01 December 2011
Literary Blog Hop: Recommendations
It has been a little while since I've participated in the Literary Blog Hop over at The Blue Bookcase. I am really happy to see it today though, since I love to have a chat with my literary type bookish peeps.
The hop is from December 1-4 and the question for this go round is: What work of literature would you recommend to someone who does not like literature?
Being a teacher of college students, I sort of feel like I'm in the business of recommending literature for people who don't think they like it (sometimes they do like it; I don't mean to overgeneralize). Sometimes my recommendations are good ones, and sometimes they don't work out. Here are a couple that I think are good:
Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried is awesome. I have taught this one a number of times, and most of my students really like it. It is a quick read, but it is so filled with so many wonderful, literary things. O'Brien's writing is moving and emotional, but it is also super meta-textual and complex and genre-bending. It is a great work of Literature with a capital "L," but it's also just a compelling read, with a good story.
My other suggestion would probably be Steinbeck. I heart Steinbeck and I think he appeals to all kinds of readers. My favorite is The Grapes of Wrath (which I read in high school when I wasn't quite the literature buff that I am today, and I still loved it), but for a non-literature-reader, I might suggest starting with Of Mice and Men (just an itty bitty baby book that packs an enormous emotional punch) and then moving into something like East of Eden, which is a behemoth, but reads like a beachy page turner (albeit one with lots of sadness and prostitution). I mean, Oprah did select it for her book club, so it must have popular appeal (you know, like The Sound and the Fury :/).
How about you all, lovely readers? How do you respond to a friend who only likes page turners, or even doesn't like to turn pages? What would you recommend?