My Personal Top Five Books Available (as of today) in Kindle or Paper Editions on Amazon


Almost time to celebrate spring by wandering outside for long enough to need a good book to read.  The following are currently available on Amazon in either Kindle or paper editions:

  1. SWANN’S WAY BY MARCEL PROUST.  Remarkably ornate sentences, dripping complex phrases that require multiple re-readings, do not make this an easy read.  But, savored in small portions like some sinfully delicious dessert, no higher heaven of delicately sensual feeling exists.  Personally, I prefer the translation by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin.  While it may not technically be the word-for-word closest to the original French, I believe it translates Proust’s extraordinarily elegant mind into English the best.
  2. HEART OF DARKNESS BY JOSEPH CONRAD.  Alas, no one has ever been so painfully unaware of their own genius as Joseph Conrad, when he summarizes the eight hours a day he spent writing by saying, “I write three sentences, which I erase before leaving the table in despair.”  This from a writer capable of, “The idleness of a passenger, my isolation amongst all these men with whom I had no point of contact, the oily and languid sea, the uniform sombreness of the coast, seemed to keep me away from the truth of things, within the toil of a mournful and senseless delusion.”
  3. ALL THE NAMES BY JOSÉ SARAMAGO.  This man did not win the Nobel Prize for literature for nothing.  No one else could write a believable scene in a mainstream novel in which a lonely, lowly clerk talks to the ceiling…and the ceiling talks back.
  4. THE SHELTERING SKY BY PAUL BOWLES.  Bowles’ seamless marriage of the exotically mysterious and the crushingly mundane is oddly and consistently spellbinding.
  5. TWISTED BY SUE HOLLISTER BARR.  What?  You question my objectivity in making this last recommendation?

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