If you had to choose 1 classic and 1 contemporary book and why....

(80 Posts)
Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 10:40:18

Mine would be:

*Classic- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins*- A man walking home comes across a young woman dressed in white who is frightened and needs to find a cab to get into town to the safety of her family. You help her. Then along comes another group who tell you the woman has just escaped from a mental institution and is very dangerous...does he tell them where she has gone, who is lying and who is dangerous....

A great, grabbing opening that turns into a thumping great read

*Contemporary What is the What by Dave Eggers*- A novel based on the true life story of a Sudanese boy who is orphaned in the civil war, escapes the attack and makes it on foot to the border and becomes one of the lost boys without a country living in a border camp, coping and trying to learn about life. Eventually sent to America where there is an even steeper learning curve...heartbreaking story of human spirit and also wonderfully written

shazbean Wed 10-Jul-13 22:00:25

Agh forgot about the master and margarita! I found it hard going in the beginning but its in my top 5 favs now. Too much choice!

Just started The Woman in White. And loving this for more ideas.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:00:56

Categories keep growing.

Juvenile - goodnight mister Tom. I cry lots, always.

And another contemporary: Jumpa Lahiri Unaccostumed earth

joanofarchitrave Wed 10-Jul-13 22:03:18

classic - war and peace. spent 15 years avoiding it, finally read it and it is FUCKING amazing.

contemporary - a fine balance by rohinton mistry

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 10-Jul-13 22:08:31

Classic: Moby Dick, Emma, or Jane Eyre
Modern Classic: To Kill a Mockingbird
Contemporary: The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:10:34

I do read To Kill a Mockingbird regularly.!

intarsia Wed 10-Jul-13 22:13:42

Classic -White Fang by Jack London
Contemporary - Ines of my Soul by Isabel Allende
Both fantastic stories.

Juvenile - agh decisions...Maybe Ballet Shoes or maybe Charlotte Sometimes or maybe Tom's Midnight Garden

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 22:24:46

Modern classic- this is my favourite category!! so many to choose, to kill a mockingbird is a beautiful book, has anyone one read :cancer ward" by Solzhenitsin? It is a sad yet joyful book that always has me weeping. this is my "rec".
I've written loads of these down and will start with the woman in white, which I'd never even heard of -oops

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:28:55

I have a couple of Solzhenitsyn but not Cancer Ward but was heartily recommended on a Russian lit thread.

My favourite Solzhenitsyn is a novella, Matryona's place.

Jane Eyre

To Kill a Mockingbird

I think these were the books that I read as 12/13 year old that really made me love fiction. Books are like blankets. I re read wife in the north regularly as it makes me both laugh and cry and resonates with my life.

What about a children's book? What would be the one book for your child you would read?
Hungry Caterpillar and Harry Potter series here.

Juvenile is The secret garden

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:40:59

Children's - I think Room on the Broom and Pongwiffy by Kaye Umamsky (pre Winnie the Witch).

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:41:51

My nan brought me a children's Catherine Cookson when I was about 8. Our John Willie - gave me a lifelong passion.

shazbean Wed 10-Jul-13 22:44:31

Juvenile - A Little Princess.

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 22:45:22

ooh juvenile- of course le petit prince, I love Dr Seuss too- the cat in the hat-so funny and clever, and Roald Dahl books- which to choose? Don't think I can do it.

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 22:48:32

mixedmama- Cancer ward is not as depressing as it sounds- it's a beautiful love story as well as a commentary of SSSR

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 22:55:14

Znaika I think it has to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Matilda a close second.

Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 23:04:13

somehow I think juvenille is harder than adult ones.

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 23:12:43

but what about George's Mervellous Medicine? AAAaaargh- can't do it, Dahl should have a separate category of his own, actually, like Austen.

Classic: Brideshead Revisited. Modern: Cloud Atlas

My classic would be James Hogg's "The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner" published anonymously in 1824 it has inspired many writers since but still seems relatively unknown.

I am not sure what my contemporary book would be, but for now I will go for The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (pseudonym of Brian O'Nolan) .

I think they are brilliant books for anyone to read, but they would be great to study and compare. Some reviews
here and here are well worth a read - much more eloquent than me.

Juvenile Dahl Charlie the Champion of The World (modern classic) and Edward Lear Nonsense Poems (classic) and Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo (modern).

SixPackWellies Wed 10-Jul-13 23:55:06

Sorry, you absolutely cannot reference Wilkie Collins without talking about The Moonstone, which is so multi-layered and just so darn funny. (Gabriel Betteridge and Miss Clack anyone?'.)

Modern.. YY to The Accidental Tourist. Or Kate Grenville's The Idea of Perfection.

So many great books out there. smile

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