If you had to choose 1 classic and 1 contemporary book and why....

(80 Posts)
Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 10:40:18

Mine would be:

*Classic- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins*- A man walking home comes across a young woman dressed in white who is frightened and needs to find a cab to get into town to the safety of her family. You help her. Then along comes another group who tell you the woman has just escaped from a mental institution and is very dangerous...does he tell them where she has gone, who is lying and who is dangerous....

A great, grabbing opening that turns into a thumping great read

*Contemporary What is the What by Dave Eggers*- A novel based on the true life story of a Sudanese boy who is orphaned in the civil war, escapes the attack and makes it on foot to the border and becomes one of the lost boys without a country living in a border camp, coping and trying to learn about life. Eventually sent to America where there is an even steeper learning curve...heartbreaking story of human spirit and also wonderfully written

CookieMonster1980 Thu 11-Jul-13 09:50:14

Morning! Slightly off topic, but if you like Allende and Marquez, I really liked Mario Vargas Llosa. I haven't read too many of his, but I loved The War of the End of the World about a millenarian cult in Brazil.

Children's classic is very hard. As a child I loved Lord of the Rings (maybe a bit marmitey!) Now I think I'd pick Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

Feeling very inspired by all these suggestions. I haven't read Lolita or War and Peace so they are now on my list!

evelynj Thu 11-Jul-13 00:49:46

Can't believe I forgot Murakami, doh! The wind up bird chronicle - possibly the oddest but my fave of his so far & loved loved loved the road -a quick read which is sometimes good.

Sixpackwellies-the robber bride as a re-read? I don't tend to re-read but just finished this & can't imagine anyone going back to it. She has written so much better IMO

Loving this thread-when all the junk is out ofmy dining room & I can see my books again will add some more recs.

Cookie monster-love all your picks so some more recs from you please?!

pollywollydoodle Thu 11-Jul-13 00:33:46

classic : Enchanted April, Elizabeth Von Arnhim
modern classic : either A Fine Balance,Rohington Mistry or Enchantress of Florence,Salman Rushdie
Child's classic : Velveteen Rabbit
Childs modern classic : Any David Walliams if dd's reaction is anything to go by
Young adult : Borderliners Peter Hoeg

ask me next week and i'll probably have another list grin

pollywollydoodle Thu 11-Jul-13 00:10:04

upthread re isabelle allende.
Either House of The Spirits or Paula are superb but don't read alongside each other. ..it becomes really apparent that stories that seemed to come from an amazing imagination in HotS are actually family stories ,also told in Paula. When i read Paula i felt really disappointed in HOTS in retrospect...like i had been hoodwinked. None of her other books really moved or intrigued me

SixPackWellies Wed 10-Jul-13 23:57:49

The books I read and re-read;

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The Overcoat by Gogol (makes me sob)

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

One Hundred years of Solitude...... and also a Chronicle of a death foretold

Anything by Maeve Binchy

SixPackWellies Wed 10-Jul-13 23:55:06

Sorry, you absolutely cannot reference Wilkie Collins without talking about The Moonstone, which is so multi-layered and just so darn funny. (Gabriel Betteridge and Miss Clack anyone?'.)

Modern.. YY to The Accidental Tourist. Or Kate Grenville's The Idea of Perfection.

So many great books out there. smile

Juvenile Dahl Charlie the Champion of The World (modern classic) and Edward Lear Nonsense Poems (classic) and Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo (modern).

My classic would be James Hogg's "The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner" published anonymously in 1824 it has inspired many writers since but still seems relatively unknown.

I am not sure what my contemporary book would be, but for now I will go for The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (pseudonym of Brian O'Nolan) .

I think they are brilliant books for anyone to read, but they would be great to study and compare. Some reviews
here and here are well worth a read - much more eloquent than me.

Classic: Brideshead Revisited. Modern: Cloud Atlas

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 23:12:43

but what about George's Mervellous Medicine? AAAaaargh- can't do it, Dahl should have a separate category of his own, actually, like Austen.

Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 23:04:13

somehow I think juvenille is harder than adult ones.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:55:14

Znaika I think it has to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Matilda a close second.

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 22:48:32

mixedmama- Cancer ward is not as depressing as it sounds- it's a beautiful love story as well as a commentary of SSSR

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 22:45:22

ooh juvenile- of course le petit prince, I love Dr Seuss too- the cat in the hat-so funny and clever, and Roald Dahl books- which to choose? Don't think I can do it.

shazbean Wed 10-Jul-13 22:44:31

Juvenile - A Little Princess.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:41:51

My nan brought me a children's Catherine Cookson when I was about 8. Our John Willie - gave me a lifelong passion.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:40:59

Children's - I think Room on the Broom and Pongwiffy by Kaye Umamsky (pre Winnie the Witch).

Juvenile is The secret garden

Jane Eyre

To Kill a Mockingbird

I think these were the books that I read as 12/13 year old that really made me love fiction. Books are like blankets. I re read wife in the north regularly as it makes me both laugh and cry and resonates with my life.

What about a children's book? What would be the one book for your child you would read?
Hungry Caterpillar and Harry Potter series here.

My favourite Solzhenitsyn is a novella, Matryona's place.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:28:55

I have a couple of Solzhenitsyn but not Cancer Ward but was heartily recommended on a Russian lit thread.

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 22:24:46

Modern classic- this is my favourite category!! so many to choose, to kill a mockingbird is a beautiful book, has anyone one read :cancer ward" by Solzhenitsin? It is a sad yet joyful book that always has me weeping. this is my "rec".
I've written loads of these down and will start with the woman in white, which I'd never even heard of -oops

Juvenile - agh decisions...Maybe Ballet Shoes or maybe Charlotte Sometimes or maybe Tom's Midnight Garden

intarsia Wed 10-Jul-13 22:13:42

Classic -White Fang by Jack London
Contemporary - Ines of my Soul by Isabel Allende
Both fantastic stories.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:10:34

I do read To Kill a Mockingbird regularly.!

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