Hey everyone! Usually when I post on my blog I feel so satisfied that I disappear for weeks and don’t post anything. The only way I feel redeemed for this is through my Instagram blog where I post daily.
I thought I’d do a quick post about some of the books that were amazing AND had really beautiful writing at the same time. And of course All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is not on the list because, let’s face it, overrated.
If a plot disappoints me but the writing was fabulous I consider it a good read, because to me it’s all about how much my language is evolving in the process. If you think about it, the process of writing and reading is all about our relationship with the language. So, beautiful books matter a lot to me.
FYI – this list is NOT concise. It’s literally just a bunch of books that I felt had beautiful writing style. There are other such books but I’m narrowing down to the must read books. I know there are a lot of other books that I should mention but I didn’t want to spoil you guys with too much choice! 😛
I’m going to start off with my current read –
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
I started Burial Rites last night and I’ve been loving it so much so far! The prose is beautiful and has some of the best metaphors and descriptions that I’ve read so far.
“They see I’ve got a head on my shoulders, and believe a thinking woman cannot be trusted.”
“It’s not fair. People claim to know you through the things you’ve done, and not by sitting down and listening to you speak for yourself.”
2. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life is literally a chunk of my heart sitting on my bookshelf. I absolutely LOVE this book. Not only is it raw and painful but it’s also immensely beautiful in prose and thought. However, it’s not an easy book to get through, so you’ll definitely have to prepare yourself for the harrowing details and painful facts of a ‘little life’.
“He experienced the singular pleasure of watching people he loved fall in love with other people he loved.”
“They all—Malcolm with his houses, Willem with his girlfriends, JB with his paints, he with his razors—sought comfort, something that was theirs alone, something to hold off the terrifying largeness, the impossibility, of the world, of the relentlessness of its minutes, its hours, its days.”
3. An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
It’s difficult for me to not include An Unnecessary Woman in lists of brilliant books. This is a literary treat and an amazing story. It’s a ‘love letter to literature. So, of course, it’s beautiful in many ways.
“I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time.”
“From my village I see as much of the universe as you can see from earth, So my village is as big as any other land For I am the size of what I see, Not the size of my height. —Fernando Pessoa as Alberto Caeiro, The Keeper of Sheep”
4. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
Kerouac is never dull (except, maybe, a few times in Maggie Cassidy). His work always makes me want to get up and go hiking or on a road trip. Dharma Bums was especially amazing, so look out for the parts when Ray and Japhy go off into the mountains.
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
“I have all the time in the world from life to life to do what is to do, to do what is done, to do the timeless doing.”
5. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
This one is still fresh in my mind because I read it very recently! It’s a beautiful book with really perfectly woven magic realism that never makes you doubt what you’re reading.
“Love, as most know, follows its own timeline. Disregarding our intentions or well rehearsed plans.”
“She spent her days trying to forget the sound of his voice, and her nights trying to remember.”
6. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This is an exceptional book. I fell in love with it so hard. It’s one of those books on friendship and the genius mind that we all look for at some point in our lives. I’ve read it twice and I’m willing (very eagerly) to read it again sometime soon!
“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”
“Some things are too terrible to grasp at once. Other things – naked, sputtering, indelible in their horror – are too terrible to really grasp ever at all.It is only later, in solitude, in memory that the realization dawns: when the ashes are cold; when the mourners have departed; when one looks around and finds oneself – quite to one’s surprise – in an entirely different world.”
7. The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
I have yet to read most of the novels by Shafak but so far this one’s my favourite. It’s got some really beautiful descriptions and overall the story is quite intriguing. There’s also a tiny bit of ‘magic realism’ stemming from Islamic beliefs. It’s quite mystical at some points so I definitely enjoyed it!
“Perhaps this is why lunatics have a harder time dating, not because they are off the wall but because it is hard to find soemone who is willing to date so many people in one person.”
“Because time is a drop in the ocean, and you cannot measure off one drop against another to see which one is bigger, which one is smaller.”
8. Ask the Dust / Wait Until Spring, Bandini by John Fante
I remember devouring these books in one or two sittings. It was so beautiful and very Bukowski-esque. Loved it!
“If there is work there is warmth, that when a man has freedom of movement it is enough, for then his blood is hot too”
“Her hair spilled over the pillow like a bottle of overturned ink.”
9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foerr
You have to read it to believe it, it’s just too beautiful.
“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”
“I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.”
10. Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
This one is such an important and beautiful book. It’s worth reading and it definitely made me cry like a baby!
“We come from the land, give our love and labor to her, and she nurtures us in return. When we die, we return to the land. In a way, she owns us.”
“We’re all born with the greatest treasures we’ll ever have in life. One of those treasures is your mind, another is your heart.”
I definitely recommend these books and I’ve rated each of them 4.5 or more.
Happy Reading! Tell me the name of your current read in the comments below!