Recommended Reading

Here’s a list of a few of my favorite reads. Yes, this is a short story writer giving off a list of favorite books (pretty much all novels) but I think all manners of quality writing can be influential. While I have read many great books, this is the list of ones that stuck with me the most, the ones that are easiest to remember and have the greatest impact on my opinion and style. Amazon links are provided in case any of you are so inspired to give them a read, you won’t be disappointed.

Rabbit, Run

The first of John Updike’s Rabbit series and the first book that I gave any consideration as an adult. In a way, I’d say all four books are recommended, but if I had to pick one, it would be this one. The first reason being my own knowledge of life. Harry Angstrom (or Rabbit) is 26 in this book, fairly close to my own age. The characters felt so much newer, so fresh. It could be argued that the quality of the writing improves, especially on the last two books of this four part series (the ones that won Pulitzer’s) but everything about this book has a youthful immediacy that really gripped me.

The Road

The next of Cormac McCarthy’s books to be made into a movie (coming soon at the time of writing this), an intense and harrowing journey across post-apocalyptic America. What I loved so much about this book is that it could be called science fiction, but instead of trudging on about the back story of what happened, or putting in strange technology, this book is focused on exactly what the two main characters are: survival. If you’ve seen No Country For Old Men and remember the scenes of no dialogue where the characters were making tools or healing themselves then expect things like that, but on a grander scale. It’s utterly depressing and uplifting at the same time.

Ironweed

William Kennedy’s third book of his three part Albany trilogy is the best. I remember reading this book and thinking how perfect it was within itself. By that, I mean each word is in perfect order. Each sentence is in the exact place it belongs. By far my favorite book. If you read anything on this list, please read this book.

It appears that Ironweed is the third book of the Albany trilogy, though I’ve gotten information saying it was the second. If anyone knows the correct order, that would be much appreciated.

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One Response

  1. They all sound good. Tragically I haven’t read any of them, although I bought The Road for a friend this Christmas, I might have to steal it back. I always thought of myself as someone who doesn’t like to read or much less enjoy it. But, I’m finding as I get a little bit older I’m appreciating it more and more.

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