as always, always in search of the next book to change my life, i'm curious to know the last great reads you lovers' of words have read. my last, was the last book i read, finished sometime last week, and linger with such intensity that i have yet to be able to pick up another book to read. it won't change my life, but it was the first time i read gabriel garcia marquez, and it leaves me insatiable for more of him. like the first time i read kundera, or murakami, or hesse. the book, by the way, isn't even his "masterpiece" so you can imagine how excited i am to devour more of his work. the book was love in the time of cholera; what was yours?
Paul, I am in the thick of "I Know This Much is True" and it is thought provoking. Wally Lamb has a wonderful conversational flavor to his stories - I'm learning a ot about the writing from reading this.
Where to start... there are so many books. For me, one of the most influential novels I've ever read was BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN by Glendon Swarthout. It's an amazing coming-of-age story about a bunch of misfit privileged boys sent to a dude ranch who find courage to face their miserable lives. It was monumental for me in part because I was a misfit adolescent dealing with extreme bullying and trying at the same time to come to terms with my decided stances on war and christianity. At the same time I was reading THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH and the NEW TESTAMENT, so taken together, these three books pretty much influenced my spirituality, my life philosophy (humanism), and what I write about - the human condition.
Yeah. Gabriel Garcia Marquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude), Hesse (Glass Bead Game), Heinrich Boll (And Never Said a Word), John Irving (World According to Garp) were all early favorites along with Raymond Carver (all of). A recent favourite is Murakami - only discovered him in the summer. I read Kafka on the Shore (in my top ten of all time) and now reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicles and What I Talk about When I Talk about Running. Also currently reading and knocked out by AM Homes: This Book Will Save Your Life - I totally get her (though many seem to have missed her point)!
hesse is my all-time favorite author, and magister ludi is one of his best. i too have been plowing through some murakami. he is so much fun to read. i'll have to check out these other authors you name.
...speaking of gabriel garcia marquez, i just finished "love in the time of cholera" this week. after attempting to read it three times, i finally gave it a fourth shot, and i couldn't put it down. the writing style is a bit daunting and tangent-y (...not a word, i know) but once your brain gets wrapped around it, you won't be able to stop. if you want to feel absolute heart-ache, give it a read.