Favorite Novels – part 1

Today we’re going to get a bit more literary than usual here on the mineshaft. For some reason, I’ve compiled a completely arbitrary top list of ten of my favorite novels. Unlike stupid Facebook though, i’m not just gonna list ’em… I’m going to talk about each one briefly. Keep in mind this is 100% personal taste and 100% subjective. It’s also quite possible that I missed a book that I love, in which case I’ll change this later.  I also decided not to number this list, so it’s in no particular order.

Brave New World. This is a pretty obvious contender in many people’s top list. I happen to think it has all (or most) of the awesome of 1984, but that it’s a whole lot better all around. The world building might be better in 1984, but the characters and story are so much stronger in Brave New World. There’s also far greater potential for humor, for me at least, in Brave New World. I like ’em both, but the edge goes to Huxley on this one.

Frankenstein. Oooh Mary Shelley how you slay me. One of the first and still one of the best science fiction stories. It’s now considered kind of tired to write a science fiction story where the general moral is “be careful! Science and knowledge can lead to eeeevil things!”. I think Frankenstein is one completely fair exception to this rule though. There’s a good amount of horror and atmosphere in this book, both the gross in your face kind and the slow and creeping kind. There are several paragraphs that you will read and WISH you had written them – and that’s one mark of good writing. Most people overlook Frankenstein, but it has some extremely powerful images. It also went on to influence a huge amount of popular culture, so there!

A Canticle for Leibowitz. If you haven’t heard of this post apocalyptic sci-fi story, quickly stop reading this because I really don’t want to ruin much of it for you. The reason this one makes my list is it has this strange kind of charm to it. It’s a mostly grim story, but it has plenty of sneaky and subtle ironies. The real beauty of this story is that it can be as soul crushingly sad or as darkly funny as you like. It really doesn’t push you in either direction or force you to remain consistent moment to moment either. There’s a sequel out too… I might have to check that out.

Watchmen. Aha! If Time magazine can put it on their list, so can I! There’s really nothing more to be said about Watchmen. I mentioned it in my movie review, I’m a super fan… as everyone should be. Just read the damn thing, you’ll love it.

Wuthering Heights. I don’t know why, but in my head this novel is embroiled in a cat fight to the death with Pride and Prejudice. It’s really not a fair matchup either, because Wuthering Heights absolutely destroys it. This one can be read for so many things: the love story, the complicated narrative, the study in evil, there are so many angles with this book. It has plenty of that gloomy “gothic” imagery as well.

Okay, looks like this is going to have to be a two parter. The other five will be in next monday’s post. See ya then!


2 Responses to “Favorite Novels – part 1”

  1. July 10, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I have read every single one of your favourite novels. Sure, I read three of them because you made me… still.

    • 2 reddingmineshaft
      July 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm

      Like I said, no real surprises for you… I think you’ll have read fewer in the next five that I post on monday.

      I also made a short story list, but that will probably be posted some other time. 🙂

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