War and Peace & Other Favorite Book Recommendations

It was a peaceful day and that made me think of some of my favorite books. And please don’t think less of me for stating I love War and Peace – I’m part Ukrainian!

Under the bridge at home in the canoe…

War and Peace (Pevear/Volokhonsky Translation)

I’m halfway through reading the newest translation of War and Peace.  Back in high school, in the one week assignment, I read about half of it, just enough to write a paper about it.  Rediscovering this classic is amazing.  The language Tolstoy used (shining through in a second language) is to the point, and he takes his time describing all of his characters and their inner and outer worlds.  I love the way he tackled the Masons, gave Alexander and Bonaparte humanity, and made complex battle situations breathe with tension.  The scandals within high society of the day are riveting.  Highly recommended.  Get lost in it.

Some of my favorite novels:

1 ): The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo - The Original Classic Edition

Yes, another really long book, but it’s the very first suspense novel and in its unabridged form the author doesn’t shy away from including all the sex, drugs and rock N roll.

2 ): Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

I’ve read it three times and every single time it gets better.  That guilty feeling…

3 ): The Twenty-Seventh City

Jonathan Franzen may have won most of the world over with The Corrections and Freedom, but his first novel has never been topped, in my humble opinion.  It came out around the same time as the brilliant The Bonfire of the Vanities was taking up all the air in the reading world, sharing a theme of the ruination of a moral man, but Franzen’s tale is a much better book.  There is something playful in Franzen’s early writing and the plot is on a grand scale even though his characterization is still intimate.

4 ): Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Stand

The Stand 'Salem's Lot Carrie Stephen King Book Covers Night Shift

Stephen King has the largest influence on me wanting to write, be a writer.  The first four published novels, along with Night Shift, his first collection of short fiction, inspired me to keep going.  I must’ve read each of these books more than twice, just to see how he plotted out the work, and could keep the characters human and relatable while they faced dread and horror. I mention Stephen King again on this blog: Click here for more on these same early novels and click here for a review of his eBook Mile 81!

5 ): The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games Trilogy

This teen-centric bestseller isn’t just for teens. It’s a combination of The Running Man with a true beating heart at its center: Katniss.












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