Day Three of NYRB Classics Reading Week
As I mentioned earlier this week, my introduction to NYRB Classics was thanks to their great cover art. If it wasn’t for those covers I probably never would have come across these great books. These four titles are good enough reads that it really doesn’t matter what your reading interests are. They are all worth a read.
Stoner by John Williams.
Easily my favorite NYRB Classic and one of my favorite books of all time. Money quote from my own review
It is true that I love a book with an academic setting, but I am not sure I have ever been pulled into that milieu in such an emotional way. There is one scene in the book where Stoner fairly and firmly confronts a student and a colleague during oral exams that had me so wound up that my heart was literally racing.
The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing.
This one took me one or two attempts before I got into the swing of it. But once I did, I loved it. A really interesting whodunit, where you already know whodunit right from the start. This is suspense novel that is good even for those of us who don’t usually read that kind of thing. My review is here. Money quote from my review is actually Raymond Chandler:
I’m still a bit puzzled as to why no one has come forward to make me look like thirty cents. But except for an occasional tour-de-force like The Big Clock, no one has.
A Way of Life Like Any Other by Darcy O’Brien.
This was a total sleeper for me. In general not a big fan of Hollywood related stories but this one is really witty and smart. And told from the point of view of a kid trying to cope with his once famous parents. From my review
The [family] dysfunction [described in the novel] reminded me a bit of a more benign version of Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs. Except that O’Brien’s novel is much more a piece of literature than Burroughs’ David Sedaris-like regurgitation of his childhood. Plus O’Brien isn’t gay, which I only mention now because his attempts at wooing females and his quest to get laid are pretty comic.
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.
Many of you have read this one, and it certainly is one of the better known NYRB Classics titles out there. And if you haven’t read this book and are looking for a wonderful, uplifting story, this is it. Much better than movie in my humble opinion. My review here