8 More Authors Whose Books I Want to Try

Seeing how much you all liked my last post of this kind (and because there are far more than nine authors whom I want to try), I’ve decided to do a follow-up to my earlier post.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years, I shunned the works of Tolkien as geek fodder not worth my interest. But through the influence of several readers and bloggers, I’ve had rather a change of heart regarding Tolkien. I now realize that he was not just a nerd who needed a hobby, but a serious author who intended to write only the best of books, which, many will say, he did. I’ve gotten little tastes of Tolkien’s work here and there in poems and excerpts from his novels, and what I’ve seen so far, I like. His association with C. S. Lewis piques my interest too. I’ve grown terribly fond of the Inklings, even though I’ve only read books from one of their members, but I look forward to getting to know some of their other members soon as well.

Charles Williams

And speaking of the Inklings, I’ve recently been reading a lot about Charles Williams, one of the club’s more obscure members. He’s reputed to be the most talented Inkling, but for whatever reason, he never achieved quite the same level of fame as either Tolkien or Lewis. Part of that might be because his works are so brainy: even W. H. Auden, who was a fan of his, had trouble understanding his poetry (and I only understand about half of what Auden writes, so note to self: don’t read Charles Williams’s poems). It’ll be quite a head trip, but I think at least once before I die, I’ll have to read something by Charles Williams. Right now, I’m eying his “theological thriller” novelΒ Descent into Hell.

Kurt Vonnegut

Baby Kurt Vonnegut when he was in the army. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Baby Kurt Vonnegut when he was in the army. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added him to the list after Lovely Sami Anne commented on my last post about authors I plan to read and recommended his books Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle to me. I’m not terribly familiar with him or his work, but he sounds fascinating. He would have to be to write this.

Elizabeth Gaskell

Frankly, I’m just sick of hearing constantly about North and South and Wives and Daughters and having no idea what they are about.

Neil Gaiman

Photo by Jutta. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil and I have already been introduced: as you may recall, last November, I posted a recording of him reading his short story, “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury.” I thought it was terrific, which convinces me that I ought to read some of his books too. Gaiman’s work is definitely outside of the ordinary for me: after all, the majority of his work is either horror, fantasy, or somewhere in between. After several recommendations, I think I will try either Coraline or The Graveyard Book.

Charles Dickens

In my experience, Charles Dickens has been rather like coffee or The Beatles: everyone else in the world seems to love him, and I could take or leave him. I’ve tried a few of his books, but couldn’t seem to stick with any of them. Little Dorrit was too slow. Great Expectations came at an inopportune time, when I was juggling about four books, so this one got lost in the mix. And frankly, I’m just sick to death of A Christmas Carol (which is a shame, because it really is a wonderful story. If I had been left to read it on my own without being reminded of the plot a trillion times every December, it would probably be one of my favorite books). But, I’m not giving up on Chuck just yet. I’ll give him at least one last go before I write him off altogether.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky’s notes on chapter five of The Brothers Karamazov. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really, it all started with this quote:

Avoid fear too, though fear is only the consequence of every sort of falsehood.

That quote became a sort of mantra for me and is still one of my most favorite literary quotes, though I still have never read the book it comes from (The Brothers Karamazov). I think I will either love Dostoyevsky or detest him. We’ll see.

Ambrose Bierce

Any author who will write this must be worth the time of reading:

CAT, n. A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.

— from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce

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7 thoughts on “8 More Authors Whose Books I Want to Try

  1. Your blog is inspiring. I finished my first Tolkien ‘The Hobbit’ a week ago, and although it isn’t the usual genre I read, I really loved it. I will check out some of the other authors you listed too πŸ™‚

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  2. There’s no way I’ll ever read Dickens.He strikes me as very boring.
    Elizabeth Gaskell; maybe,for Cranford and North&South are supposedly must-read classics!
    I have Slaughterhoue Five at home.Maybe when I’ll be back,I’ll pick it up.It’s a relatively small book.

    I read Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment,but not Brothers Karamazov.I think I’ll go through The Idiot and Notes from the Underground before going for his masterpiece.I wonder what if it’ll rival Anna Karenina in terms of greatness!

    Hmm,you should also add Jorge Luis Borges to your list!!
    I read Three Versions of Judas once again this morning – the feeling of reading Borges is sometimes hard to resist- and I was once again stunned!

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    1. I wish I could love Dickens, but honestly, he’s just too wordy for me. It’s no wonder how that rumor that he got paid by the word got started! I really wish I had been able to make it through A Christmas Carol though, because if you think about it, that story is pretty darn amazing.

      If you do end up reading Slaughterhouse Five before I do, I wish you godspeed: I’ve heard everything from “It’s one of the best books ever” to “It’s a miserable little pimple of a book.” I suppose Vonnegut is one of those authors whom everyone either loves or hates intensely.

      How was Crime and Punishment? I know virtually nothing about that book and only mentioned The Brothers Karamazov because out of all of Dostoyevsky’s novels, that’s the one I’m most familiar with. Haven’t read Anna Karenina either, but I’m tempted to buy it, if only because Barnes and Nobles’s leather-bound edition of it is so pretty. πŸ˜‰

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      1. Hahah……
        Crime and Punishment was quite peculiar and it didn’t really meet my expectations.
        I afterwards did some research on it and wrote a post about my findings – it is about why Crime and Punishment was written,and much of the book makes sense after you learn about these reasons.It is on my blog and has proved quite popular,but it does contain spoilers,so don’t go there!
        I also wrote a review of the book,which is spoiler-free.

        But to give you an answer,it didn’t quite meet my expectations.It’s great,but from Dostoevsky,I expected better.But as I said,he had other motives behind writing it,so its actual beauty lies in his ability to subtly reach his goals.You might want to read this and The Idiot,both of which are considered to be his great novels besides Brothers Karamazov.I will do just that,as I don’t want to read his best work before being disappointed with a not-as-good one.To encourage you,know that Crime and Punishment is regularly listed among the best books of all time and is the favourite of many people! πŸ™‚

        As for Anna Karenina,the Folio edition is the best there is for this masterpiece.Everybody agrees that it is one of Folio’s most beautiful standard editions.It is Β£45 though – but it is currently on sale at Β£34.I think owning it in such an edition was one of the numerous factors which made my reading of it one of the best experiences of my life. πŸ™‚ But I understand that it may be too expensive,and besides,you might not like the story and think it was a waste of your money.So the Barnes&Nobles edition is a safe bet,I guess. πŸ™‚

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