Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Top 10 Older Books Not to be Forgotten

Bridget of "The Broke and the Bookish" hosted a Top 10 Tuesday with this topic.  Apprentice Writer interpreted "older" somewhat loosely; here her picks:

1. Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde
Wildly creative novel of a world where the class system is organized according to ability to see colour.  Readers may be more familiar with the author's equally creative Tuesday Next series or Nursery Crimes   series, but though this first of a series has it's moments, it is more thoughtful and less comedic than the other two.

2. The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart
The first in a trilogy about the most famous wizard of all, Merlin, and his relationship with King Arthur.   I read this as a teenager and the author's lovely writing and compelling voice had a huge impact on me.

3. The Chrysalids, John Wyndham
Read this in middle school.  Was my first taste of dystopia, a genre I still enjoy.

4. White Oleander, Janet Fitch
Loved this novel that asks some hard questions about mother-daughter relationships and how parenthood is really defined.  Great book club read.

5. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
A beautifully written, gut-wrenching novel about living under dictatorship and why the caste system must be dismantled.

6.  A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
The antidote to the previous novel, also set in India, much easier to read by virtue of taking place post-dictator and with middle-class characters rather than those on the fringes.  Though I think it's important for people to inform themselves of hard realities (such as described in AFB, above) I also think it's important to realize that in such complex societies such as India, it's not all misery all the time.  ASB demonstrates this very enjoyably.

7. Foundation, Isaac Asimov
My first science fiction title, many years ago, and I loved it.  Now reading with my boy, after he accepted the idea of absorbing an Asimov novel in book form after  seeing the Hollywoodization of another Asimov title (I, Robot).

8. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Was blown away by this most unusual tale.  When the big reveal happened at the end, I went straight back to the start to look for the clues I'd missed.

9. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
First novel I ever read set in South America.  Was swallowed up by the world, which seemed so exotic to my teenaged self.

10. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Powerful story about the very different ways members of a family react to moving to Africa.

There you have it, Gentle Reader.  Agree/disagree?  What would go on your top ten not to be forgotten list?


Allison said...

The Poisonwood Bible is a great choice! And as for Mary Stewart's Arthurian books...I am DYING to read those. I need to do that soon.

M. said...

Hi Allison! Welcome to the blog.
Yes, Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy is wonderful, I highly encourage you to take a look. And the Poisonwood Bible is excellent for bookclub discussions.

Rachel said...

Life of Pi is my favorite book.

M. said...

Rachel - I know, right? yet I can't get my book club to choose it!