Have You Read…? 3 Must-Reads

Books are my passion. My obsession. From day to day I continuously search for the next book which will make me laugh, cry and stay within my heart for years to come. The last three years of my life have been dedicated almost wholly to reading; loving and inspecting texts which has left me with a lot of stories that I feel everyone simply must read.

This week I’m going to start us off on a high so when I inevitably descend into recommending books that made me go ‘WHAT DID I JUST READ?’ I can always tell everyone to cast their minds back to the time when I was literary and rational.

1. Ian McEwan – On Chesil Beach
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I finished this last night after reading it for the first time so I can’t yet vouch for its ability to stay within my heart but I am already certain of its deep-rooted effect upon me. Often I will finish a book and go ‘well, there you go then. NEXT!’ but this one left me sobbing. As in, crying like my pet dog had died and I had lost a best friend.

At only 166 pages long I would call this a quick read, and it’s quite easy to get through too. It tells the tale of Edward and Florence. Married one day in July 1962 and now sitting silently, eating their dinner in the hotel they have chosen for their honeymoon. He is desperate, she is terrified. Their love is true. The writing is sensational. I felt Florence’s fear; I could see Edward standing at the end of his garden with his father in one of the retrospective sections. That is what I love so much about Ian McEwan; his exquisite ability to craft words into heart-stirring emotion.

After this one, read: Atonement

2. Zadie Smith – On Beauty
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This was a course book on a women’s writing module I took in my second year…which I didn’t read until the following summer. I’m very glad I savoured this book until a time I could read it leisurely and not have to deface every page with my inane scribblings. This book neither broke my heart nor left a stain in my mind but it is one I return to fondly.

Following the lives of two families and their long-standing feud, On Beauty examines the details of love, friendship, marriage, loyalty and everything else that accompanies them. It is honest, sometimes painfully so, but it will also make you smile. For me, Zadie Smith manages to capture the essence of realism whilst also weaving in the most beautiful imagery and metaphor, such as the paintings which reappear throughout the text and form the core of the two families’ feud.

After this one, read: White Teeth

3. Gabriel Garcia Márquez – Love in the Time of Cholera
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I hope I am right when I say this book will never leave me. It is the only book by Garcia Márquez I have read, simply because I haven’t yet come across a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude in a second-hand store (where all the best books come from). For me, the beauty of this book lies in its ability to spark your senses. I felt the cloying heat of the Caribbean and when I think of this book I am met with the colour of one thousand flowers and the peace of a boat quietly floating down the river.

Once again, a tale of love and restrained desire, this book is filled with passion and pain. Florentino Ariza, young and poetic, meets Fermina Daza and they fall in love. Of course, as in every tragic tale of love, they cannot be together and she is married to Juvenal Urbino, a doctor whose life’s dedication is to the eradication of cholera. Florentino’s life is dedicated to his love of love, attempting to escape his love of Fermina whilst never quite managing it. I will never do justice to this book.

After this, read: One Hundred Years of Solitude

What are the books that have stuck with you after reading them? Have you read any of these – what did you think of them?

Keep up with my literary life at Goodreads

Lauren – Tweet Me!

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3 thoughts on “Have You Read…? 3 Must-Reads

  1. Pingback: Have You Read…? Virginia Woolf | Wendy House

  2. Pingback: Have You Read…? Victorian Supernaturalism | Wendy House

  3. Pingback: Have You Read….? Second-Wave Feminist Fiction | Wendy House

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