Thursday, March 15, 2007

Great Books That Don't Suck

Since I gave a list of "great" novels that I hate earlier this week, I thought it might be nice to share some titles of books that I actually liked. But these aren't just books that I enjoyed reading. These are books that changed the way I saw the world. They are also a few of the very small group of books that I've read more than once.

  • Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank The most realistic and probabilistic of any post-apocalyptic novel I've read (and there are quite a few - it's a sickness).
  • The Passion by Jeanette Winterson A poem in book form. So sublimely beautiful that it leaves me speechless. But that's just me.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley To me the most horrifying of the near future novels (not quite the same as post-apocalyptic but probably part of the same sickness) because it seems so plausible. Originally published in 1932, recent advances in genetic manipulation make Huxley seem almost prophetic.
  • Defiance by Carole Maso I went looking for the Maso book Ava because someone I greatly admired loved it. This was all the bookstore had by Maso. I was utterly unprepared for what greeted me in these pages.
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Most likely my first exposure to a feminist text and one that still lingers in the back of my mind. Also another great example of prophetic literature - rise of the conservative right, anyone?

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