Triple Choice Tuesday: Paperback Reader

Triple-Choice-TuesdayWelcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers and other bookish bods to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles and new bloggers.

Today's guest is Claire from Paperback Reader.

I know Claire personally, as we both belong to the same book group.

Originally from Glasgow, Claire now lives in London with her long-term boyfriend. She tells me she's "looking forward to the pitter-patter of tiny paws and a ring on my finger". A literature graduate, she's doggedly pursuing an elusive career in book publishing.

She loves red wine, good food and, of course, books.

Without further ado, here's Claire's Triple Choice Tuesday selections:

 

TheGroup A favourite book: The Group by Mary McCarthy

Whenever I am asked to name a favourite book, I feel as if I am on the spot like a rabbit in the headlights. Narrow my favourite books down to only one?! It's a near-impossible feat but I went for the less obvious favourite and one of the most recent book to acquire the status, and chose The Group.

Reissued late last year by my favourite publisher, Virago, The Group revolves around eight female friends and recent graduates of Vassar in 1930s New York. Intelligent, satirical and exceedingly witty, The Group is a saga that is as educational as it is entertaining.

The novel was highly progressive in its open treatment of motherhood, sex, contraception, and marriage and also discusses Socialism and Communism, Lesbianism, race and mental illness amongst the socio-economic backdrop of 1930s New York. The women are mainly affluent and educated but, as women, are limited and stifled in society; McCarthy provides a historical insight into my favourite period, and evokes it exceptionally well.

 

NightsatheCircus A book that changed my world: Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

Anyone who knows me or is familiar with my blog won't be surprised that I have chosen an Angela Carter novel. Nights at the Circus was my first foray in Carter's lush prose and one year later I was writing my Master's thesis on her work; the book literally changed my world and it has very much remained a favourite in my esteem and affection. My love for Carter is entirely as a result of having read this book.

Set in 1899 London and moving to St Petersburg and Siberia, Nights at the Circus is a carnivalesque, feminist and magical realist novel. Fevvers, the novel's protagonist, is a celebrated winged aerialist and leading attraction at a circus. Hatched from an egg, Fevvers sprouted wings when she was menstruating and a virgin raised in a brothel; she is Cockney, larger-than-life — literally — at over six feet in her stocking-feet and peroxide blonde.

 

DropCity A book that deserves a wider audience: Drop City by T.C. Boyle

A university lecturer of mine recommended this book to me and when he suggested a book, I paid attention (previous suggestions included Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark and the majority of the Irish literary canon). I love Boyle's writing and not merely because we share a surname.

Drop City would make a fantastic reading choice for summer and its front cover is a hoot. The story is set in a 1970s Californian commune, where the inhabitants live a relaxed existence, practising free love and doing drugs. Following a series of ugly events, the group move north to Alaska, planning on recreating their commune there and cultural clashes with the locals ensue.

I read Drop City about five years ago and it has remained vividly in my memory; Boyle's writing is stunning and he evoked lifestyles and landscapes unfamiliar to me with apparent ease. I think his work in general should be more well-known but I highly recommend this novel.

Thanks, Claire, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!

What do you think of Claire's choices? Have you read any of these books? I've been dying to read The Group ever since I spied Betty Draper from Mad Men reading it! And it was Claire who encouraged me to try my first Angela Carter earlier this year, so Nights at the Circus has gone on my wishlist. I'm also a TC Boyle fan, but have not read Drop City: it sounds like I need to rectify that, too.

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25 thoughts on “Triple Choice Tuesday: Paperback Reader

  1. Great choices!
    If both you AND the lovely Betty Draper (of Mad Men) likes it, it’s bound to be good.
    I’m also a fan of TC Boyle, loved his “Tortilla Curtain” and “Budding Prospects”, but was less impressed by “Road To Welville” (goofy story about Dr. Kelloggs).
    Will look for “Drop City”, unfortunately my library doesn’t have it.

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  2. I haven’t read any of them but have the first two on my wishlist. I am a little embarrassed to admit I haven’t read any novels by T.C. Boyle although I’ve come across his name in bookshops everywhere. Will check him out!

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  3. I love TC Boyle, but haven’t read Drop City yet – I own a copy so hopefully I’ll get to it one day.
    I wasn’t a big fan of Nights at the Circus – it was a bit too surreal for me, but I keep meaning to read The Group.
    Great choices!

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  4. What an interesting selection of choices. I do fancy reaidng ‘The Group’ one day it does rather look like my kind of book.
    Claire pushed me down the Carter path with her special celebration month in April, though I read mine in may lol, and I will be reading much more by her.
    I have T.C. Boyle on the TBR but its the one you recommended for the Summer Reads NTTVBG selection.

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  5. Fab choice – I must get round to reading ‘The Group’ – it’s been on the bedside pile for too long. TC Boyle is also one of those authors I’ve been meaning to explore, but not got around to. Thanks Claire for reminding me.

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  6. I don’t know the first two, but Drop City was certainly a memorable read. I am tempted to go back to it sometime but its not short is it!

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  7. How did I know Claire would pick an Angela Carter? ;o) I actually bought my first Carter only last week – Wise Children – as I found an almost brand new copy for 50p and thought of Claire! I must read it soon.
    Loving the sound of Drop City too – I may have to pick that one up.

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