Books I Don't Rave About Enough (1)

I've realised that I'm very good at 'forgetting' to mention a whole load of my favourite books on this blog. Or at least, I'm very good at not mentioning books I've enjoyed outside of my reviews. So, without further ado, here are seven books I'm running out of superlatives for:

THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath: Given how much time I spend badgering all my friends to read this book, I clearly don't blog/Tweet about it enough. In short, The Bell Jar is one ridiculously good book. Esther is a fascinating character: witty, intelligent, morbid, perceptive, flawed beyond belief. Plath's writing is stylistically flawless and compulsively readable. And, although I rarely write in books, the margins of my copy are riddled with pencil marks and annotations (especially around my favourite passage). Yet the truth is, even after rereading this book so many times, it remains a mystery.



CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN by Louis de Bernieres: This is one of the few books of which I can say "I've never read anything like it" with complete sincerity. What makes this book so endlessly wonderful is the clever combination of historical fiction, romance and politics. There are so many different viewpoints interspersed throughout and the idiosyncrasy of the entire novel is wonderful. If you want a great read, albeit fairly confusing, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is the way to go. The fact I've mentioned it so few times completely undermines its brilliance.


AMERICANAH by Chimamander Ngozi Adichie: I read this book earlier this month and I don't understand why I haven't blogged about it yet! Not only is it one of those books everybody needs to read, but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is wonderful on so many levels (straying off topic but if you haven't seen this, watch it now!). Americanah is profound, written with flair and incredibly thought-provoking. Adichie explores the themes of race and love like no other author; Americanah is a powerful novel: a definite must-read.


ENGLEBY by Sebastian Faulks: Again, I only finished this book the other day (although I read it across a long period of time), but usually I'd blog about a book of this standard within seconds of finishing. Engleby is exactly the kind of novel I enjoy: a dark, disturbing and intricate murder mystery. Mike Engleby is a simply unforgettable narrator – he really makes the novel what it is. To cut it short, if you want a brilliant mystery novel, oozing with suspense, this is a superb choice. I can't believe I haven't reviewed or raved about it yet – I surely will in the future!


THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt: If you asked me to pick my top three favourite books, I'm pretty sure this would make the cut. The Secret History is incredible – there's no other word for it. Straight from the first few lines, it's clear this book is something incredible (“Does such a thing as 'the fatal flaw,' that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn't. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.”). The reason I've never reviewed it? I could never do this book justice.


THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt: In case you can't already see, Donna Tartt is an author I can't get enough of. I finished The Goldfinch in early September, but I can tell it's a book I'll be reading and rereading for years to come. Again, the fact I've barely mentioned The Goldfinch, let alone not reviewed it, undermines its excellence. It's easily one of the best books I've read this year. I can't help but ask: is there anything Donna Tartt can't do? I'm not going to say anything more about The Goldfinch – any attempt to explain its excellence results in complete injustice of its excellence.


THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood: I've never read a book as accomplished as The Handmaid's Tale. It's so rich in ideas and thoughts & remains – out of all the dystopian novels I've ever read – the most terrifying. The depth Atwood brings to the novel, the complexity of the characters and the intricacies of the society are what make it truly wonderful. If you're a fan of dystopians, you need to read this. If you simply like reading, you need to read this. Even if you don't like reading, you need to read this. You get the idea right? Everyone needs to read this.


Have you read any of these books? I'd love to know! I think I'll make this kind of post regular as there are so many incredible books I don't talk about enough!

19 comments:

  1. What a coincidence, I'm reading The Handmaid's Tale right now! I'm not that far in yet but I'm actually really enjoying it! ^^ It's going to be one of the books I'll be writing about and comparing in my dissertation. *moans at the thought of this essay*

    Great post! I really want to check out Donna Tartt since she's cropped up twice... ;D

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    1. I hope you enjoy the rest of it! ^.^ And aaaarggh that sounds stressful – good luck with it haha. ;)

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  2. Sadly I haven't read any of these books yet - however I do own The Goldfinch and it sounds really great!.STILL need to read The Bell Jar - I swear I'll get round to it one day. :)

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    1. The Goldfinch is unbelievably brilliant – took me forever to read though! Hope you get The Bell Jar soon!

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  3. Such a wonderful list! And I completely follow you on the whole "I can't possibly do this book justice in any way" :)

    I've read and loved "The Bell Jar", and would likely list "The Handmaid's Tale" on my top 10 all-time favourites, and I have beautiful hardback copies of all Tartt's books standing ready and waiting, but honestly, I think I'm a bit intimidated (which does not happen often!) as I've heard so many good things (and some affectingly bad) which essentially means, that I am so scared of being disappointed in books that I'm expecting so much from...

    Sigh, the problems of a book lover, right?

    As for Adichie, I still haven't read anything by her, but have both "Americanah" and "Half of a Yellow Sun" waiting on the shelves as well :)

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    1. Glad you like the list! There are some books so ridiculously brilliant that, ironically, there are no words to describe them. :)

      I can see where you're coming from about being intimidated by the Donna Tartt books! I put off reading The Goldfinch not only because of its size, but because I was worried I would find it as 'life-changing' as everybody else. However, I really do recommend you give it ago!

      Yep, definitely a problem of a book lover. :)

      I read Half of a Yellow Sun earlier this year and I really enjoyed it. Although, I have to say, I connected with Americanah more so, ultimately, enjoyed it more. Both are worth the read though!

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  4. So I feel like an EXTREMELY bad friend right now as I have not read ANY of these books...*tiptoes away*
    HOWEVER, I have wanted to read The Bell Jar for ages and was actually planning on taking it out of the library soon...The Goldfinch.. I actually got that out of the library along with Half of a Yellow Sun but they were both HUGE and I had no time [I got it out a week before college started..] Maybe I might read all these in the holidays...

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    1. YES. BAD FRIEND. *hits on head with book*

      You should definitely read The Bell Jar – I KNOW you will love it! And I see what you mean about The Goldfinch – it did take me a VERY long time to read it.

      Out of the list I know you'll love The Bell Jar and The Secret History in particular, but I also think you'd enjoy Americanah and maybe Captain Corelli's Mandolin! iI don't suppose I'm helping in making your TBR pile any smaller? ;)

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  5. I'm really struggling to read books right now and have been for quite a while. My concentration/headaches/fatigue make it really hard work. I'd love to go on a long train journey with all of your recommendations in a suitcase, to be forced into working my way through them! The Hand Maid's Tale is brilliant but I still haven't finished it (started over a year ago . . .).

    I haven't been on your blog for a while. Love the new design! :)
    www.beephillips.co.uk

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    1. Aw that sounds like such a pain. Of recent I haven't had a lot of time for reading either, so that hypothetical train ride sounds ideal! Hopefully you'll get the chance to read a couple of these in the future. :)

      Oh and thank you – glad you like it!

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  6. THE BELL JAR! And THE GOLDFINCH! Sometimes I thimk you're my alter ego. But that's never true. I could never ever be like you.

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  7. I actually just bought The Bell Jar because you've said so many great things about it :)

    I'm super excited to read it, and I have the sneaky suspicion it's going to make me cry.

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    1. Hehe yay I hope you enjoy it. Do tell me what you think!

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  8. Ruby, I'm drowning in a TBR list that literally reaches the moon, and you are NOT HELPING!!

    I am joking of course, but seriously what great reviews, I am now possessed by the burning desire to read ALL OF THESE BOOKS. I've read The Bell Jar, of course, and completely agree with what you said, but I'd love to read the rest of these. Especially the Donna Tartt. That opening passage of The Secret History ... man. I feel like I need that book in my life.

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    1. Haha sorry Emily BUT MAYBE ONE OF THESE WILL BE YOUR NEW FAVOURITE SO MAYBE I AM HELPING?! :)

      I think you'd LOVE The Secret History! Also, Americanah is another one I think you'd really enjoy. Although, to be honest, I think you'd love them all. (Still not helping your TBR pile haha!)

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  9. I find it quite surprising that I have never read any of these books. I will makes sure to put them on my TBR pile though!

    Amelia @ YA Bookologists (ya-bookologists.blogspot.com)

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  10. I'm here as a representative for Teenage Blogger Central, the blogger community you joined wat backin April 2013. I'm here to ask you if you could put up a link button to TBC from this page http://teenage-blogger-central.blogspot.ie/p/blog-page_27.html and put it in the sidebar. We'd love it if you could spread the word about TBC so more people can join :)
    If you have any suggestions or ideas for guest posts, let us know! We're looking forward to seeing your involvement with TBC :)

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  11. I've never actually read The Bell Jar, but I really should! You know, there's this book called Belzhar on Netgalley. Basically, it's about some students figuring out their problems by reading The Bell Jar. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my kindle and I think it'll be good! Maybe you'd like it? Great post! xx

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