MY TOP FIVE FAVORITE BOOKS (CURRENTLY) IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

13 Apr

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Very few folks who have read this book would disagree with me that it is nothing short of fantastic.  Magical realism at its best, Garcia creates not only a family but the most (il)logical and perfect place possible for them to live, and carryies us breathtakingly through the journey of their existences.  Macondo is founded and inhabited by the Buendia family, and over seven generations Garcia weaves the beautiful tale of their rise and fall, their virtue and immortality.  While the story is told in beautiful prose that is nothing short of art, the real gem (for me) is the use of time as linear movement and a cyclical process.  Time marches on and history keeps repeating.  Did I mention that besides love affairs, miracles, and wars there is a gypsy?  What is a great story without a gypsy or a pirate- really?

Sanctuary by William Faulkner

Be warned- this book is not for the weak of heart.  In Sanctuary, Faulkner takes us to his famous Yoknapatawpha County in this crime novel that portrays the dark side of the human existence.  A master of Southern Gothic and therefore my one of my favorite authors, Faulkner wastes no time in introducing the evil and corruption that surround the chain of events beginning one weekend deep in the Mississippi woods.  Set during prohibition and with things like corrupt politicians, southern decadence, moonshiners, rape, murders, brothels, gangsters and lynching, it’s a ghastly look at the old south and the uglier side of humanity- the first time I saw ‘Deliverance’ I couldn’t help but think back to this book.  Needless to say, it is a must-read.

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

The story of three friends who meet in New York and ‘make it big’ seems like an innocent enough story, and most little girls’ dream, but throw in self destruction, drugs, pills, and suicide and you’ve got a regular sorority story!  Neely, Anne, and Jennifer are three girl friends I visit at least once a year to catch up on old times and remind myself that things really do fall apart.  These glamorous ladies all fall victim in the end to booze, pills, and self-destruction.  It’s an interesting narrative on the unattractive side of the fabulous Hollywood lifestyle, and how the rich and famous deal with being rich and famous.  Susann also gets gritty with the topics of jealousy, insecurity, anger, and obsession- after the first time I read it I was certain life was about disappointment and friends turning on each other.  I still occasionally wonder if that isn’t true.

Bone by Jeff Smith

OK. I know it might not seem similar to the other books on my list, but Bone is an awesome epic tale of love and adventure done in one of my favorite media- comic books.  Three cousins, the Bones, are run out of their hometown and end up in a strange and enchanted foreign land.  Taken under the wing of the lovely and fated Thorn Harvestar, they soon learn all about the local belief system- and how beliefs can change the world.  It is a world of fantasy with dragons, rat creatures, people and alternate realities.  A great combination of Lord of the Rings meets Calvin and Hobbes with cutesy humor in all the right places combined with a dark and ominous tone, it makes for an excellent introduction to the genre for those of you that aren’t usually into comic books.

The Comedians by Graham Greene

Some books I like so much I own multiple copies of them and this is one of those books.  It is set in Haiti during the regime of Papa Doc Duvalier.  Our protagonist, Mr. Brown, is the owner of a tourist hotel, but the tourists have stopped coming.  The country is collapsing and rapidly descending into civil strife.  Resisting the urge to get involved in the local politics and putting most of his efforts into the love affair he is having with a married woman, Brown finds himself tired and fatalistic.  When jealousy meets resignation, Brown decides to finally take action- for all the wrong reasons of course.  What results is a heart-wrenching look at infidelity, conviction, action and inaction.  By the conclusion of the story it is obvious that we are all con artists, merely acting on a stage.  Lovely, isn’t it?

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One Response to “MY TOP FIVE FAVORITE BOOKS (CURRENTLY) IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER”

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  1. Nothing Lasts Forever, Not Even Hello Kitty Pain « Lindsaygrocks - April 17, 2012

    […] tattoo idea? Bougainvillea and/or a rat creature (have you read Bone yet?) Share this:FacebookTwitterPrintEmailDiggRedditStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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