Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday, once a weekly series but now an occasional one! 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 Angela Meyer of LiteraryMinded, an Australian lit blog which has been running for 3½ years and is hosted by news service Crikey.
Angela, who lives in Melbourne, is a writer, reviewer and former-acting editor of Australian book trade magazine Bookseller+Publisher. She is currently writing a novel as part of a Doctor of Creative Arts, and if that’s not enough, she chairs panels at writers’ festivals and does a bit of teaching, too. Who knows when she has time to sleep!
Without further ado, here’s Angela’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
I read this for the first time when I was about 21 and I was fascinated, disgusted and compelled by it. Humbert Humbert is one of the best characters (and unreliable narrators) ever created. How he takes you with him into his little view of the world, how he stirs up strange things inside you – he is desperate, cunning, jealous, love-sick and twisted. And poor, poor Charlotte Haze. And Lo herself – we really do not know whether she is as Humbert paints her, or if her own version of the story would be different. Of course, one reads Nabokov, too, for the language. Language to make you love language – inventive, lyrical, playful, delectable. I aim to read all of his books in my lifetime.
I think I was about the same age or a bit younger when I read The Myth of Sisyphus. And I’ve read it about four or five times now and am incorporating Camus’ ‘absurd’ into my thesis. It has influenced my thinking, my writing, the way I deal with and react to life’s events (and non-events).
From the moment absurdity is recognised, it becomes a passion, the most harrowing of all. But whether or not one can live with one’s passions, whether or not one can accept their law, which is to burn the heart they simultaneously exalt, that is the whole question.
It is not a book about suicide but a book about freedom in the space between illusion and reason. It is about accepting things and living with passion. It is life-affirming, and I think it is as relevant now, in the consumer age, as it was in the post-war era.
There are many books I could have mentioned here but having recently read Iran: My Grandfather I think it’s the best candidate.
Briefly: Alizadeh tells the story of the modern history of Iran through and alongside the story of his grandfather. Alizadeh’s grandfather was affected by and had a hand in much of the events and movements in Iran’s fascinating, complex and turbulent history. This book works because it is a compelling narrative as well as historical record, and it allows room for the reader to make their own judgements on certain things – from the West’s destructive interferences and their effects, to the overall swings between secular law and religious law, and more. A readable and memorable book that definitely deserves a wide audience.
If you want a bigger picture view, I reviewed this book for Mascara Literary Review.
Thanks, Angela, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
I’ve not read any of them, but clearly I need to explore Camus’ back catalogue because he gets name-checked quite regularly in this series…
What do you think of Angela’s choices? Have you read any of these books?