I've read the 2000 pages of the "Red Mars," "Green Mars," "Blue Mars"
series three times, so I must like it!!! It's definitely not for everyone, but it's a place for me to get mindlessly lost in a very intellectual exercise. If that sounds contradictory, I can't help but describe it that way, since the big turnoff for many people would be the subjects of geography, philosophy, government, etc that will come up in depth in this series. Kim Stanley Robinson, in real life and in his other work, is a bit of a hopeless left-wing dreamer. In fact, if your politics are NDP, you'd love this author in general.
"The Boys Of Summer,"
by Roger Kahn. If you look at some of the praise for this book from reviewers, you'll see their general opinion is that this is a literary classic beyond just being a book about baseball. It's an astonishing testament to a craftsman at the top of his game with the English language. Kahn was a beat writer for a New York newspaper when assigned to cover the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950's. Later, in the 60's, he tracks down those Dodgers both still active and retired. This is really a book about the cycle of life and, I found out, best appreciated and read if you're in your early 40's and beyond. If you're in your 20's reading this book, there's a good chance you're just not going to "get it." I've pulled this out a number of times on summer days and laid under the brolly in another world.
"The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz"
- Mordecai Richler - another book best read in your 40's and beyond. You'll laugh your butt off at the sheer assinine audacity and mendacity of the dreams and plans of a young man getting his way in life. If you're in your 20's reading this, however, you might not see what's so funny. Another book that I've read a number of times, in fact, one you can open just about anywhere and have a good time.
"East Of Eden"
- John Steinbeck. I could probably include a number of Steinbeck books like "Cannery Row" and "Of Mice and Men" but "East of Eden," for the sheer deliniation of good and evil in it's characters, plus the formation of their stories, is remarkable. Love it. Carol and I were in the Salinas Valley in California a few months ago. Steinbeck himself was a resented figure in the area as his characters were not entirely flattering of the local citizenry.
"Gone With The Wind"
- I took this with me when I bicycled in 1980, through Mt. St. Helen's volcanic ash, from southern Alberta, BC, down into Idaho and Montana and back home, through three weeks on $300, all the money I had in the world. And I periodically pull it out and go through it again. Definitely a sympathetic look at the racist slave regime of the southerneastern USA, the author reflecting on a day gone by, but also with a strong woman character that might have been uncharacteristic of the age.
I love Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot) and murder mysteries but also space opera type novels (the Saga Of Seven Suns
series, the classic Foundation
series by Asimov, etc) as well. I have the collected novels and short stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes which is also interesting reading.