I wondered how to to structure this post regarding fiction choices.
Many of you have used a theme so I thought I’d try a similar thing by splitting mine into life segments. Picking 4 choices for each.
I should mention I’ve read so many books over the years. Some I would like to include here among my fiction choices but I simply can not remember who wrote them. I think that has a little to do with my dyslexia. I have a vivid image of the stories in my head but not the title.
Anyway, we have to live with the ways things are not the way we’d like them to be. With that in mind why not check out some of these suggestions.
When I first started reading adult literature as a teen I was very taken with my brothers Playboy magazines! Seriously, they were intelligently written compared to other men’s mags. Not to mention I learned so much about life from them… The header shot is taken from this issue, which I found lurking in my brother in law’s bookcase!
– Teen fiction choices
Endless Love by Scott Spencer.
I think this book is a modern classic. Forget the movie. I read this when I was fifteen and it had a profound effect on me. The love, the obsession the period sex… Wow. I have read this numerous times and bought it for my girls before they were really old enough to understand it. I sometimes forget that I’ve never been a child 😉
Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I first read this book pre teen, but to be adored – as it should – I think the reader should be at least sixteen. This book has everything, romance, mystery, tragedy and excellent characterisation. Written beautifully in the first person. This makes it a very intense read. The main character shares her thoughts and feelings in great detail along her journey from orphan to wife of Mr Rochester.
Edgar Allan Poe
Anything this man wrote thrilled me as a teen. He is master of the short tale painting such vivid pictures. I often return to this writing when looking for inspiration for my own work.
– In my Twenties
Birdy by William Wharton & Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
I have already dedicated a post to both these books as they are two of my favourite reads ever. You can read what I said here.
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
This is the second book in the vampire chronicles series and in my opinion by far the best. Read the first but I wouldn’t recommend going past the third. This book covers 200 years of Lestat’s life and once immersed I could hardly put it down.
– In my Thirties
Year of wonders by Geraldine Brooks
I was involved in a book club who decided this was the book we should all read back in 2001/2
I was not best pleased as it is a tale, with a factual backdrop, about a village who had to deal with the plague. However, I became totally involved in the story and was pleased that by being part of the club I’d got to read something I probably wouldn’t have looked at in normal circumstance.
1984 by George Orwell
What can I say about this dystopian novel? I think everyone should read it. In a nut shell the story is about how the government controls thought by controlling language. This book is more relevant than ever in today’s society,
Another reason I am keen on Orwell is he provides six rules for writers:
Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
I try and follow these when writing fiction..
The Virgin and the Gypsy by DH Lawrence
The way DH Lawrence writes simply thrills me. When I am reading any of his books I feel as if I am being stroked and soothed by the flow of words as I read. The Virgin and the Gypsy is my favourite novel of his. It is quite short and filled with anticipation. The title tells you all you need to know.
– In my Forties
The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson.
Oh my. This novel was such a challenging read. I don’t think it is particularly well written but the concepts it imagines fascinated me so I persevered. The book is a science fiction horror story about parasites that invade a person’s mind, feeding on our collective life force. Not for the faint hearted,
James M Cain
I think this author has influenced my way of writing quite a bit. I love his no nonsense style. His books are plot driven with great characterisation. I recommend any of his novels.
Madam Bouvrey by Gustave Flauber
This is an extraordinary book. First published in 1856 it is still read and studied today. We are given a flawed heroine who will stop at nothing to pursue her dream. Read it if you dare and make sure you pick up a good translation.
You can read a lot of my fiction on this blog.