As indicated by the new button over on the right, I'm participating in a blog hop for March 17-20 featuring literary blogs. I'd consider "What Book Should I Read Today?" discriminating enough to fall into that category, so here's my accompanying post! Click the button to visit another participating blog.
Debbie Nance from ReaderBuzz provides this blog hop's prompt:
What one literary work must you read before you die?
Christina from The Blue Bookcase offered two answers, and I'm going to follow her model and do the same.
1.) The literary work that I recommend you (yes, you) must read before you die: I am torn between Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Great Gatsby - but in the end, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter wins out. It depicts a part of the human experience more readers can relate to, and the small-town setting lets us get to know the characters intimately. I don't know that I'd call McCullers underappreciated, but she's certainly less well-known and lauded than Fitzgerald. Other reasons for the rec? The Southern storytelling style she exhibits propels the novel forward without jarring action, and the variety of personalities in a small space produce unique and understated opportunities for character-driven drama. It's quite simply a beautiful book full of emotion and depth - all from McCullers at 23.
2.) The literary work that I must read before I die: I'd like to read the Thomas Wolfe novel You Can't Go Home Again, another Southern work (I admit my bias). It's a huge novel (700 pages) that I bought before I could have really understood it, maybe when I was 11 or 12, because the title was referenced in the movie Now and Then. Now that I'm older, firstly, I stick by the fact that Now and Then is a fantastic movie; secondly, I need to read this book, because while I haven't written a famous novel based on its inhabitants, I've left and returned to my home in the South, and I can relate to the book in a small and important way. And the 700 pages shouldn't be prohibitive anymore - two of my favorites, American Tragedy and Native Son, are pretty weighty too.
Make sure to click the blog hop button, and visit The Blue Bookcase!