Friday, March 4, 2011


Sometimes, people ask me to recommend books. Since I've been an avid reader, teacher and writer all my life, and I'm 72 years old, I guess I'm entitled.

  1. McCarthy, Cormac – “Blood Meridian” – About a kid who makes his way in the world through violence, in 1850s Mexico. This book is the closest thing to my own unconscious of any book I have ever read. It is the best novel by our greatest living American writer. 
  2. Melville, Herman – “Moby Dick” – About a man who is obsessed with killing a white whale. Man vs. nature. About pride, vision, madness.
  3. Conrad, Joseph – “Lord Jim” – About a man who spends his whole life trying to prove he is a not a coward.
  4. Joyce, James – “Ulysses” – About a lonely man who is seeking a family. A man’s inner journey structured like the classic Homeric epic.
  5. Faulkner, William – “As I Lay Dying” – About a family fighting a flood to carry out the last wishes of their dying mother. Great. The best novel by our greatest American writer.  

  1. Albert Camus – “The Stranger” – About a man who is disconnected from the human race, who has no empathy or sympathy, who lacks all human emotions. Subject: alienation and its consequences.
  2. Leo Tolstoi – “Anna Karenina” – About families and happiness. Anna and Count Vronsky have an unhealthy and secretive relationship, outside society’s norms. They are contrasted with another couple that has a healthy relationship, with children and family all around.
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald – “The Great Gatsby” – About the American dream.
  4. Ernest Hemingway – “The Sun Also Rises” – About a failed love affair.
  5. James Joyce – “The Dubliners,” “Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man.”
  6. Jorge Luis Borges– “Labyrinths”
  7. Franz Kafka – “The Trial,” “The Castle”
  8. Flannery O’Connor – short stories
  9. Alice Hoffman – “Here on Earth” – About obsessive love.
  10.  Michael Ondaatje – “Anil’s Ghost”

  1.  Donna Tartt – “The Secret History”
  2.  Martin Cruz Smith – “Gorky Park”
  3.  Scott Turow – “Presumed Innocent” 
POETS – Lorca, Rilke -- and too many others to name right now.

-- Roger

© Copyright 2011, Roger R. Angle

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West
Lord Jim (Oxford World's Classics)
As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text (Modern Library)

No comments: