I know, I know, this isn't about a bookshop, but it's the closest book I've read to the question. I made it a point to read this when I saw it written in the booklet of a Rise Against album 'Revolutions Per Minute'. When reading I discovered why they recommended it. In the story, books are illegal and fireman are tasked with burning down houses that hold books. It's been about two years since I read it and I'm dying to pick it up again. It's often known as one of the great trio of dystopian fiction with Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. It's well worth a read, not only is it about something terrifying, but there's one of the best ending scenes I've read in a long time. Plus, Guy Montag is a great protagonist.
Same book again... Although, my version is a more up to date version, it's still orange. Is the orange meant to represent fire? Probably. Anyway, it's a great cover. God, I want to read it again.
The Grapes of Wrath
One of the very best American classics you can read. I remember going to Waterstones to pick up two Hemingway novels when the bookseller told me about The Grapes of Wrath, so I made it a point to purchase it later on. I did and I enjoyed most of it. Some of it I didn't really understand for reasons unknown and I felt that it went on longer than it should have, but apart from those small niggles, I enjoyed it. I think I gave it a harsh score because of the parts I didn't get and I would like to give it another go-around so I could enjoy it more. What I loved most was the setting itself. Books set in the Great Depression always interest me and I could see everything he described. Steinbeck is a poet in his writing and his characters are top notch. If you want a dust-bowl book, check this one out.
Looking for Alaska
You should be able to read a good book twice, I think. For that first read it's all about enjoying the story, but the second read is much more analytical. You pick up on things you missed first time and quite often it changes the experience of the story. There is a twist halfway through the book (although not surprising), but it happens. It's sad as hell, but when reading it again I know it's on the way and it makes me cherish the times when a certain someone sticks around. Those parts become sacred and you don't want to go any further because you know the bad thing is about to happen. For me, rereading Looking for Alaska was about keeping somebody alive. I've yet to read it through a third time (and WAY overdue reading it again) but I'm sure it'll be the same thing. Fear of what I can't change.
Bright Lights, Big City
It's simple, yet it illustrates the setting perfectly. Those words pretty much sum up the urban sprawl of any city and how they light up the night after hours. Does the city ever sleep? New York certainly doesn't. You never need to know it's set in the Big Apple, the city is a dark and dangerous place where you can satisfy your vices in all nightclubs. I don't know how to explain it, but I've always loved urban stories, life in the city and everything about it. I don't see the romance most see in New York, but I do see a dark and dangerous city clustered within those skyscrapers. I cannot recommend this book enough. It's about 170 pages and written beautifully. A perfect day's read.
The Great Gatesby
Jay Gatesby's mansion in West Egg is the place to be in 1920's America. Despite the unkind characters and the gossip, it's a house by the river where the skyline of the city rises across the water lit by the city lights. It's a beautiful image and the name of the fictional place too is magical. West Egg. Something about that, I just love. I read the book over a year ago and I don't remember a whole lot about it. The parties and the introduction to the book are what I remember most. It's what came to mind when thinking about this question. Well, it was between this and the Burrow in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but I'm a city guy. I wouldn't like to live in the countryside.
It's no adventure for the nameless heroes of this bleak apocalypse, but a journey to reach the coast in the hope to survive the winter. I have never read a book that is so hopeless as this. All identity with the world has been eradicated, replaced with darkness and cannibals. It's a book that asks the awful questions we hope to never answer for ourselves and it explores humanity's survival instinct and our uncanny ability to do really crappy things to one another. In The Road, it's either you or them, so it may as well be them. There are no happy endings in The Road and you shouldn't expect one.
There you have it, another eight questions. At a glance, the next load of questions look challenging to answer, but that's part of the fun, no? Right away I know what some answers are, but others I haven't a clue. This challenge is reminding me, though, that I have so many books to reread and also what rereading does for me. That's another blog post for another time. Until then, have a good one and fill up those bookshelves.
Songs of the Week:
- 'Falling into History' by Avril Lavigne
- 'Why' by Avril Lavigne
- 'The One Thing Needful' by Anaal Nathrakh
- 'Idol' by Anaal Nathrakh
- 'Monstrum in Animo' by Anaal Nathrakh
- 'To Spite the Face' by Anaal Nathrakh
- 'The Good Left Undone' by Rise Against
- 'Walter Reed' by Michael Penn
- 'Nine is God' by Wavves
- 'It's Late' by Tim McIlrath