This week sees the third instalment in my series of posts devoted to books for different moods. Here are more 7 books for 7 more moods/states of mind. Click on the links to read my reviews.
Feel like a break from the traditional novel format?
Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
Rant is the oral history of Buster ‘Rant’ Casey, recounted by an array of people, including his relations, friends, enemies and lovers. It adroitly challenges our own traditions by demonstrating how we contort our recollection of events in accordance with our desires and beliefs. Click here to read my review.
My Opinion: Thought-provoking but convoluted.
If you are in the mood to read something with a psychological theme and haven’t read it already you might like:
Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar is about protagonist Esther’s year in the ‘bell jar’, a period in which the boundaries between the real and the imagined become blurred. This humorous and disturbing semi-autobiographical novel provides an insight into an emotionally disturbed mind. Click here to read my review.
My Opinion: Very good
Are you in the mood to be challenged? Then look no further than:
August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Set in the years leading up to The Russian Revolution, August 1914 is an eight hundred plus page history novel that blends fact and fiction. Its dense prose, excruciating detail and challenging vicarious approach will deter many. Click here to read my review.
My Opinion: A challenging and presumptuous text with a didactic tone.
Want to read a classic by an author you have not read before? Well perhaps you have read it already, but if not might I suggest:
The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth
The story follows three generations of the Trottas, a Slovenian family living on the periphery of the empire. Widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth-century, this wistful and enchanting book is in essence a meditation on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Click here to read my review.
My Opinion: The best ‘classic’ I have read.
In the mood to read something poignant, but haven’t got much time then look no further than:
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck’s novella is about a destitute Mexican pearl diver who finds an incredibly rare and valuable pearl. The author employs a simple yet captivating prose to explore the darker side of human nature, and to illustrate how riches can be illusory. Click here to read my review.
My Opinion: Poignant
Feel like swapping reality for a dystopia? If so how about:
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Books are banned in this dystopian world, where firemen are employed to burn them. Fahrenheit 451 is a satirical work whose motif is a warning about the threat posed by state censorship. It could be argued to be prescient in its prediction of our increasing obsession with mass media. Click here to read my review.
My Opinion: Good
If you are in the mood for something semi-autobiographical. Then why not try:
Junky by William S. Burroughs
Semi-autobiographical in nature, Junky is a record of drug abuse that in addition to heroin includes a plethora of other substances. The book’s detached journalistic approach is in stark contrast to the rambling, stream of consciousness style found in some of Burroughs’s later works. Click here to read my review.
My Opinion: Excellent