Books like house of earth and blood

Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch

the goldfinchIt’s a long book, very long, but if it hooks you, you go without hesitation. Tartt has been compared to Dickens and the great masters of the American novel, and the novel was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. It tells the story of Theo Decker, a young man who survives a terrorist attack with a painting by Carel Fabritius in his backpack. His destiny is attached to the work of art, wherever he goes. There are all kinds of plot twists, crazy and unexpected that take the protagonist to the limit; and the reader to continue devouring pages. The ending is round, perfect. The suspense is maintained throughout the novel, but it is also a work that tells us about human nature, about entering adulthood. A fast, agile, surprising and well-studied novel that drags you like a derailed locomotive until the last page.

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Money (1984) by Martin Amis

Dinero narrates in the first person the story of John Self, a director of advertising spots who goes to New York to shoot his first film. Self is a real asshole, but one of the most lovable I’ve come across in literature: a ridiculous antihero, an archetypal hedonist who tends to be always drunk; an avid consumer of porn who eats too much and, above all, spends too much. Even so, he gives a certain tenderness, perhaps because of his simplicity and his naivety. This book is a real bomb, for the frenetic pace of the narrative, for its puns, for its revealing details, for its unexpected turns, for its ruthless humor.

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Life and Fate by Vasili Grossman

Grossman’s masterpiece is for many the War and Peace of the 20th century, and there are certain parallels: the Grand Armée is now the Nazi army, and the action takes place during another war, the Second World War, narrated from the point of view of the red army and russian citizens. As in war and peacethere are also lots of characters, each with their own story, that make up a common story. There is war, concentration camps, pain, love and loyalty and above all people who resist being crushed by the machinery of history. It is a book that overflows with humanity, you understand each character, his frustration, the hardship he had to endure, a study of the human soul and the portrait of a terrible time. A direct criticism of the communist regime and the total lack of freedom that existed in the Soviet Union of the 20th century.

It does not follow a linear plot and, although there is a certain union between the characters, at first it can be somewhat chaotic, it is not known who the protagonist is, because there is not a single protagonist either. A wonderful and tremendous choral novel and one of the great books of the last century.

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Nothing Carmen Laforet

Andrea is the protagonist of this story, a university student recently arrived in Barcelona to complete her academic training in Literature. However, the house of her relatives, in which she will spend her stay, is an environment that brims with hardship. In the post- Franco war period, coexistence becomes conflictive, and only thanks to the support of her university classmates will she be able to withstand these obstacles. Nothing shows us several themes: social inequality, domestic abuse, revenge, love disappointments, deceitful plots… However, beyond social criticism , this novel is worth not only for what it tells but for the way to tell: her literary walks through Barcelona, ​​the illusion through the eyes of a girl in her first steps towards adult life.

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A Room of One’s Own (1929) by Virginia Woolf

There is a new edition with illustrations by Sara Morante and a prologue by Elena Medel of this key work of feminism that we already recommend when we talk about basic feminist books that we should all read. This work, between narrative and essay; It arose when in 1928 Virginia Woolf was asked to give a series of talks on the subject of women and the novel. The author, far from any dogmatism or presumption, questioned herself from a realistic, courageous and very particular point of view, what women need to write good novels. And she came to a conclusion: financial and personal independence. That is, “having a room of one’s own.”

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4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

Auster’s work is for all seasons: I’d pick The New York Trilogy for spring, Sunset Park for summer, Brooklyn Follies for fall… Save any time for 4 3 2 1, an instant classic. Because in almost a thousand pages it takes up the playful structures of his first novels –in this case recounting the life of the same person, who is very similar to Auster himself, with four different destinies– but this time the background has more power than the artifice His definitive treatise on youth, love and art.

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Berta Isla  by Javier Marias

It would have been fairer to highlight Your face tomorrow, but we are going to give in a little to the pressure of editorial news. If that trilogy marked you deeply (as it did me), Berta Isla is a very joyous return to the world of spies and counterspies, now with the added perspective –and from a human point of view even more interesting– of the wife of one of those chosen ones. The approach with Homeric overtones reaches the root of the concept of loyalty, analyzes and shapes the material from which personal ties are made and further darkens that shadow over the identity of oneself and of others that Marías has projected forever on everyone. your readers.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude

Considered a masterpiece of Latin American and universal literature , One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of an imaginary village, Macondo, and the Buendía family over 7 generations, a family that, as you will see in the book, is condemned to loneliness. . This novel has been defined as the most perfect manifestation of “magical realism” whose most visible feature is the naturalness with which the everyday mixes with imaginative events . This story is not narrated in a literal or realistic way, but constant jumps in time are used that merge reality and fantasy.

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Reminders of Him A Novel 

The novel stars Kenna, a single mother who has spent her last 5 years in prison due to a mistake. She now wants to resume contact with her four-year-old daughter , but everyone insists on avoiding this reunion. It is then that she establishes a special connection with Ledge, the owner of a bar who is the last link in the life of her daughter. Like all Colleen Hoover novels, love and the past will weigh heavily on the plot.

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Nothing by Carmen Laforet

In the year in which the author’s birth is commemorated, we cannot let this title go by. An existentialist novel with autobiographical overtones that tells the story of Andrea, a young orphan who arrives excited in Barcelona to continue her studies in Philosophy and Letters. What she thought would be an exciting life turns out to be a complete disappointment, since the university does not change the role that society gives to women, which is none other than motherhood. Actually, more than an initiation novel, it is also a portrait of the bourgeois and conservative society of the first years of the postwar period, subjected to Francoism and plagued by famine.

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The Martian Chronicles (1950) by Ray Bradbury

This collection of stories is, after Fahrenheit 451 , probably Bradbury’s most famous work. The tales revolve around the colonization of Mars by humanity leaving Earth with the intention of turning the red planet into a civilization of hotdogs, comfy couches, and lemonade on the porch. An authentic reproduction of any colonization that has occurred in the history of the human being, in which the colonizers, seeking their personal good, have left diseases, injustices and desolation in the new world. You close the book, watch the news, and can only think, as Bradbury would

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Under the Net  by Iris Murdoch

I loved this novel, original, sharp, agile, funny. A first-person narrative about a young man on a picaresque quest for love and friendship, with a healthy dose of philosophy thrown in for good measure. The protagonist, Jake Donaghue is a writer and translator with a bohemian life. A series of misunderstandings is what seems to set the tone for his actions. It looks like a sitcom, but under a comic plot that seems light, a deep and interesting reflection is raised. Jake Donaghue reminds me a bit of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. Both are characters far from the reality that surrounds them, and with both of them we go through their respective cities in a somewhat chaotic way; Jake in London and Holden in New York. Salinger’s novel was published in 1951, Murdoch’s in 1954, but I don’t think there was any influence, at least consciously. Under the net is dedicated to Raymond Queneau. When Donaghue leaves Madge’s flat, two of the books he takes with him are Samuel Beckett’s Murphy and Queneau’s Pierrot mon ami .

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