I’ve recently finished reading Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air, and Oprah Winfrey’s What I Know For Sure. They were all good, moving and held my attention.
While researching a new book to read, in several forums, a handful of people highly recommended A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I am currently reading it, and it is WOWing me. The writing is superb and the story is moving. It will no doubt be one of my favorite books of all-time. I am savoring every paragraph of this 800+ page book. It’s so good that I want to find the author and ask her to autograph my copy. She lives in NYC. Does anyone have a connection to Hanya Yanagihara? I bow to her. The book was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and the Andrew Carnegie medal for excellence in fiction, a finalist for the National Book Award, and winner of the Kirkus prize.
As an English major, I know and appreciate good writing. There are good stories like Gone Girl and The Help, that are quickly made into blockbuster movies. But good writing is different: Shakespeare, William Faulkner, Virgnia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, Haruki Murakami. I have been studying literature and the craft of writing since I was in elementary school, yet rarely does writing enamor me anymore. Especially now with the explosion of podcasts, blogs and Instagram, consumption is less about good writing and more about churn and pretty photos.
Here are some of my favorite books of all-time.
- A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
- Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
- Anything by Virginia Woolf, but my favorite is The Waves.
- Anything by William Faulkner, but my favorite is Absalom, Absalom!
- Anything by Shakespeare, but my favorite play is Macbeth.
I also keep a list here.
What are a few of your favorites?