Many of you are avid readers, like me, you are probably interested in what other people have on their bookshelves. While I was looking for a book the other day, the thought hit me that you might be interested in seeing what books I have gracing the shelves in my home. This will be a series, every now and then I’ll feature a few of the books on my shelf and tell you about them, where I got them, if I love them, etc. For part three, we’ll be looking at a section of my favorite fiction books.
I’m not much of a fiction reader, generally I find them a little less engaging that historical books or books about things I want to learn more about. There are a few exceptions, pretty much anything by John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway are sure to make me read late into the night. Here’s a glimpse into a portion of my fiction library.
If you asked me what my favorite fiction book of all time was, I would quickly respond “East of Eden“. John Steinbeck is my favorite novelist, I’ve read every book he’s ever written, many of them multiple times. While I love all of them, East of Eden is my favorite. What I most love about this book is the complexity. Modern fiction books don’t find their way onto my library list very often because I generally find them not engaging enough. My mind needs something complex or it wanders easily.
Grapes of Wrath is also in this stack, I’ve read it a few times. If you’ve never read it, I’d highly recommend it, it is labeled “classic” for a reason. Even though it’s fiction, it will give you a better idea of what life was like during the dust bowl and the depression. Grapes of Wrath reads like a history book, you can almost believe the characters are real. Feel good literature it is not, so don’t be expecting any of that. There is a lot of pain, suffering, grittiness and reality. When you do read it, think about all the migrant farm workers living in the same conditions now.
Hemmingway is also one of my favorites. Enduring Hemingway came to me by way of my dad, as you can see, like Grapes of Wrath, it’s an old library copy. These are my favorite kinds of books to buy. You feel a sense of history when you read them, knowing many people have leafed through their pages before you. Enduring Hemingway is a collection of his writings, if you’ve never read any of his stuff give this one a read. You can pick and choose from a wide range of his writings. This book is a hefty tome, coming in at 864 pages. It’s filled with 20 of his books, from The Old Man and the Sea to Farewell to Arms. It includes The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, which is one of my favorites and is part of The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, which if you’ve never read Hemingway I highly recommend starting here with these.
The last book on the shelf I have not read, at least in my adult life. I vaguely remember reading Sherlock Holmes as a kid, who doesn’t. Another classic book, I hope to read it this coming winter. Oddly enough, I actually have two copies of this book, both old library editions.
What’s your favorite “Classic”?
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