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You'd better head to the nearest good Indie bookseller to find some of these jewels. When it comes to books there will always be treasures out there waiting to be discovered. This book is prospector's guide for the lover of literature who thinks they've read it all. Nope, none of us are even close. View all 8 comments. I love to collect books about books, since no matter how much I read I can always use more suggestions.

This one has a little different take on the best books from authors; the compilers are not concerned with literary merit as much as an enjoyable reading experience. Feb 04, Elizabeth rated it liked it Shelves: ireland , women-writers , virago-modern-classics , My to-read list is growing and growing I borrowed this from the library and flipped through the reviews; however, I think it would be better to buy it, keep it on the shelf, and flip through it from time to time rather than trying to read it all at once.

It's a fine list. But lists abound on the internet Worth a look if you can find it in the library, or if you can find an inexpensive copy online A book of lists. I love lists. I have read 49 of them. No Science Fiction. There is little if any non-fiction. Shelves: books-reading-writing.

A List of Virago Modern Classics | The Virago Modern

Because this book was published in , some of the authors' biographies are rather dated a number of writers shown as living have since died , but I believe a more updated version is available. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed dipping in and out of this eclectic guide to of the 'best' novels written in English from to about While I have read many of the more famous or classic titles - or in some instances, I have intended to read them for some considerable time - my appetite Because this book was published in , some of the authors' biographies are rather dated a number of writers shown as living have since died , but I believe a more updated version is available.


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While I have read many of the more famous or classic titles - or in some instances, I have intended to read them for some considerable time - my appetite has now been whetted for a selection of lesser known works. My TBR shelf becomes ever heavier. Nov 11, Andrew De Sousa rated it liked it. The authors hope that indignation, as well as pleasure, will be among the first reactions to this selection. I am still working through it! Wodehouse, Joseph Heller and V.

Gass, Iris Murdoch, B. Farrell, Thomas Pynchon, E. This list also includes: Norman Mailer, V. Byatt, J. James, James Kelman, T. S Pritchett. View 1 comment. In we sent R In we spent R But when Val retired in , we could not afford to go browsing in bookshops and just buying whatever took our fancy, so we rejoined the public library.

In our spending on books dropped to R But browsing in a library is not the same as browsing in a bookshop. In a bookshop, the popular books will be stocking the shelves. In a library, the po In we sent R In a library, the popular books will probably have been taken out by others. That is where books like this come in. OK, it's someone else's choice, and their taste may not coincide with yours, but you at least know that some book lovers think it is worth reading. And, to back it up, at the back of the book are some lists of winners of some of the major literary prizes.

And if you don't find the book in question, another one by the same author might be worth a read. The authors' list has descriptions of each book and why they think it is worth reading, so from those I've compiled a list, which I take to the library, at least when I remember to. I grabbed this one from the library on a whim, and have been perusing it for the past month or so. I have a serious love-hate relationship with guides like this.

The authors at least acknowledge this in the introduct Meh. The authors at least acknowledge this in the introduction, as well as explaining a little about how they chose the books to include. Despite having some worthy inclusions I agreed with, a good portion of these I hadn't even heard of, and the authors generally did a lousy job of convincing me to pick them up. Believe me, you will find much better reviews here on GoodReads from random internet people.

I found this book on the new shelf at the Mechanics Institute Library, and figured if Colm Toibin was co-editor, it was worth a look. So glad that I picked it up, it was really fascinating! It was fun just to read the introduction in which they explain their approach to the project. The book introduced me to a number of writers I had not heard of before, from all over the English-speaking world. I mentioned two examples at the start. In this sense, distinguishing between works by, say, Sharp and John Milton, or Equiano and Shakespeare, is artificial.

That those were not, however, the only reasons for questioning what had been considered as literature is clear from the latter part of the same remark. There, Eagleton disputes whether any text can possess qualities that in themselves define it as literary. A few examples from the world of art may help to show this, for the same question also applies to them. The directory extract would be highly patterned, and it might well contain rhymes and latent metaphors, all qualities that are often held to be literary. The newspaper article might have an even stronger claim to literary status if it could also be seen as raising important human questions, as literature is often thought to do.

Consider, for instance, the following poem. Police are appealing for the mother to come forward as she may 2 need urgent medical attention. Does it matter that it is a short article from the Guardian newspaper 25 March presented with no other changes than splitting it up into lines of unequal length and convert- ing the headline into a title?

By this he meant the ability of a text to break through habitual perceptions and make readers or listeners see and think differently.

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One of his 4 main examples is a story by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy in which the narra- tor is a horse who exposes the assumptions behind how he is owned and treated simply by presenting them from his own perspective. Another member of the group, Roman Jakobson, produced a rather abstract but all the same useful formula for defining literariness. Setting out a range of the various func- tions of language, Jakobson distinguished between them on the basis of their aim or orientation. This illustrates his idea clearly. Although the slogan expresses an attitude on the part of the addresser the expressive function , although it conveys something about the candidate it names Jakobson called this the referential function , and although, as a slogan, it aims to have an effect on the addressee the conative function , its primary orientation, for Jakobson, is poetic.

For — and this is an important point — the Formalists did not confine literariness to literature. Instead, they claimed it could be found in communications of all kinds, oral as 3 well as written. While it is impossible to refute such a statement, it is just a debating point, for a society in which Shakespeare was not valued would be totally different from this one. Instead, it is possible to define literature by 5 considering one of its qualities that Eagleton plays down.

This is the fact that it usually takes predetermined forms that are accepted as literary. The plays and poems that Shakespeare wrote are obvious examples. They are clearly not wills, acts of parliament or shopping lists. Provided the reader has some basic cultural knowledge — at the same level as that required to identify a will, an act of parlia- ment or a shopping list — they cannot be mistaken for anything other than literary texts.

This is to suggest that literature results not only result from prac- 6 tices of reading and valuing, but also from practices of writing. The kind of theory that defines literature as a specific practice of writing he calls an essentialist or a constitutive theory. This means that to write a work in an accepted literary form, such as a sonnet, a pastoral elegy, a novel or a short story, is by that token to produce a work of literature, whatever its quality. In other words, the form itself constitutes the work as literature.

Even if it were also 1 a shopping list, a sonnet would be first and foremost an aesthetic, literary, object. To repeat, this is the case even if the work in question is of dismally poor quality. There are many poems, novels and short stories that could not constitute anything other than literature, though you might not find anyone willing to give them house room.

These works, usually for very good reasons, are not valued, but they still could not be anything other than literary. The term proposed by Genette for the other main way of defining literature 2 is conditionalist. What this means is that any work of verbal art can, in principle, be recognized as literature on condition that it is found to be valuable. On this definition, you could argue that any piece of verbal art has literary value, and you would do that by saying what its particular merits are.

This could be even if the piece were in a form not previously established as literary, such as an extract from a telephone directory. To sum up, then, there are works that are constitu- 3 tively literary because they are presented in recognized literary forms; and there are works that are conditionally literary because, although not written in conventionally literary forms, they are valued for their aesthetic qualities.


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  6. In this second category there are many works that were not intended as literature by their writers. You could look at it like this. These works will be considered literary as long as they are perceived as possessing aesthetic value. On the other hand, there are works that are constitutively literary — 5 poems, plays, novels and so on. Most of this work varies in quality from undistinguished to dreadful; but a small proportion is read, performed, studied — valued.

    It is this tip of the iceberg of literature that is called the canon. As a student of literature, many of the works you will be required to study will be parts of the canon. Some, though, may not be; and you may want to study others that are not. If either of the latter alternatives is the case, then it is important to remember that society and culture are constantly changing and 6 are constantly being reinterpreted.

    Because culture is constantly chang- ing, and assumptions about literature change with it, defining literature in any absolute sense is a vain ambition. But knowing why certain works are or might be valued is essential to the study of verbal art. That is one of the main reasons for studying literature. Baldick, Chris. The Social Mission of English Criticism, — Oxford: Clarendon Press, Eagleton, Terry.

    Literary Theory: An Introduction, 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, Fiction and Diction. Catherine Porter. Preface to Shakespeare. London: Dodo Press, Leavis, F. London: Chatto and Windus, Dickens: The Novelist. Lodge, David, and Nigel Wood, eds. Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader, 3rd edn. Harlow: 3 Pearson Education, Lonsdale, Roger, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Morrissey, Lee, ed.

    Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Modern Literary Theory: A Reader, 4th edn. London: Arnold, Why study literature? It is about knowing the world — a vast, uncharted universe of people and places, ideas and emotions. By Scott Bradfield. By Mary McGarry Morris.

    By Anthony Trollope. By John Haskell. By Jane Mendelsohn. By Janet Asimov. By Fanny Trollope. By Bjo Trimble. By Joseph Conrad. By Richard Barth. By Christopher Davis. By Arthur Conan Doyle. By Penina Goodman. By Lawrence Schimel. By Mark Saha. By Mary McCarthy. By Paulo Coelho. By Wilkie Collins.

    By Peter Mayle. By Eudora Welty. By David Nemec. By Raymond A. By May Sarton. By Francois Mauriac. By Alice Adams. By Saki H. By Oscar Hijuelos. By Albert Cohen. By Charles Dickens. By William Hauptman. By Herman Melville. By Willa Cather. By Emile Zola. By Boris Pasternak. By Anita Shreve. By Michael A. By Arthur Bradford. By Stef Penney. By Jake Arnott. By Michel de Grece. By Anthony Hope. By Thomas Beller. By Nora Kelly. By Clare Morrall. By Anita Desai. By Charles Baxter. By Henry Fielding. By George Du Maurier. By William Dean Howells.

    By Irving Howe. By David Garnett. By Penelope Fitzgerald. By Mark Twain. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. By Paula Berlich. By Jonathan Swift. Home Books Fiction. Items Per Page: 15 30 60 Year Newest Pub.

    July 2018 Reading Vlog #4

    Check box to include out-of-stock items. View: Grid List. Set in New York City during the s at the epicenter of a counterculture revolution, 'Before' follows Beatrice, a conventional young woman who is attracted to a licentious and volatile painter named Ned. Possessed of a demanding nature that eventually turns to hatred, Ned draws his energy from his muse, Beatrice. This is Spanidou's first novel in seven years.

    The year is and Bombay is caught up in a wave of terrorism and sectarian violence. Amidst the turmoil lives a ten-year-old boy named Chamdi. Having rarely ventured outside of his orphanage, Chamdi lives in a perfect fantasy world he calls Kahunsha, 'the city of no sadness. It is with these two that Chamdi fights through the destruction of his beloved city, searching for both his father and a way to solve Bombay's woes. Anosh Irani's latest is a wonderful tribute to the childlike innocence in us all. First published in Anxious, accident-prone, occasionally waspish, Charles Pooter, the author of this both celebratory and critical chronicle, remains the epitome of English suburban life.

    A poor workman named Michael Henchard, in a fit of drunken rage, sells his wife and baby daughter to a stranger at a country fair. Stricken with remorse, Henchard forswears alcohol and works hard to become a prosperous businessman and the respected mayor of Casterbridge.

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    But he cannot erase his past. His wife ultimately returns to offer Henchard the choice of redemption or a further descent into his own self-destructive nature. A dark, complex story, The Mayor of Casterbridge brims with invention, vitality, and even wit. The Insidious Dr. Petrie, to the satanic Dr. Fu-Manchu, a cunning Chinese criminal mastermind who means to rule the world. Flavorful atmosphere, fast-paced action, and colorful characters enliven this classic. This bestselling collection of eighteen stories extols the female virtues of discontent, sexual disruptiveness and bad manners.

    Contributors include Ama Ata Aidoo, Djuna Barnes, Jane Bowles, Angela Carter, Colette, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid, and Katherine Mansfield among others - all with one thing in common: the wish to restore adventuresses and revolutionaries to their rightful position as role models for all women. Translation: all of these storiesare about not being nice. Notes on the Authors. Set in the Midwest of the s, the novel tells the story of a man who aspires beyond his means and class, who meets and marries a wealthy divorcee. At the heart of this story, is what happens to his son, who enters a social world of private schools and debutante balls known to him only through his father's longings.

    When the marriage begins to crumble, larger, more devastating consequences enter the picture. A troubled youth with cerebral palsy struggles toward self-acceptance with the help of a drug-addicted young woman.