Books of the Month

Books I have read this past month. I’ll give you the title, author, and a brief review with no spoilers.


Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland. An erotic novel written while the author was in debtors' prison in London, it is considered "the first original English prose pornography, and the first pornography to use the form of the novel". One of the most prosecuted and banned books in history, it has become a synonym for obscenity. Very well-told.  It could be a story in a very old Penthouse magazine. 

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. story of steamboat captain, Charlie Marlow, and his harrowing voyage into the primitive interior of the Congo of Africa. As a manager of a Belgian ivory company, Marlow travels up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, an agent of the ivory company. Deep in the interior of Africa Marlow finds Kurtz living among the savage natives who revere him as a God. One of the best books written. The language he uses makes it a beautiful but sometimes horrifying story. 

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. 
Jude hopes of a university education but he’s lost when he is trapped into marrying the earthy Arabella, who later abandons him. Moving to find work as a stonemason, Jude meets and falls in love with his cousin Sue, a sensitive, freethinking "New Woman." Refusing to marry merely for the sake of religious convention, they decide instead to live together, but they are shunned by society and poverty soon threatens to ruin them. This book was long, but good and supposedly caused a public outcry with its challenging exploration of class and sexual relationships

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe. Born and abandoned in Newgate Prison, Moll Flanders is forced to make her own way in life.  She duly embarks on a career that includes husband-hunting, incest, bigamy, prostitution and thievery, until her crimes eventually catch up with her. Very vivid female voice. An easier read for the 21-century readers. 

A Home at the End of the World by Micheal Cunningham. Two boyhood friends, Jonathan and Bobby live in New York after college and become roommates. Clare, Jonathon’s roomie and veteran of the city's erotic wars  falls in love with Bobby. (Did I mention the guys are both gay?) This changes the plans of a now jealous Jonathan to father Clare's child. Then, when Clare and Bobby have a baby, the three move to a small house upstate to raise "their" child together and, with an odd friend, Alice, create a new kind of family. Completely not what I thought it was going to be, but still, a good, well-written story. However, a little slow at times. 


My All-Time Favorite Novels... (in no particular order)

 

Fight Club 

Chuck Palahniuk 

Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. 

Christiane F.

You 

Caroline Kepnes

The Virgin Suicides

Jeffrey Eugenides

Seed

Ania Ahlborn 

Within These Walls

Ania Ahlborn 

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines

Nick Sheff 

Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division 

Deborah Curtis

Thus Spoke Zarathustra 

Friedrich Nietzsche

A Storm of Swords

George R.R. Martin

Requiem for a Dream

Hubert Selby, Jr. 

Never Let Me Go

Kashuo Ishiguro 

The Master and Margarita 

Mikhail Bulgakov 

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov 

A Long, Hard Road Out of Hell

Marilyn Manson

Life

Keith Richards

Let the Right One in

John Ajvide Lindqvist

House of Leaves

Mark Z. Danielewski

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain 

Charles R. Cross

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

D.H. Lawrence 

Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue 

Marquis de Sade

120 Days of Sodom

Marquis de Sade 

It

Stephen King

Carrie

Stephen King

Girl, Interrupted 

Susanna Kaysen 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 

Hunter S. Thompson

Dharma Punx: A Memoir 

Noah Levine

Candy

Luke Davies

Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction 

David Sheff

Atonement 

Ian McEwan

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë 

 

The Time Traveler’s Wife 

Audrey Niffenegger

Endless Love

Scott Spencer 

 

Moll Flanders 

Daniel Defoe

Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert 

 

 

Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality 

Chris Grosso 

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

Chuck Klosterman

 

The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin

Tracey Helton Mitchell

Bird by Bird: Instructions on Life and Writing Life

Anne Lamott