Shortlist for "The Wine Glass: Best Discovered Fiction" now! I've read 41 fiction books, a lot more of the canon that I hadn't got round to before, and lots of surprising new authors have now made it on to my favourites. Here are my top 5: ... Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut ... I never thought I'd love this book as much as I do, but Vonnegut's manic, swirling prose is genius. Surely nobody has captured a state of mind like he has captured. Insane, and brilliant.
... Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead - Olga Tokarczuk ... after winning the International Booker AND now the Nobel Prize for Literature, I knew I had to start reading Tokarczuk. This book is some amazing hybrid of noir, comedy, and a disquisition into just how humanity is going wrong. It is one of the greatest works of translated fiction that I've ever read.
... The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath ... How had I never read the singular novel written by my favourite poet before? A shameful fact, but finally I can say that this novel, just as hypnotic and urgent as Plath's poetry, is a tragic but altogether necessary look at the madness of the world.
... The Cement Garden - Ian McEwan ... I cannot deny that this is one of the more disturbing novels that I've read, and yet McEwan's prose is so deft and sculpted, it's impossible not to devour this modern gothic masterpiece and, while feeling a little sick afterwards, you can wonder just how he does it.
... Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte ... I'm not always a massive fan of the literary canon, half of which is full of decent enough books that have been unnecessarily immortalised while better ones have been forgotten. This, however, is a staggering work about all the things I love the most; desire, ghosts, nature, and jealousy. I couldn't not put it on the list. ... As always, come find me if you'd like to borrow one of these!
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