Thursday, December 01, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

Here's the question this week courtesy of  The Blue Bookcase:



What work of literature would you recommend to someone who doesn't like literature? 


This is an interesting question and I welcome the opportunity to share an approach to it.  First, I would want to know why someone does not like literature?  Perhaps they do not know what literature is or they do not want to read anything.  Whatever the reason, my suggestion is to look to literature that has been read and enjoyed by readers of all ages for a long time.  Whether they are called classics or "the Canon" or something else they hold an appeal for readers that can persuade someone who claims to not like literature.  There is a huge variety to  choose from so for a start I would recommend not one, but two of  my personal favorites, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  The latter is a story that won readers among children like the little girl who inspired Charles Dodgson to write it, but it is definitely a book for all ages as I have found rereading it as an adult it has, like most classics, new surprises and wonders for the adult reader.  Alice is a marvelous young heroine and it is easy to become immersed in her quandaries as she puzzles her way through Wonderland:

“I wonder if I've been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland



And as a work of literature that demonstrates the power of words and the love of language of the author there are few better than this.  However, for the reader that might be more interested in a tale of young girl who learns to live and love in the British countryside there is Jane Eyre.  Her indomitable spirit and the way she negotiates the vicissitudes of  life make for a great read -- one that is sure to reach the heart of any person who claims to not like literature.



8 comments:

LBC said...

Alice in Wonderland is on my list for this upcoming year and I'm really looking forward to it. I even got myself a lovely Penguin clothbound edition.

CHE said...

Great choices. I didn't think of Alice in Wonderland but it seems like such an obvious pick, not that you've mentioned it. I think almost anything by the Bronte's is gentle yet interesting enough for a newbie.
Glad to find another literary blog to follow.

James said...

It is surely worth the investment -- a book worth reading and rereading.

James said...

I agree, CHE, that the Bronte's should be interesting to those claiming no interest in literature.

mel u said...

Jane Eyre is an excellent idea. Alice in Wonderland is an interesting idea I would pick it as one of a package of reads. I was gratiified you liked Narayan.

Anja Kasap said...

Great choices - I have actually never read Alice but I have a copy on the TBR pile and I am planning to make it a priority in 2012! I see you've read Palace Walk - I just started it, I'll have to check out your review.

Parrish Lantern said...

Alice in Wonderland was a great favourite of Alberto Manguel & he used it to express his love of reading so would make a great choice. I went with A Russian writer, a Japanese writer, oh & some poetry.

James said...

Thanks for your comments - Mel, Anja and Parrish. Alice is a touchstone for some readers - and with good reason.