• Dana Webster

What Dana Reads

After that super-heavy blog post last week, I thought I'd keep it light this week. A reader, Yana, has kindly asked me to recommend some good books.

Pretty much how I spend my time

This list is not exhaustive and I'll kick myself when I realize I left out a few favourites (this is mostly off the top of my head) but this should keep you going for awhile. Just a note: I'm middle-aged so most of my favourites are not current. I am woefully ignorant of which writers are making a name for themselves these days. I often find myself just rereading the books I know I love.


My two favourite books of all time:

de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine The Little Prince

Lee, Harper To Kill A Mockingbird




The book that sparked my life-long love of reading

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders (she was 17 when she wrote this)


My favourite genre is classic literature because no one writes like this anymore, prose and poetry together, and I lament that:

Austen, Jane all of them but especially Emma

Bronte, Charlotte Jane Eyre

Bronte, Emily Wuthering Heights (the greatest love story ever told)

Defoe, Daniel Moll Flanders

Dostoevsky, Fyodor The Brothers Karamazov

Eliot, George The Mill on the Floss

Gaskell, Elizabeth North and South

Hardy, Thomas Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Lawrence, D.H. Sons and Lovers


Canadian

I'll just get this out of the way - I know I'm supposed to put that sacred cow of Canadian literature, Margaret Atwood, on this list but, alas, no. I don't like most of what she writes (ditto for Michael Ondaatje whose writing just hurts my brain); however, I will give a shout out to two of her books:

Atwood, Margaret Alias Grace, A Handmaid's Tale

Callaghan, Morley They Shall Inherit the Earth

Cameron, Claire The Last Neanderthal

Davies, Robertson The Deptford Trilogy

Findley, Timothy The Wars and Headhunter

Gowdy, Barbara We So Seldom Look On Love

Laurence, Margaret The Stone Angel (this book made me want to be a writer)

MacDonald, Ann-Marie Fall on Your Knees

Mitchell, W.O. Who Has Seen the Wind?

Moore, Brian The Luck of Ginger Coffey

Munro, Alice Lives of Girls and Women

Richler, Mordecai The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz


Horror

James, Henry The Turn of the Screw

King, Stephen all of his early work; I can't pick a favourite

Poe, Edgar Allan The Tell-Tale Heart (short story)

Shelley, Mary Frankenstein

Rice, Anne Interview with the Vampire

Stoker, Bram Dracula

Straub, Peter Ghost Story and Shadowland

Wilson, F. Paul The Keep


Humour

Adams, Douglas The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a trilogy in four parts)

Robbins, Tom all of them, period

Thompson, Hunter S Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


Miscellaneous

Capote, Truman In Cold Blood

Kerouac, Jan Baby Driver

Tyler, Anne Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


Mysteries & Police Procedurals

Connelly, Michael Harry Bosch series

Mina, Denise Paddy Meehan series

Mosely, Walter Easy Rawlins series

Robinson, Peter Inspector Banks series

Walters, Minette all of them but particularly The Sculptress


Newly Discovered

Adamson, Gil The Outlander (stunningly literate)

Conlin, Christy Ann Watermark

Crummey, Michael The Wreckage

McKay, Ami The Birth House

Mian, Sarah The Saints Go Marching In

Toews, Miriam A Complicated Kindness

Vermette, Katherena The Break

Whishaw, Iona Lane Winslow series


Science Fiction (not to be confused with Science Fantasy which I totally cannot get into),

Bradbury, Ray Fahrenheit 451

Huxley, Aldous Brave New World

Wells, H.G. The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds

Wyndham, John The Day of the Triffids


Women of Colour

Allende, Isabel The House of the Spirits

Angelou, Maya I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Hong Kingston, Maxine The Woman Warrior

Kogawa, Joy Obasan

McMillan, Terri Waiting to Exhale

Morrison, Toni Beloved

Tan, Amy The Kitchen God's Wife

Walker, Alice The Color Purple


This was so much fun, I just might follow this one up with my favourite poets, memoirs, plays, non-fiction and sundry.


If you like this post, let me know! Agree or disagree? What is your favourite book, genre, author? You can leave a comment below.


Thank you to Yana for suggesting this topic. I had fun travelling down memory lane!

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Nestled in the hills of Hockley Valley, Mono, Ontario, Canada