Happy New Year! My resolution for this year is to be better about this blog (posting, interesting material, better website) and I’m working on all of those things. Hopefully you will see and appreciate new improvements. In looking at other blogs that I admire I noticed that my About Me section could probably use some work. Specifically, I mostly review books and you have ZERO idea what my notion of a good book is. So….what better way than to post what my favorite books of ALL TIME (insert booming voice) are. These are the books that when I don’t know what to read I think about rereading because every time I do I find something new or I enjoy it even more or I just pretty much love every moment of being in that book’s world.
So without further ado ….. Trina’s Top Five Books :
5) Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) by Choderlos de Laclos
Yes this is the book that horrible movie with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Philippe was based on (don’t judge based on that). It is also the book that the wonderful movie with Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close and John Malkovich was based on (DO judge it based on that). This book was written in 1782 and was considered the most scandalous and diabolical book ever written (if you are anything like me then that will make you run out and read the book right away). The bonus part is that this book is fantastic. It is in the epistolary form (you know I love the back and forth letter writing). The main characters are the Vicomte de Valmont, a deliciously sinister and charming man and the Marquise de Merteuil, a woman way beyond her time who is both intelligent, seductive. Both of them are utterly without conscience in their game of seductions. This is full of intrigue, romance, witty satire, not to mention insight into the nature of love and relationships. This makes me want to dress in a ball gown, sip a delicious cocktail by the fire and plot intrigue (on somebody I’m not sure who). Read this book!
4) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
So cliche but so true. I love the boy wizard…as a fan of high fantasy, I’m basically forced to. I won’t bother to go into summary and such. I love the world that Rowling has created and occasionally I wish I lived there too.
3) The Belgariad by David Eddings
The Belgariad is actually a series of five books starting with Pawn of Prophecy. It follows Garion, a young scullery boy who is being raised on a farm by his Aunt Pol. One day, the storyteller Old Wolf appears and urges Garion and his aunt to leave the farm immediately. This is just the beginning of an epic quest that spans the five books in which Garion will encounter magicians (both good and evil), snake queens, mad gods as well as confront his own true destiny. Another high fantasy gem, the world that Eddings has created is populated by the most interesting characters who have flaws and quirks but hearts of gold underneath. The adventures are interesting and the books move along at a break neck speed. The series is followed by a second follow up series called The Malloreon that is just as good.
2) Beloved by Toni Morrison
I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t read this book in a LONG time. Mostly because it is so disturbing to me that I couldn’t bear to do it again. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love this book or felt profoundly affected by it. It follows Sethe, who was born a slave but escaped eighteen years ago. She can’t really be free because she is haunted by her former life in slavery. Especially the baby that she lost, whose tombstone only has one word on it : Beloved. Partly ghost story, partly literary fiction, partly historical fiction, it has got a lot going on. What I loved most about it was the way it was written. It is honestly one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.
1) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
My favorite, favorite, favorite, favorite book of all time. I was one of those nerds in English class who actually loved the books we were assigned to read (well some of them). I have probably read this book at least 10-15 times. This is the story of Jane : plain but intelligent, shy but filled with inner passion. Jane suffers a hard life at the hands of her aunt, then on to an orphanage finally ending up as a governess at Mr. Rochester’s house (for his ward, not his child). Although she is developing a sort of strange relationship with Mr. Rochester, there are even stranger goings-on at the house including mysterious laughter, random fires, and creepy servants living upstairs for no discernible reason. I love many things about this book : Jane is a feminist before her time – she refuses to compromise herself for anybody or anything. Rochester and Jane have a real romance, based on friendship not on being the two most pretty people in the room. There is a creepy mystery to be solved as well which drives the plot forward. It appeals to me on so many levels. I want you to read this book! Go! Do it now!
It took me a bit to come up with this list because it is hard to narrow this down. Two books almost made the cut so I will call them bonus favorites : Gone With The Wind and Wuthering Heights. This has just solidly outed me as an incurable romantic, my favorite variety being obsessive/tortured love.
So, what about you? What would make your top five list? Have you read any of these books? What did you think?