Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction, Yiddish Literature, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality historical novels are some of my Literary Interests





Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welcome all Literary Book Blog Hoppers-Feb 17 to Feb 20


To me the Literary Book Blog Hop is a great event. I read and post on mostly classics, short stories, Asian Fiction and what I see as literary novels.     

"Greetings to All Hoppers" Charles-coeditor of The Reading Life
I will follow back all who follow me and return all visits.   Please leave a comment if you decide to follow my blog so I can return the follow.-thanks




 This week I was happy to see that the question of a week is one I had suggested!

Mel u from The Reading Life says:

Not long ago I read and posted on The Harp of Burma by Michio Takeyama, 1966. It is one of the very best novels about WWII, written from the point of view of a Japanese Buddhist who was drafted as a combat soldier. He had no idea how long he would be gone or if he would really ever return. He had room in his backpack for one book, so he took The Red and the Black by Stendhal. He carried it through the jungles of South Asia for 4 years. He said it helped keep him sane in the face of all the horrors he saw. This made me wonder what work of literary fiction I would take with me under similar circumstances."

If you were going off to war (or some other similarly horrific situation) and could only take one book with you, which book would you take and why?

Assuming I was taking a literary work, I think I would take Gravity's Rainbow  by Thomas Pynchon.    I realize this may seem an odd decision to almost all book bloggers.    To me Gravity's Rainbow is an encyclopedia of a war torn civilization and a handbook to survival in a post apocalyptic world.   I have been reading this book on and off for many years.   It also serves as a puzzle to work on to keep my mind occupied and has many set pieces I can place in my mind.   I know from my 1.5 years in the book blog world that this will seem like odd answer to most.   .    If  I could take two books and wanted to take another book about surviving a war, I would take Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End.   

Mel u

21 comments:

Deborah Lawrenson said...

A few years ago I wrote a novel about a young man who fought in WWII in Italy, and the book he took with him was "Paradise Lost", though unfortunately he never made much headway with it.

It would have to be War and Peace for me, obvious choice though it may be.

Risa said...

Hmmm...I'm not familiar with either of the titles mentioned. Gravity's Rainbow is a piece of non-fiction then?...

Falaise said...

I'm about to start reading Gravity's Rainbow so I'll think about this as I read. I suspect it would be a bit too complex to work for me in the middle of a combat zone but interesting choice anyway!

Teacher/Learner said...

Gravity's Rainbow is on my TBR list. I'm really intrigued by it. I had to choose a book that I've already read & cherish deeply. Here's mine.

IngridLola said...

Thanks for your question this week! I just realized I didn't put "literary work" in the question so I just changed it. :) Thanks!

Melody said...

I think for me, I'd want a book that didn't have anything to do with a literal war, to balance out what I was seeing every day. I like your perspective about having a guidebook of sorts, though. Thanks for the question!

Letter4no1 said...

Gravity's Rainbow is a really interesting choice. I'm not a big Pynchon fan but I could see how his writing would be distracting and engrossing during a bad situation.

emeire said...

I think it is such a personal question that really touches on sensibilities that there cannot be any odd answer.
I still have to read Gravity's Rainbow...
Em

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I've not read this book, so thank you so much for suggesting it. All I know is that it is big and complex. Both of these qualities would be good in a book to be read during war, I think.

Thank you for suggesting this question.

Here's my post: www.readerbuzz.blogspot.com

leeswammes said...

I haven't read Gravity's Rainbow so I can't say it's an odd choice. But since it's about a post-apocalyptic world, it seems interesting to me. Maybe something I should read, too.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Good question this week! I went with the literary equivalent of comfort food for me: The Lord of the Rings. It's something I can get lost i,n the characters have been my lifelong friends, and it has the valuable lesson in the end that even with the last battle is done, war is not really over. It's also a good reminder that those left behind at home have their own sets of struggles.

Adam said...

Wow - interesting choice! Pynchon would definitely not be on my list, because he drives me crazy. I would certainly want to be challenged enough to be distracted, but I think I would want something just a tad more lighthearted and accessible - I think I would be mentally strained enough with all that was happening out there in the war.

parrish lantern said...

Love pynchon, so great choice, me a went with an anthology of verse.

Amy said...

Gravity's Rainbow is one of those books that I've heard of and heard of, and have never really thought about. I should give it another look.
www.newcenturyreading.com

bibliophiliac said...

Absolutely fabulous question, Mel. I haven't read Gravity's Rainbow, but from all that I have read about it, I do find your answer surprising. A puzzle-like, complex book seems a good choice, though, if we have to bring a book to war.

gautami tripathy said...

Great question, Mel!

I gotta check out your pick!

Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I need to check that out too!

I'm following from the hop.

ecwrites.blogspot.com

mywordlyobsessions said...

Pynchon! He's a tough one to read at the best of times. But at least he takes your mind away from what's happening around you right?

I really have to get Inherent Vice. It's been sitting on my TBR list forever. Excellent question Mel, well done!

Trisha said...

Seeing this reminds me that I still haven't read this one, and I've wanted to for years!

Thanks for stopping by eclectic / eccentric!

inknchai said...

Interesting. It would have to be something lighter for me.

I haven't read Parade's End. Thanks, will add it to my tbr list.

PJcruisers said...

Great comments.
I would choose Tim O'Brien's book of VietNam The Things They Carried With Them.