Skip to main content

26 fictions and 3 memoirs that stayed with me (and then more than 9 others)

(For my favorite novels and short story collections, I limited myself to fiction but cheated so I could add Richard Wright's Black Boy and Iain Levison's A Working Stiff's Manifesto. I listed no more than one work per author.)

1) A Fan's Notes by Fred Exley
2) The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
3) Brothers Karamazov by F.D.
4) Chump Change by Dan Fante
5) Like Life by Lorrie Moore
6) Benito Cereno by H. Melville
7) Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
 Hunger by Knut Hamsun 
9) Candide by Voltaire
10) Lolita by Nabokov
11) Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
12) The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon
13) The Bridegroom and Other Stories by Ha Jin
14) The Middleman and Other Stories by Bharati Mukherjee
15) A Working Stiff's Manifesto by Iain Levison 
16) The Joke by Milan Kundera
17) Petersburg by Andrei Biely
18) Envy by Yuri Olesha
19) Black Boy by Richard Wright
20) Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

and then I thought of some more (and cheated more with memoirs, Offutt and Pham):

21) The Music of Chance by Paul Auster
22) White Noise by Don DeLillo
23) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
24) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
25) Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow
26) The Same River Twice by Chris Offutt
27) Catfish and Mandala by Alexander X. Pham
28) Caucasia by Danzy Senna
29) Native Speaker by Chang Rae Lee

And because this is such a highly professional blog, I'll come back later and add some links.

30) Hard Times by Charles Dickens
31) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
32) The Cliff Walk by Don J. Snyder
33) The Human Stain by Philip Roth
34) Mickelsson's Ghosts by John Gardner
35) Water Music by T. C. Boyle
36) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
37) Television by Jean-Phillippe Toussaint

and saving the best for last

38) The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano although Last Evenings on Earth is an extremely close second for me

Until I remembered to also include these:

39) Selected Stories by Andre Dubus
40) The Overcoat and Other Tales by Nikolai Gogol
41) Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
42) The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

So with that final four, until I remember others, I still kind of have a saving-the-best-for-last thing going on.

Feel free to find me at Goodreads for star ratings and a few reviews.

A fine final correction would be

43) The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Okay, then, until I add more. . .

44) Revulsion by Horacio Castellanos Moya
45) Zone by Mathias Enard

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top Ten Russian Novels!

L.U.S.K. is excited to feature a guest post from Aisha O'Connor-Fratus, writer, editor, parent, and blogger at Hell's Domestic Backside. Enjoy this list of Aisha's ten favorite Russian novels:
1. Anna Karenina (Lev Tolstoy, 1873 to 1877). Anna is rich and bored. Anna hates the way her husband chews his food. Count Vronsky—played by Christopher Reeve, so handsome) sweeps Anna off her feet! But things do not end well for Anna.
2. The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1880). Not about a traveling circus acrobatic troupe. Its sweeping explorations of God, free agency, and morality are timeless and haunting. My favorite part is Ivan’s reciting of the poem “The Grand Inquisitor” in which Christ is resurrected during the Spanish Inquisition.
3. Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky, 1866). Life-long graduate student Rodion Raskolnikov tries to justify an unspeakably immoral act with eugenics and hey—a guy needs to eat.
4. Rudin (Ivan Turgenev, 1856). Dmitry Rudin talks the talk, but…

The Writing Life Starring Iain Levison

Iain Levison's Dog Eats Dog was published in October, 2008 by Bitter Lemon Press and his even newer novel How to Rob an Armored Car will be published by Soho Press in October, 2009. Back in '00 or so, L.U.S.K. first discovered Levison's A Working Stiff's Manifesto in hardcover with its original subtitle, "Confessions of a Wage Slave." That memoir established Levison's scalding wit and ability to hold the attention of an ever-tweeting audience. It was later released as a trade paperback with a supercharged second subtitle, and Levison has managed to survive, publish, and publish again. With long-terms roots in Scotland and Philadelphia, Levison currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where he commits literature and carpentry as much as he can.

USK: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and when did you first identify as a writer?
IL: Writing is the only thing I've ever been any good at. Well, the only legal thing. Early on, I realized t…