Most Vivid Reads #2

Happy Thanksgiving! To state the no-doubt-obvious, one of the many things I’m thankful for is great books. This is the second installment of my serial post detailing my list of Most Vivid Reads (those books that stick out the most in my mind when I think about books).

Post #1, which covered Mr. Bridge & Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell, Doomsday Book, Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, can be found here.

To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee

Two paragraphs into this novel, which is the end of the first page in the edition I have, you are IN this book. You are IN Scout’s head, you are IN this town and this world, and you are in it for the duration. And it is in you forever after reading it. The header on the blurb page says “Unequaled praise from everywhere for a unique bestseller.”Continue reading “Most Vivid Reads #2”

Two novels

I recently finished two classics, and damn were they worth the designation, both of them — The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (1932 Pulitzer Prize) and All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (1947 Pulitzer Prize). They’d been sitting on my shelf for years, finally got around to them (the list is so very, very long, and then there are all the movies too…!)

The Good Earth follows the life of an ordinary Chinese man, Wang-Lung, from the day of his wedding to the day of his death, during a time of world war, revolution, and great upheaval that touches him directly barely at all. It’s the land that changes him, and then, human foibles that undo him. The sentences are very simple, and roll along quite easily. A simply-told, profound story.

Before a handful of days had passed it seemed to Wang Lung that he had never been away from his land, as indeed, in his heart he never had. With three pieces of the gold he bought good seed from the south, full grains of wheat and of rice and of corn, and for very recklessness of riches he bought seeds the like of which he had never planted before, celery and lotus for his pond and great red radishes that are stewed with pork for a feast dish and small red fragrant beans.

The book jacket on my copy says this book is of interest for anyone who wants to know about Chinese culture, but I say Continue reading “Two novels”