Patrick Dennis is infinitely more than a lucky cross between Dickens and Woodehouse. If you haven’t read Aunt Mame you don’t know what you’re missing. This is one of those books that stays with you for the rest of your life. One of those that you read more than once. An orphan, the United States after the crash of ’29, an aunt who takes care of the little one… well, not an aunt, but a quirky, enterprising aunt with an opinion on absolutely everything. Look, now that no one is listening to us: it is as if Mary Poppins had never been a (good) witch and she had been tremendously human. The scene of the bracelets in the theater alone is worth sinking your teeth into this book. It is valid for any time, but if you catch it in summer, oh if you catch it in summer, and read it outdoors. How we envied that first reading
The rare thing is to live
Any moment in life is good to reconnect with the universe of Carmen Martín Gaite. We chose The Rare Is to Live because, through its lively tone, apparently light but very connected to eternal existential doubts, it festers that authenticity and that accurate vision of the essence of people that are the hallmark of this great writer. She does it through a woman in her thirties who, upon losing her mother, curiously explores the open family wounds not to close them, but to assume, as the title says, the absurdity of life.
Middlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides
In full and necessary debate on the various sexual conditions and gender identity, we strongly recommend reading this fantastic novel by the author of The Virgin Suicides. It is an intimate and at the same time historical account of an intersex protagonist (with male genitalia but female appearance) who goes through her genealogy to explain her nature. In this way, he recreates from a very original point of view the odyssey of a Greek family that emigrates to the United States in the midst of the crisis of the Ford era, with an amazing parallelism between social destructuring and cellular wobble. An anti-prejudice bomb of the highest quality.
A Gentleman in Moscow
It is always a good time to read A Gentleman in Moscow, a magnificent novel, but perhaps now, precisely now, it is interesting to read a novel about a man who has been under house arrest for decades. His life is reduced to a single space forever. Count Aleksandr Ilyich Rostov’s life at the Metropol hotel is exciting. The decline of the hotel over the years parallels that of the regime that sentenced him to his unjust arrest. To tell you anything else about this novel is to spoil it. It is one of those novels to talk about for hours, but only when we have all read it. Do yourself a favor and read it. And then we talked long and hard.
You’re going to take a lot of dislike to Jean-Claude Romand. The Adversary is a fabulous non-fiction book, but one that takes its licenses with the gripping story of an unscrupulous guy, without an identity, a heartless, ruthless man. Carrèrre tells the story of the man who made everyone believe that he was a UN doctor and yet he was a fraud. It is an essential novel. Now everyone knows the Carrre from A Russian Novel, Limonov or On Other People’s Lives, but he was great for so long (another day we recommend his biography of Philip K. Dick).
To Kill a Mockingbird
The novel is inspired by the author’s observations about her family and social environment, focusing on an incident that occurred near her city in 1936, when she was 10 years old. She talks about inequality and injustice, but also about integrity and morality. To read while watching the wonderful film adaptation.
The Master and Margarita
Although the novel was written in the 1930s, it did not see the light of day until 1966, in Moskva magazine and in a censored edition. This is not surprising, since the work is a harsh and incisive satire of Soviet society, its corruption, its mediocrity and its hunger. It inspired the Rolling Stones ‘ theme Sympathy for the Devil
Postman (1971) by Charles Bukowski
It is a bittersweet satire on the monotonous work of a postal clerk, work that the author did for twelve years of his life. It is the first novel written by Bukowski. Its protagonist, Henri Chinaski, the author’s alcoholic, misanthropic and womanizing alter ego , will later appear again in Factotum , Loser’s Path , Hollywood and Women .
Blonde (2000) by Joyce Carol Oates
Surely you have heard something about the adaptation that Netflix is doing with Ana de Armas as the protagonist… Our conclusion is that Netflix does not understand Marilyn Monroe either , because apparently the directors were scandalized by the level of violence and disgust that the film provokes. It is clear that they have not read the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, a queen of the thriller, always a candidate for the Nobel , who in Blondebuilds a monumental fictionalized biography of the actress. Aside from being fabulously well written, what is exciting about this work is that the reader has the feeling of finally understanding the complex personality of Norma Jean and the projection of a character like Marilyn, and all knowing that there are infinite gaps filled by the mind and the pen of the author. It contains a vibrant and stark feminist drive, an accurate portrait of cinema as an industry, as an illusion and as a landfill and, above all, an emotional autopsy that seeks and finds all the traces of mistreatment of a human being turned into a myth.
A journey far from home, a map with a mysterious X, the black mark, pirates, a desert island, a treasure… the definitive adventure novel. Treasure Island has fueled the imagination of children and adults, movies, video games and comics, for over a century.
No matter how old you are when you read or reread Treasure Island you will immediately become young Hawkins and you will take the book between fascination and fear for how much there is violent, noble and evil in the world. And to Long John Silver, Hawkins’ surrogate father and pirate, lame, and trickster. And it is that nobody who knew John Silver in Victorian England would want to be a gentleman. That’s where we get Captain Jack Sparrow, pirate of pirates.
Heart of Darkness
If you’ve seen Apocalypse Now you already know what this is about. Francis Ford Coppola was fascinated by Conrad’s novel and spared no expense and insane filming to bring it, very loosely, to the screen. Instead of Vietnam, in Heart of Darknesswe find ourselves in the Belgian Congo where Marlow must find Kurtz, a commercial agent who is ill, although rumors and reports begin to indicate that it may be something else. It is a hallucinatory journey from civilization to barbarism, from a colonial administration harshly criticized by Conrad to the depths of the African jungle, a journey into madness. Conrad himself, who was a sailor for much of his life, made a similar journey and describes it as a physical and mental experience where you don’t know where the first ends and the second begins.
At least once in your life you have to read Kurtz’s last words, the most devastating existentialist sentence in an adventure novel: “The horror! The horror!”.
Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights tells of the passionate and terrible love story between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. With this novel the author wanted to present the inner world that she had and suffocated her, something that can be seen in the strength that emanates from each of the characters, their ability to move through brutality, at the same time that they manage to seduce the reader and wrap him in his story. Wuthering Heights tells us about a life of love, hate and revenge .
Do you know what is the genius of Hopscotch ? There is a break in the linearity of reading with jumps backwards and forwards, however what is really curious is that Julio Cortázar breaks with the traditional conception of narrative turning the novel into a game . It is the reader who composes the reading, organizes the fragments. That is why many have described it as the anti-novel . It is surreal: it does not have much plot, nor suspense and the truth is that it lacks descriptions, however its genius is due to its experimental cases of time discontinuity and its ability to avoid chronology .