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Book Recommendations

“A good book is an event in my life.”

Stendhal, The Red and the Black

With the holidays looming, and the chances of a 'normal' Christmas looking slim, I thought it was high time to resume this blog, and what better way than with some book recommendations! Recently, I've been reading around absurdism and addiction, it's always fun to jigsaw books together into their themes.

I should also warn, for the most part, these books aren't in any order whatsoever. I started with the intention of avoiding well-known books, but many have slipped in. Put any recommendations in the comments! :)

Jazz-Age novels

'Save Me the Waltz' by Zelda Fitzgerald

'A Moveable Feast' by Ernest Hemingway

'Passing' by Nella Larsen

'Jazz' by Toni Morrison

'The Paris Wife' by Paula McLain

Mental illness:

‘Girl, Interrupted’ by Susana Kaysen

‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ by Ken Kesey

‘Down Below’ by Leonora Carrington

‘Enduring Love’ by Ian McEwan

‘The Pigeon’ by Patrick Süskind

‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ by Ned Vizzini


‘Requiem for a Dream’ by Hubert Selby Jr.

‘The Grass Arena’ by John Healy

‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ by Hunter S. Thompson

‘Naked Lunch’ by William S. Burroughs

‘Post Office’ by Charles Bukowski

‘Shuggie Bain’ by Douglas Stewart

Love and other things:

‘Possession’ by A. S. Byatt

‘Norweigan Wood’ by Haruki Murakami

‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan

‘Call Me by Your Name’ by André Aciman

‘The Age of Innocence’ by Edith Wharton

‘Giovanni's Room’ by James Baldwin

Mother-daughter relationships:

‘House of the Spirits’ by Isabel Allende

‘Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit’ by Jeanette Winterson

‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler

’Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith

‘The Vanishing Half’ by Brit Bennett

‘Burnt Sugar’ by Avni Doshi

Experimental fiction:

‘Death’ by Anna Croissant-Rust

‘Finnegan’s Wake’ by James Joyce

‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka

‘Nadja’ by André Breton

‘The Breaking Point’ by Daphne du Maurier

‘Lucia’ by Alex Pheby

Campus novels:

‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt

‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh

‘This Side of Paradise’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald

‘Real Life’ by Brandon Taylor

‘On Beauty’ by Zadie Smith

Epistolary novels:

‘Letters of a Portuguese Nun’ by Gabriel de Guilleragues

‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen

‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker

‘Where Rainbows End’ by Cecelia Ahern

‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker

For the trapped traveller:

‘Reveries of a Solitary Walker’ by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac

‘The Beach’ by Alex Garland

‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad

‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’ by Rebecca West

Bildungsroman Novels:

‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith

‘Brooklyn’ by Colm Tóibín

‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini

‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith

‘The Rachel Papers’ by Martin Amis

‘The Outcast’ by Sadie Jones

Uplifting fiction:

‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Shaffer

‘Girl in Translation’ by Jean Kwok

‘The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry’ by Gabrielle Zevin

‘A Man Called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman

‘I Almost Forgot About You' by Terry McMillan

‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ by Mitch Albom

[© Alex Tracey, @alextracey_ on instagram]

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