Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers 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, new authors and new bloggers.
Today’s guest is Jessica from Park Benches & Bookends, a blog she maintains with her husband, Chris. The Surrey-based couple have a young son, and when Jessica isn’t looking after him, she works part-time in retirement services.
Jessica reads mainly classic and contemporary literary fiction.
Without further ado, here is Jessica’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
In order for a book to become a favourite it has to be well written, contain some beautiful lines and prose, have a decent plotline and have the ability to make me think and stay with me. I could have nominated many books here, including The Great Gatsby, Blood Meridian, Great Expectations and The Picture of Dorian Gray. But I’ve decided to go with Jane Eyre because it really was as good as everyone said it was and it is the one that I would recommend to someone who is perhaps intimidated by anything described as Classic Victorian.
I’ve picked The Wasp Factory more for what it represents for me rather than because it’s a favourite or anything. In my naïve way I used to think that books either slotted into a genre like crime or horror, were classics and must therefore be boring or that books were literary and therefore impossible to read. Genre reads had long ceased to do anything for me so one day in the airport I blindly picked two holiday reads and one of them happened to be The Wasp Factory. Aside from being a terrible “holiday read” (although not as bad as my other choice, Will Self’s Great Apes), it was dark, funny, fulfilling and, best of all, was literary and easy to read. Hurrah!
Proof that a dead author does not mean a novel published posthumously will gain instant bestseller status — although, in this case at least, it really should have. Set in a tiny village in Poland in 1994 just after the iron-curtain has fallen, a body is found in the nearby woods. What you think is then going to be a murder mystery involving some dodgy Russians instead becomes something much bigger. The murder of the man fades into the background as the community confront long-suppressed memories and shameful secrets involving their once thriving pre-WWII Jewish population. It’s also about a hundred other things and it all comes together in one fantastic ending. For some unfathomable reason this book is difficult to get hold of in the UK but it’s worth tracking down a second-hand copy.
Thanks, Jessica, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
Jane Eyre pops up a lot in Triple Choice Tuesday — and having read it last year I can totally understand why. It’s a wonderful book. I have also read The Wasp Factory — it set me off on a long love affair with Iain Banks (long before I started this blog), which has since waned. And I’m delighted to see Jessica singing the praises of In the Memory of the Forest — I haven’t read it myself but it’s been on my wishlist for about a decade. It appears to be out of print in the UK, but is still available in the US.
What do you think of Jessica’s choices? Have you read any of these books?