Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Jim's Top Ten Books to Read in a Day

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books To Read In A Day

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is all about books to read in one day.  I agree that the feeling of reading one whole book in a single day can be exhilarating. For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, here are my ten among my favorite books that could be read in a day. They all embody a sort of perfection in structure and style that is essential for great short reads. Here are the ten in no particular order:

1. Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh:  His first novel is still his most humorous for me.  The descent of Paul Pennyfeather is filled with ridiculous ribaldry and satirical surprises.

2. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson:  One of my favorite authors since my youth created this iconic psychological horror story that contemplates the nature of good and evil within us all - one of the best Victorian novels I have ever read.

3. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett:  I still remember almost falling out of my chair laughing as the Queen of England takes up reading as a pastime in this charming novella.

4. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells:  If you join me in the leap both from humor to horror and from twentieth to nineteenth centuries you will find in this book a prescient mind  in Wells' imagination of the horrors of vivisection.

5. Wittgenstein's Nephew by Thomas Bernhard:  A short but serious look a the nature of artistic genius through the friendship of two men, one of whom is both an artist and the nephew of a philosopher.

6. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon:  This was my introduction to the fictional world of Pynchon and I think it is a good place to do so.  Filled with conspiracy and, yes, humor, this is a short but complex look at some characters that are too mad to take seriously.

7. Utz by Bruce Chatwin:  A story about a lover of porcelain whose life mirrors his own imagination's desires.  In many ways the most perfect book on this list.  It is a small jewel of a novel.

8. Alexis by Marguerite Yourcenar:  Yourcenar is one of my favorite novelists and this short novel embodies what I admire - her spare, elegant, classical style which she uses to create the haunting voice of the narrator, a young musician who struggles with his sexuality.  His musical voice resonates long after you have finished the novel.

9. Anthem by Ayn Rand: Another of my favorite novelists manages in this short but never slight work to demonstrate the power that fill her later works.  The theme of the independent mind discovering the meaning of individualism resonates in this inspirational novel.

10. Reflections on the Human Condition by Eric Hoffer: Not only novels can inspire this reader and Eric Hoffer is one thinker whose aphoristic style and deep thoughts inspire thought and consideration of what it means to live a humane life.

There are more books that I could have included in this list, but I hope these demonstrate the breadth of reading that one might enjoy in one day's reading.
What are some of your favorite books that could be read in one day?


Unknown said...

Hi there, just popping in... Oh some great books here for me to add to my TBR pile, and HP is a great choice.

I’m also your newest follower!

:) Here is my choice...
Top Ten Tuesday

James said...

Thanks for your comment and for following. I hope you enjoy any you may read.