Looking for some books to get me through the winter...
November 22, 2011 5:22 PM Subscribe
Help me MeFites! Help me find the books that will allow me to space out during the holidays.
I'm looking for some engrossing, non-taxing, but not stupid, novels to read that will take me away from my ordinary modern life and its attendant pressures. Can you help?
posted by A Terrible Llama to Media & Arts (48 answers total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
Books I've enjoyed recently:
Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
The Living, by Annie Dillard
Specimen Days Michael Cunningham, particularly the final story, "Like Beauty"
The key features I'm looking for are:
Good writing...sometimes when I'm reading I feel like I can see the material being workshopped, and it takes me out of it. I think I like 'non-fussy, but precise' writing.
Deliverance from my ordinary existence....I'm not typically a genre fiction person, but I notice that the books that I've liked recently have been otherworldly -- one about a cattle drive to Montana in (I think) the 1860's, one in the late 1880's Pacific Northwest, and one in some strange dystopian future where our lives were shared with beings from other planets. So I'm open to genre fiction of any kind as long as it's considerably physically different than my life. I don't want to come across MacBook Airs, Facebook, Spreadsheets, sous vide, attachment parenting, Toyotas....etc. I want to know about the troubles one might experience having to figure out how to make a fire in the middle of the woods or something.
I like strong, well-developed characters you can have some intimacy with. I think I prefer modern writing even about historical things, because it's more relatable through a modern filter (so I don't want to read a book that takes place in the civil war that was written right after the civil war). I like a clear plot that you can see moving more than internal exposition.
I dont' want anything depressing where everyone dies in the end (Cormac McCarthy = engrossing, but not fun) . Some ups and downs and sadness is fine, I just don't want them to kill everyone. It makes me feel a little tricked.