroyed… It sounds weird, but it’s fascinating and wonderful.
Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. A huge and impressive first novel filled with lots and lots of footnotes – and fairies! So another book about Napoleon warfare among other things. From the British point of view, though. I think it would be hugely beneficial to sit down and study up on Napoleon and his France and then read War and Peace, Les Misérables and this book – even though this as a alternate history/fantasy novel is hugely different from the other two. I love how the English use magicians to help them fight their wars and how you can see the same historical fact from very different ways, depending on whether you are Victor Hugo or Susanna Clarke!
John Irving: The World According to Garp. Yes, I know. This falls somewhat outside the scope of my list but it’s my favorite novel and I’ve read it over and over and I still love it and enjoy each reread. So just go read it 🙂
So this week, we each get to decide on what genre we want to highlight ten favorite authors from. One of my favorite genres is fantasy. But even though that is so, I find it hard to
As usual, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. And did I mention this is the fifth week in a row I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday. And there are a lot of us, check out The Broke and the Bookish blog to see the links to the other participant’s blogs.
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman: Weiss & Hickman introduced me to fantasy as an adult. Their DragonLance books are a great series of light fantasy with some great characters. This group of heroes – Tanis, Goldmoon, Riversong, Raistlin, CameronTas, Flint, Tika, Laurana – are wonderful and I love them. Chronicles
Adrian Tchaikovsky: Tchaikovsky has taken a very normal fantasy theme – the unlikely heroes banding together against the big bad – and turned it into something new and exciting by creating insect kinden. Basically, various groups of people resemble various types of insects.
Phil Pullman: I loved His Dark Materials. I thought it was both exciting and intelligent – and I so badly wanted my own dæmon!
J.K. Rowling: Well, of course you can’t make a list of fantasy authors without mentioning Rowling and the Harry Potter series.
J.R.R. Tolkien:Lord of the Rings – need I say more?
Douglas Adams:The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was one of my favorite books as a young teenager and I also liked the Dirk Gentry books. I really want to reread Hitchhiker!
Jasper Fforde: Literary fantasy – in the sense, that this fantasy involves literature. Thursday Next is a literary detective solving literary issues – that sometimes do involve traveling in books.
Susanna Clarke: I wish Clarke would write more books. I loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I haven’t read The Ladies of Grace Adieu yet because I’m not that much into short stories but I will read it and I really hope she will publish another novel real soon.
Neil Gaiman: Even though I so so so need to read more of Neil Gaiman’s works but I love The Graveyard Book, the Sandman and Death series. I plan on reading American Gods and Neverwhere very soon.
Making this list has made me realize, that I have to read more fantasy. I feel so behind – there is so much fantasy I want to read, on top of the list authors like George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and Robin Hobb.
So what if you had been Robinson Crusoe and was stranded on that island – or any island (not the one from Lost though) – which books would you bring? If you should choose a small number of books and those were the only books you had to read for maybe the rest of your life or at least for a very, very long time.
You have food enough and enough to drink, there’s a comfy chair as well as a comfy beach chair, but your only company is your books. So which books would you choose? Don’t choose lightly – this is your only chance.
I really wanted to limit myself to 5 titles but when I first got started, I couldn’t limit myself to just 5. I figure, I’m a fast reader – I need more than 5 books to sustain myself on on this beautiful island. So there – my list of 10 books to bring on a desert island.
John Irving: The World According to Garp. This is my favorite, favorite book. I love this book. Even though I’ve already read it a lot of times, I still want to read it again. And again.
Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace. Well, one thing this has going for it, is it’s length. I’ve already read it once and I will really much like to read it again. And since there’s so much going on in it, I will most likely need to read it several times.
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. I’ve only read it once but I loved it and I loved the movies. So definitely want to spend some time reading this.
Georges Perec: Life – A User’s Manual. I don’t think many know about this book and it’s a shame. It’s a weird book – all about the people living in the same apartment building. It’s amazing and I loved it.
Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past. I’ve read Swann’s Way 1 and liked it. I think if I was stranded on a island for a long time, I would get the whole thing read.
Joyce Carol Oates: Blonde. Joyce Carol Oates is one of my favorite authors and this was the first book I read by her. And I loved it. I really want to re-read it and a desert island is perfect place to spend reading about the life of Marilyn Monroe.
James Joyce: Ulysses. Oh yeah, I’m serious. I want to read this. I have never read it but what better thing to do on an island than to try and tackle Joyce? And on that note …
James Joyce: Finnegan’s Wake. Yeah, I’m still serious. I want to read Joyce!
Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore. Another spot taken by one of my favorite authors. I loved this novel and so far, it’s my favorite book by Murakami.
Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I read this once, loved it. I really want to read it again – great book with awesome footnotes.