Yeah, I’ve been bad about comments lately.
Oh, blog. Oh, readers. I’ve been so neglectful of you both lately – look at all those comments I have unanswered! I am such a bad mother…
In lieu of answering comments, I have a list of books to recommend. Only one of them has the slenderest of connections to anime. This all started when I was talking to someone earlier about books in general, so my posting of it here is just me passing along something I’d already worked on.
In other news, I am at 32,200 words for my manuscript. Good job, Day! So I am doing something, just not something to do with my blog.
- The Haunting of Hill House
- It Can’t Happen Here
- Kingsblood Royal
- The Remains of the Day
- Interview with the Vampire*
- Ethan Frome
- Be Near Me
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle
- Summer of the Ubume
- The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn
- Player Piano
- Regeneration Trilogy
I starred Interview with the Vampire since so many people are just immediately skeptical of anything to do with vampires. I quite honestly think it is the best book Anne Rice wrote; the sense of loss is so palpable. That it’s vampires is quite honestly secondary to it all, strangely enough, considering that its all about this vampire guy who is telling of his two hundred-ish years of “life”. But Rice wrote the book in part to cope with the loss of her five year old daughter to leukemia, and there is a mournfulness to the entire effort that is incredibly striking. I think The Vampire Lestat ended up being even more successful, but Interview is the superior novel. I recommend it to anyone, whereas with Lestat I’d only recommend it to vampire fans.
Kingsblood Royal and It Can’t Happen Here should be required reading for all Americans these days. Kingsblood Royal in particular is incredibly relevant to today’s political situation. It really is regrettable that Sinclair Lewis is so out of style.
I feel that I need to note that the Regeneration Trilogy is by Pat Barker and is comprised of Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road. Oh, World War I… how I love thee.
Player Piano is Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel, and a very good place to start with him, honestly. It is the first I read of his and remains my favorite, although I do really like Galapagos quite a bit as well. But I think Galapagos has a much more limited appeal given how deeply cynical it it.
The Remains of the Day and Be Near Me are both heartbreaking. I can pinpoint the exact moment where The Remains of the Day broke my heart; my immediate reaction was to say aloud, “That was beautiful.” Be Near Me has a similar air of loss to it that Interview with the Vampire does, although it manifests in a much different fashion and the nature of the loss at the heart of it is very different.
Summer of the Ubume is the lone one with an attachment to anime; I’ve said it many times before, but it comes from the same series of novels as Mouryou no Hako does. Anyone who enjoys mysteries should read it, as should anyone with an interest in Japanese folklore – it’s packed with stuff about folklore, and also delves quite a bit into the intersection of folk beliefs and psychology.
The Haunting of Hill House is my favorite horror novel. Shirley Jackson is yet another author who does not get the credit she deserves at all. I didn’t enjoy We Have Always Lived in the Castle as much, but it is truly disturbing.
Alright. I didn’t mention Ethan Frome or Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn doesn’t really need an explanation, does it? I will say, though, that it is much better than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and that Tom Sawyer’s re-appearance toward the end of the narrative really hurts the overall quality. Ethan Frome is short… so, yeah, no excuses for not reading it. It involves a sad sack man, so obviously up my alley! And if all that isn’t enough to entice you, Ethan Frome the character was sort of my idol in high school when I first read that book. Not in a romantic sense. I just thought he was very noble. I aspired to be like him.
In some ways, I still admire his character to a slight extent; at the very least, his determination to do what he thinks is right is impressive. However, overall he makes for a very poor role model, and I shudder a bit at thinking on how my fifteen year old self took him as inspiration! A person cannot be happy if they’re taking Ethan Frome as inspiration! It just isn’t possible!
Anyway. That is all. I will now return to my fiction crafting, or I shall be unable to go to sleep properly tonight!