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Classic Amaryllis

So far has my name spread that one of my devoted readers has got in touch all the way from South Africa… She has asked for a list of my favourite classics old and new. This is an extremely difficult task but I am always up for a challenge as long as it is to do with books and involves nothing physically exerting.
 
One of the books that will NOT be on my list is our current choice for the Classics book club which is Kafka’s The Castle. It is the most impenetrable and over-rated book it has ever been my misery to read. When not falling asleep over it I am ready to tear it to pieces in frustration. Which I suppose in my more lucid moments is what K probably feels, stuck in the village with such deadly people, but that is too much reality. Even Kafka got fed up with it as he gave up mid sentence! Apparently it is a completely different experience reading in the original German, the custom of splitting the verb adding tension and humour…
 
Anyway I am going to limit myself to recommending ten classics that I do love and I’m also not going to choose the obvious suspects – just take it as read that I love Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, Eliot, Tolstoy etc etc. I’m also trying to avoid books that I have mentioned before.
 
I’m just going to list them and not give any hints as to the content because I think it is best just to read the book!
 
House of Ulloa, Emilia Pardo Bazan
Riders in the Chariot, Patrick White
The Man who Loved Children, Christina Stead
In Diamond Square, Merce Rodoreda
A Way of Life Like Any Other, Darcy O’Brien
A Life, Maupassant
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, Javier Marias
An Angel at My Table, Janet Frame
Clayhanger, Arnold Bennett
Testing the Current, William McPherson
 
Enjoy!

About Amaryllis

 

Amaryllis is our bookshop blogger.

 

Her pen name is taken from Alice Thomas Ellis’ Other Side of the Fire, which is unfortunately and scandalously out of print. One of the funniest bits in the book is the bodice-ripper that one of the characters is writing and the female - who slays the men with one toss of her raven locks and one glance from her fiery green eyes as she strides among the glens, faithful wolfhound by her side - is Amaryllis! And the name just seemed to suit so here we are.

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