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 Vishy from Vishy’s Blog.
Vishy used to work in the technology industry managing projects, but these days he spends his time mostly in reading great literature, expanding his horizons in new areas (his current areas of interest are Law, Israeli/Jewish history, culture and literature, Abstract Mathematics and Energy), watching his favourite TV shows and the occasional movie and following his favourite sports, tennis and cricket.
Without further ado, here are Vishy’s choices:
A favourite book: The Wall by Marlen Haushofer
This is one of my all-time favourite books. The story goes like this. A 40-something-year-old woman is trapped in the countryside. It looks like she has been separated from the rest of the world by a transparent wall or dome. On the other side everyone is dead. The woman has a dog, a cat and a cow for company.
With this minimalistic setting, Marlen Haushofer creates literary magic weaving in all the grand themes — the relationship between humans and animals and the environment, the relationship between parents and children, between men and women, and the idea of freedom, love, loss and death — in beautiful, gorgeous prose. Haushofer is Austrian and only three of her novels have been translated into English, which is unfortunate, because she is one of the greats. She deserves to be more well-known. The Wall is a masterpiece and deserves to be more well read.
A book that changed my world: Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
This is my favourite collection of essays ever. In this book, Anne Fadiman takes all the things that delight booklovers and writes an essay about each of them. Topics covered include how to treat a book (whether dog-earing a page is okay), second-hand bookshops, reading a book together with our favourite person, the hidden-but-favourite part of our bookshelf and other delightful bookish topics. This book is a book lover’s delight.
Why is this a book that changed my world? Harold Bloom says this about poetry — that it augments our consciousness. This book, Fadiman’s collection of bookish essays, augments my consciousness, sharpens my bookish vision, enriches the way I look at things. I used to think that I was the only person who thought about dog-earing pages, or spilling coffee on a book, or having a secret part of my bookshelf which I treasure, but which I don’t want others to see. Fadiman made me realise that there are other readers like her who think about these things, who are as bookish as I am. This makes me happy, this makes my heart glow with pleasure, this enriches the way I look at bookish things, and in that way this book has changed my bookish world and life.
A book that deserves a wider audience: Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon by Nicole Brossard
Nicole Brossard is virtually unknown outside her native Canada and even there she is known only among a select group of readers. When it is assumed by default that Canadian literature is written in English (Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro), it is forgotten that there is a beautiful part of Canadian literature written in French. Unfortunately, even Canadian readers ignore the French literary treasures from their country. Nicole Brossard is Canadian and writes in French and she has been doing that for more than fifty years. She is a poet, novelist and essayist and the beauty of her poetry flows into her prose.
In this novel, Brossard’s prose is sublime, gorgeous, intoxicating. It is the kind of intoxication that one gets while listening to classical music, the kind which is pleasurable and exhilarating and delightful but on which one never gets drunk. Brossard deserves to be more well-known and more people should be reading her works. I highly recommend this book.
Thanks, Vishy, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
This is why I love asking bloggers to name three books that are important to them, because you’ve chosen three titles that I have never heard of and which I want to buy and read immediately!
What do you think of Vishy’s choices? Have you read any of these books?