She's Come Undone is probably the one. When Dolores Price's father leaves his family for another woman, dolores's life spirals out of control. She becomes an emotional eater who is eventually institutionalized. Her limited experiences with men are violent and disastrous, and Dolores becomes eerily obsessed with her college roommate's boyfriend. Whales hold a special symbolism for Dolores — first as hazlitt her inspiration for attempted suicide, and later as her redemption. Through it all, lamb's writing is stunning and flawless. Ordinary light by Tracy. Smith, click here to buy, tracy. Smith's memoir is every bit as beautiful as one would expect from the poet who won the pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection.
This is a book you'll want to return to again and again. Romeo juliet by william Shakespeare, click here to buy. Call me crazy, (or cliché) but I really do think. Romeo juliet has some of the most beautiful writing ever put to the page. I mean, Shakespeare invented his own words for goodness sake. Gotta give the ol' bard some kudos there. She's Come Undone by wally lamb, click here to buy, it's nearly impossible to single out just one of Wally lamb's novels for its particular beauty over his others, but if you absolutely have to then.
Reading like a writer: a guide for people Who love books
Your heart is a muscle the size of a fist tells the story of a single day — that of the 1999 wto protests in seattle — with prose so breathtaking and mesmerizing you'll swear you're reading poetry. The novel follows Victor, a 19-year-old homeless teen who plans to sell enough weed to protesters to afford to leave seattle, but ends up in the center of one of the greatest instances of direct action in recent American history. Yapa's pattern of meandering, artful, full-bodied imagery, punctuated by zingy one-liners makes drivers for a seriously addictive read. This one hasn't hit shelves yet and I'm already eager for his next work. I can't say this enough: read.
Healing Earthquakes by jimmy santiago baca. Click here to buy, if this novel reads like poetry to you, that's probably because. Healing Earthquakes is a novel written in prose poems, and tells the story of one couple's romance, from the moments before they meet until their heartbreaking, inevitable end. The emotional rollercoaster that author Jimmy santiago baca is able to conjure on the page is so vivid you'll think he's writing about your own relationships. His storytelling is graphic, bold, sometimes cringe-inducing, and just stunning.
To see what can happen when it all comes together: Tender Is the night by f scott Fitzgerald. Of all the books I could recommend to show writing in full flight, i pick tender because it also comes with the unlikely extra shine of an underdog. The Great Gatsby is accepted to be fitzgeralds greatest work, but this is secretly his best, a connoisseurs choice. Which, according to bourdieu, makes us snobs. There are some books you read for the information or advice they offer you, and there are others youre probably reading only because it seems like everyone else is and you dont want to be left out. Then, of course, we all remember the books we read only because they were assigned to us during the span of one school year or another.
But then there are the books you read for no other reason than the fact that they feed your soul — the books whose covers you lift just because you love really beautiful writing. They're basically the ultimate literary indulgence. You know the kind of books Im taking about: the ones with turns of phrase so mesmerizing they must be lingered over, or sentences that you absolutely have to write down to remember later (or, you know, use as inspiration for your next tattoo.) These. Theyre the ones that you return to over and over again, and the ones youd never consider tossing in the donation bin at your local library, or re-gifting during the office book exchange. Theyre also the books that youll always recommend to friends, but never offer to loan, because you'll never get them back. If you already have your own shelf of books like these (and i know you do i have some titles for you to add. Here are 12 books to read if you just really like beautiful writing. Your heart is a muscle the size of a fist by sunil Yapa, click here to buy, you'll have to wait until January to get your literary paws on this one, but Sunil Yapa's debut novel is possibly the most gorgeous book i've read. And if you haven't noticed, i read a lot.
Medieval prose romances
To get over the feeling that modernity is new: Satyricon by petronius Arbiter, few things can change ones perspective on human history like seeing how familiar and make modern this work from Neros time. Better yet, its from a decadence just like ours, brimming with risky sex, pretentious food and self-concern. In case Brexit didnt show why pure democracy should be sparingly used: Extraordinary popular Delusions and the madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay. No matter the strength of hero or the scale of glory we plan to write about, it never hurts to see how bizarre we can be en masse. Written in beautiful 19th-century prose, this book is a forensic jaunt through historys strangest crazes. For a smell of literary gasoline igniting: The Black bo ok by lawrence durrell, its one thing to hear of passion and midnight oil, another to see it spilt through a book. These were the pages where 24-year-old Lawrence durrell found his true voice its worth reading them just to see what that means.
But theres an edge to be gained from looking deeper, if only to prevailing simplifications. Liebermans book tackles 100 common complexes (. Why do i do favours for people i dont even like? ) in a couple of pages each. Obviously well also see ourselves in there, but theres nothing like naked horror to get the day started. To discover what villains are born knowing: The Prince by niccolò machiavelli, originally an instruction manual for princes, this realpolitik masterwork teaches who should be trusted and how to destroy them if they cant. The scary thing about The Prince, no plan doubt responsible for its longevity 500 years and counting is how snugly it fits any level of human powerplay from an average Thursday night for a courting teen to that lonely, bitter man on the wheelie-bin committee.
are a stunning daily reminder of what were doing and what our toolbox looks like. Thinking isnt writing, ideas arent writing; only writing is writing and we should make it exist in reality, which means ultimately not on a screen. Words behave differently when they sit in fresh air, and the Chambers rounds them up on silky paper. If youre serious about this, carry the thing around, browse it at random. Its a living zoo for writers, and the battery life is second to none. To skip the degree in psychology: Instant Analysis by david j lieberman. A characters struggles in a book will always have their psychology. We dont need a phD in order to write them, we just see the symptoms around us and describe them as they appear.
Mason Currey has carefully compiled the daily habits and personal foibles of 161 great writers, artists, scientists and thinkers, including one who stood on his head to cure creative block. By the end of this book, our hazlitt carpet-glue habit looks normal. To know how many rules were about to break: The Elements of Style by william Strunk Jr and eb white. The rules of modern writing have been around for a century, and this tiny volume is where they spent all that time. William Strunk Jr, professor of English at Cornell University, first printed the book privately for his students at the end of the first world war. Although its been updated, it still smells of chalk and tweed, and still inspires us to do things properly, if only via a sense that we might be shouted at if we dont. To grasp the difference between one character and another: Distinction by pierre bourdieu, this is strictly speaking a sociology text, but dont be put off by its density, its diagrams or its tables: its a gold mine. Apparently, no judgment of taste is innocent, meaning that everyone is some kind of snob. Here, bourdieu literally maps the kinds of snob we are, from the food we serve our friends and the knick-knacks on our dressers to the way we value pregnant women and sunsets.
Small Presses, poets writers
Writing a novel from scratch, which is to say without training, was such an unexpected odyssey that I was prompted to recall the discoveries in my new book, release the bats as much to remind myself where the power lay as to pass the keys. I didnt read a lot before writing a novel, but I realise now that certain books helped set. Writing fiction means writing vibrant human characters, and luck is with us in terms of research, as we havent essentially changed since we came down from the trees. So the best grounding for a fiction writer must be one that explores human nature with gloves off. Theres nothing like literature from ancient Rome bemoaning consumer culture to show that nothing is new, or literature from Habsburg Italy telling how to hire nuns for sex from the mothers superior of convents to put Fifty Shades in perspective. Which is to say that if we havent figured ourselves out by now, theres still time: were not going anywhere. So my choice of books for writers is slanted towards those that expose our colours. For balance, i throw in a couple on writing as well. To generate early inspiration and feel part of a club: daily rituals by mason Currey, writing can make you feel like a weirdo if you dont homework already but feeling like a weirdo is useless psychology for the job, hence this little book.