The grading is done, at long last (insert huge sigh of relief). I am taking a break to read for pleasure before returning to preparations for my last prelim exam.
Right now I'm reading Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, this month's book for Knit the Classics. What a great book so far -- very enthralling, and the structure of the novel, with all of its stories within the story, is interesting. I have to admit that this is the first book I have read by Margaret Atwood. This is a minor point, but I've been noticing the "Canadianness" of it. I realize that I read very few Canadian authors. The only exceptions are Robertson Davies and L.M. Montgomery. Does anyone have any more Canadian authors to recommend?
Mia over at Knit & Play with Fire has asked for book suggestions, and I am more than happy to oblige. Here are a few well-written books that I would highly recommend.
- Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin. Enthralling and surreal, this epic book paints a vivid yet fantastic picture of New York over the course of the 20th century.
- Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. Wit and humour mark this novel as it plays with the literary legacy of the Brontes, Eliot, and Hardy. There's a fabulous movie version as well.
- The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco. This medieval mystery is set in a monastic library, and the clash between the classical world and the church lies at its heart.
- The Seven Sisters, by Margaret Drabble. After her divorce, a middle-aged woman organizes a group trip to follow the path of Aeneas and comes into her own. This book is much better than the plot sounds like it should be. Margaret Drabble is a scholar in her own right and the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature.
- Three Junes, by Julia Glass. Intertwined stories of a family spread out throughout the world over the course of ten years.
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke. Clarke does a marvelous job of mixing fantasy and historical fiction as she tells how magic returned to England in the 19th century. The pseudo-scholarly tone, complete with footnotes, makes this an unusual read.
- Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey. Tey combines literary fiction and mystery in the best possible way. The characters are well-drawn, and psychology combines with suspense to create a marvelous tension.Further Recommendations
- The Bonesetter’s Daughter, by Amy Tan
- The Deptford Trilogy, by Robertson Davies
- Stones from the River, by Ursula Hegi
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon