So for those of you who don’t know, I’m a very avid reader, and although I haven’t done much reading lately, for this post I wanted to give people an idea of my reading tastes and give some recommendations. Here’s a list of what I’m currently reading, in case you were wondering:
- The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales
- Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
- Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by Debbie Millman
So, to start, as I was going over my read shelf on goodreads.com – a highly recommended reading site for reviews – and making different lists for books that I like, I didn’t realize just how many books I read for because I found them funny. Being a fan of books science fiction and classics, I had never thought about that before. It’s funny when you go through things from the past what you can gain new insight over.
Anyway, when it comes to reading, I tend to read a couple of books at once, picking up one and reading a bit, then reading from another one later, maybe going back to the first. I don’t finish as many books as I start, but I like to learn new things from whatever I read, so I am always picking up new ones to allieviate my curiousity. I made a couple of lists of books that I would consider must-reads if you are into a particular type of writing-style.
The first list of recommended books are my all-time favorites. These books emphasize irony and the characterizations, I found, are very vivid, along with the descriptions.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeAlthough The Picture of Dorian Gray is not a comedy, I still found a lot of the dialogue to be very witty. It’s more of a dark book, but I found that it is a Victorian novel which I had the easiest time reading. The tale of Dorian Gray and how he is drawn into the exorbitant lifestyle by a lord and lives life to excess without consequence due to a deal with the Devil was to me a thought-provoking work about human nature.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThis is a series of books, 5 written by Douglas Adams, and one called And Another Thing… written by Eoin Colfer after Adams’s death. I haven’t read the one by Colfer, but The Hitch
hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe, and Everything; So Long, and Thanks For All of the Fish; and Mostly Harmless are really entertaining. A science fiction book about Arthur Dent’s escapades as the world ends is filled with zany humor. I love the random incidents and details that happen in the books and how they connect later in the series with more important events. It leaves me to wonder whether Adams planned it all out or if he was just a write-by-the-seat-of-the-pants sort of author.
- A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy TooleThis book is funny because of the absurdity of the situations that the main character got himself into. A story about a modern-day Don Quixote and how he wanders around New Orleans with all kind of ridiculous accidents caused by him is funny and ironic because of the main character’s social ineptitude. It had me laughing and wondering, would anybody ever do that in real life? And then getting on the Internet and realizing, of course somebody would.
The second list is a list of children’s books which I loved and would read again. They don’t really have a lot in common, other than the use of magic.
- The Witches – Roald DahlThis one has been a long-time favorite for me since I was a child. I loved the descriptions used in the story. It’s about a poor orphan boy and his encounters with a witch in his neighborhood.
- Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil GaimanThis is a quirky story about the end of the world told through multiple perspectives. It’s irreverent in its humor and definitely doesn’t conform to traditional story-telling conventions.
- Holes – Louis SacharA story about a kid who goes to a juvenile imprisonment and detention facility for a crime he didn’t commit. It has a nonlinear story line and uses vivid imagery.
These books are known for having a very unusual writing style that some might find very jarring. I like these books because they offer new perspectives through unusual tales.
- Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt VonnegutThis is a satirical novel told in a nonlinear storyline. It uses irreverant humor and absurd characters, which I really enjoyed.
- A Clockwork Orange – Anthony BurgessThis is a science fiction classic and it is told through made-up slang, which makes it hard to follow. It tells the story of a teenager living recklessly and commits acts of mindless violence with his friends until he is caught and sent to prison. The Ludovico technique they use to cure his delinquent behavior reminds me of the time I had laser corneal cross-linking eye surgery, as my eyes had to be held open by clamps with occasional eye drops by an attendant, as I stared into a light for a half an hour. An excellent dystopian tale.
- Fight Club – Chuck PahalniukThis story is also follows an odd narrative through an unreliable narrator. Tyler Durden is one of the most memorable characters I have encountered in fiction. The ending just makes the story even better, once everything becomes clear.
In retrospect, I guess you could say that I really enjoy nontraditional story lines with clever lines and a bit of random added in. I’m not sure what to say about that but just that I like what I like. Quirky and ironic books just make me see things differently, I guess.
I have a final list of authors and books that I recommend as worthwhile reads, written in no particular order. If you have any that you recommend to me, let me know!
- John Green – Paper Towns
- Stephen Cbosky – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Steig Larsson – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
- Octavia E. Butler – Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents
- Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle
- F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
- Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar
- Vladimir Nobokov – Lolita
- Beth Goobie – The Lottery
- A. Lee Martinez – Gil’s All Fright Diner
- Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games
- Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
- Stephen King – Carrie
- Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
- Frances Hodgson Burnett – A Little Princess
- Charles Dickens – Great Expectations
- Ken Kesey – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest