Conversation 53: THE DAILY HAIKU Reading List

1

On World Book Day 4th March 2021 I posted an announcement asking for your favourite books and book related stories. From the responses received the combined favourites are collated here into a diverse reading list of epic proportions. The top sixteen are collated from the most popular suggestions.

2

When asked off the cuff for our favourite books I am struck by a natural leaning towards fiction. As we are a group involved in haiku, under the wider umbrella of poetry there is a significant number of poets included in the recommendations but interestingly only a few specific titles – 3 poets make the top sixteen.  Many well known Classics dominate the list and a penchant for favourite childrens’ books but there are some modern literary icons alongside emerging stars. Currently more men than women but more suggestions by women than men!! In the top sixteen currently more dead than alive including all bar two.

3

Our earliest recommendation is currently Amores by Ovid and our most contemporary suggestion the Apeirogan by Colum McCann.

4

The reading list, which I hope will grow with more suggestions in the comment thread, has notably very little non-fiction and no plays.

5

Enjoy browsing the reading list, perhaps accompanied by the wonderful TDH Spotify playlist brilliantly curated by Wendy Houser Blomseth from our musical prompt poll. Are there titles or poets on this list that go with particular pieces of music? Are we developing an overall TDH cultural vibe?

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6Hc8StOBcwbxVM4P38UgeR

6

How many of the books have been turned into successful film adaptations? How many have won prestigious literary prizes?  Who do you love from the list? Who is missing? I look forward to more must-reads appearing, some biography, history, science, art and of course always more poetry… please.

 

Top Fifteen

 

One Hundred Years of Solitude (1981) and Love in the Age of Cholera (1985)  – Gabriel Garcia Márquez

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gabriel-Garcia-Marquez

 

William Shakespeare’s Tragedies – Macbeth highlighted (1564-1616)

https://www.rsc.org.uk/shakespeares-plays/tragedies-comedies-histories

 

Anything by Dostoevsky (1821-1881) – specifically Crime and Punishment (1866) and The Gambler (1887)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Fyodor-Dostoyevsky

 

Agatha Christie (1890-1976)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Agatha-Christie

 

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (1847) with one contributor having read four times

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charlotte-Bronte

 

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (1847)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Emily-Bronte

 

Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Sense and Sensibility (1811) – Jane Austin

http://www.janeaustensoci.freeuk.com

 

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (1939)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Steinbeck

 

1984 – George Orwell (1949)

https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2016/may/29/1984-george-orwell-review

 

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini  (2003)

https://www.rferl.org/a/interview-kite-runner-afghan-emigre-writer-khaled-hosseini/24621078.html

 

The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (1908)

https://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/dogs/kenneth-grahame-true-meaning-behind-wind-willows-190340

 

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (1868 and 1869)

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/09/little-women-louisa-may-alcott/565754/

 

Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving (1989)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/A-Prayer-for-Owen-Meany

 

T S Eliot poetry (1888 – 1965)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/T-S-Eliot

 

Emily Dickinson poetry (1830-1886)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Emily-Dickinson

 

Mary Oliver poetry (1935-2019)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/mary-oliver

 

 

Individual Recommendations

 

Pre-1900

Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll  (1865)

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/alice-wonderland-150-years-what-s-secret-its-success-10128720.html

Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift (1726)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Gullivers-Travels

Tristram Shandy (9 Volumes) – Laurence Sterne (1759-1767) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Tristram-Shandy

Complete Short Stories – Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Guy-de-Maupassant

The Mayor of Castorbridge (1886) and Far From the Madding Crowd (1874) – Thomas Hardy

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Hardy

War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (1869)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/22/war-and-peace-guide-philip-hensher

Les Misérables – Victor Hugo (1862)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Les-Miserables-novel-by-Hugo

Dracula –  Bram Stoker (1897)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bram-Stoker

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert (1856)

https://www.newstatesman.com/books/2010/12/davis-madame-novel-flaubert

The Vindication of the rights of women – Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/mary-wollstonecraft-a-vindication-of-the-rights-of-woman

Don Quixote – Cervantes (1605-1615)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Don-Quixote-novel

 

 

20th Century

Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka  (1915)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/may/13/kafka-metamorphosis-translations

Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels  (1996)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/may/23/fugitive-pieces-anne-michaels

Beloved – Toni Morrison (1987)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/jul/08/fiction.tonimorrison

The Secret Agent (1907) and Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad

https://rsliterature.org/library-article/literature-and-political-violence/

In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan (1968)

http://www.brautigan.net/watermelon.html

Perry Mason crime novels – Erle Stanley Gardner (1933-1973)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Perry-Mason

Tom’s Midnight Garden – Philippa Pearce (1958)

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/book/t/toms-midnight-garden/

Carbonel – Barbara Sleigh (1955 to 1978)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonel_series

Winnie The Pooh – A A Milne (1882 – 1956)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Winnie-the-Pooh-childrens-stories-by-Milne

The Woman Warrior, China Men – Maxine Hong Kingston (1976)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/dec/13/featuresreviews.guardianreview6

The Famished Road – Ben Okri (1991)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/15/ben-okri-the-famished-road-was-written-to-give-myself-reasons-to-live

The Bell – Iris Murdoch (1958)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/aug/11/books-to-give-you-hope-the-bell-by-iris-murdoch

Mr Uppity – Roger Hargreaves (1972)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/12/fabulous-news-mr-men-and-little-misses-get-fresh-set-of-companions

The Master and Margarita –  Mikhail Bulgakov (1928-1940)

https://lithub.com/life-got-you-down-time-to-read-the-master-and-margarita/

The Color Purple – Alice Walker (1982)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/12/color-purple-story-thanks

Something Wicked This Way Comes By – Ray Bradbury (1962)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2012/dec/14/ray-bradbury-something-wicked-this-way-comes

Señora de Rojo Sobre Fondo Gris (Woman in Red on a Grey Background)  – Miguel Delibes (1991)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Smoke-on-the-Ground

East of Eden – John Steinbeck (1952)

See above

The Truce The Diary of Martin Stanomé – Mario Benedetti (1960)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mario-Benedetti

Nada – Carmen Laforet (1945)

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14753820.2016.1175197?journalCode=cbhs20

The Long Ships or Red Orm – Frans G Bengtsson (1941-1945)

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2010/06/28/the-fly-leaf-the-long-ships/

The Shipping News – Annie Proulx (1993)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/dec/08/shipping-news-annie-proulx-reading-group

Isle of the Sea Horse – Hesba Fay Brinsmead (1969)

http://www.womenaustralia.info/archives/AWH003905.htm

The Origins of Totalitarianism – Hannah Arnedt (1951)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/01/totalitarianism-in-age-donald-trump-lessons-from-hannah-arendt-protests

Animal Farm – George Orwell (1945)

https://www.bl.uk/works/animal-farm

The Country of the Blind – H G Wells (1904)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Outline-of-History

Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier (1997)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/sep/16/book-club-cold-mountain-frazier

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café – Fannie Flagg (1987)

https://www.allencheng.com/fried-green-tomatoes-at-the-whistle-stop-cafe-book-summary-fannie-flagg/

The Lord of the Rings series – J R R Tolkein (1937-1949)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/J-R-R-Tolkien

The Stand – Stephen King (1978)

https://stephenking.fandom.com/wiki/The_Stand

A Little Princess (1905) and A Secret Garden (1911)  – Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Frances-Hodgson-Burnett

Author Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011)

https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2011/jun/10/patrick-leigh-fermor-obituary

Empire of the Sun – J G Ballard (1984)

https://www.bl.uk/20th-century-literature/articles/a-review-of-empire-of-the-sun

Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson (1994)

https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-15-100100-2

The Silver Darlings – Neil Gunn (1941)

https://www.scottishreviewofbooks.org/2015/11/silver-darlings/

All Quiet on the Orient Express – Magnus Mills (1999)

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/magnus-mills/all-quiet-on-the-orient-express/

The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/jan/07/the-remains-of-the-day-by-kazuo-ishiguro-book-to-share

Women Who Run With The Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes (1992

https://medium.com/@elena_leman/13-reasons-why-you-should-read-women-who-run-with-the-wolves-instead-36435ea32b4

The Gormenghast Trilogy – Mervyn Peake (1946 – 1959)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mervyn-Peake

Three Guineas (1938) and A Writers Diary (1953) – Virginia Woolf

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Virginia-Woolf

The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (1997)

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Arundhati-Roy

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name – Audre Lorde (1982)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zami:_A_New_Spelling_of_My_Name

The Songmaker’s Chair – Albert Wendt (1991)

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/219248/pdf

The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje (1992)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/mar/04/booker-club-english-patient-ondaatje

The Little White Horse – Elizabeth Goudge (1946)

http://www.elizabethgoudge.org/index.php/2016/07/16/the-little-white-horse/

I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith (1948)

https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2014/jan/11/review-dodie-smith-i-capture-the-castle

Anything by Raymond Briggs – (born 1934) https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/17111/raymond-briggs.html

 

21st Century

Suite Française – Irène Nèmirovsky (2004)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43944.Suite_Fran_aise

The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking (2016)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/11/the-little-book-of-hygge-by-meik-wiking-digested-read

Girl, Woman, Other –  Bernadine Evaristo (2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/may/08/girl-woman-other-by-bernardine-evaristo-review

Novels by Iain Banks (1954-2013)

https://www.iain-banks.net

Adventures in Form Compendium of Poetic Forms, Rules and Constraints editor Tom Chivers (2012)

https://inpressbooks.co.uk/products/adventures-in-form-a-compendium-of-poetic-forms-rules-constraints

Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch (2011)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_of_London_(novel)

Terry Pratchett novels (Terry 1948 – 2015)

https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com

The Night Circus  (2011) and The Starless Sea (2019) – Erin Morgenstern (2011)

http://erinmorgenstern.com/writing/the-night-circus/

Anything by Neil Gaiman (born 1960)

https://www.neilgaiman.com

Where the Wild Things Are –  Mauric Sendak (2009)

https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-22/edition-10/eye-fiction-where-wild-things-are

Gillespie and I – Jane Harris (2011)

https://literarysofa.com/2012/03/20/book-review-gillespie-and-i-by-jane-harris/

The Gallows Pole – Ben Myers (2017)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/25/the-gallows-pole-benjamin-myers-review

Landmarks – Robert Macfarlane (2015)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/08/landmarks-review-robert-macfarlane

Roddy Doyle novelist (born 1958)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/apr/18/roddy-doyle-life-writing-profile

Marian Keyes – (born 1963)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/marian-keyes

Patricia Scanlon – (born 1956)

https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/arid-30867527.html

Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver (2000)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2000/nov/25/fiction.reviews1

White Dog Fell From the Sky –  Eleanor Morse (2013)

https://www.bookbrowse.com/bb_briefs/detail/index.cfm/ezine_preview_number/8033/white-dog-fell-from-the-sky

44 Scotland St – Alexander McCall Smith (2004)

https://www.alexandermccallsmith.co.uk

Apeirogon – Colum McCann (2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/24/apeirogon-a-novel-by-colum-mccann-book-review

Birds Without Wings – Louis de Bernières (2004)

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/birds-without-wings-louis-de-berni-atilde-iquest-res-5356072.html

The Mitford series – Jan Karon (1994-2017)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mitford_Years

Everything by Margaret Atwood (born 1939)

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/12/margaret-atwood-if-youre-going-to-speak-truth-to-power-make-sure-its-the-truth

Author Colin Thubron (born 1939)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/colin-thubron

Forever Odd – Dean Koontz (2005)

https://www.deankoontz.com/book/forever-odd/

Witch Crafting – Phyllis Curott (2002)

https://www.booktopia.com.au/witch-crafting-phyllis-curott/book/9780767908450.html

Author Anne Tyler – (born 1941)

https://annetyler.com

The Yellow Rain (La Lluvia Amarilla) – Julio Llamazares (2003)

http://mostlyfiction.com/world/llamazares.htm

A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseini (2007)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/A-Thousand-Splendid-Suns

My Struggle The 6 volume cycle of memoirs by Karl Ove Knausgård – 2009-2011

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/11/knausgaard-devours-himself/570847/

The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins (2006)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/sep/23/scienceandnature.richarddawkins

The Boy With No Shoes – William Horwood (2004)

http://www.williamhorwood.net/TheBoy/index.html

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd (2001)

https://www.lovereading.co.uk/book/19448/The-Secret-Life-of-Bees-by-Sue-Monk-Kidd.html

Fair and Tender Ladies – Lee Smith (1988)

https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-13382-4

The Sadness of Witches – Janice Elliott (1988)

https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-340-41657-0

Notes from an Exhibition – Patrick Gale (2007)

https://galewarning.org/book/notes-from-an-exhibition/

A Spell of Winter – Helen Dunmore (2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jun/05/helen-dunmore-obituary

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (2015)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/17/all-the-light-we-cannot-see-anthony-doerr-review

 

Poetry and Poets

Emily Dickinson 1830 – 1886

Sean O’Brien (born 1952)

Marcus Valerius Martialis known as Martial for his twelve books of Epigrams (published AD86 and 103)

Amores by Ovid (16BC)

Jacob Polley (born 1975)

Philip Larkin (1922-1985)

Louise Glück (born 1943)

Ian Duhig (born 1954)

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Elizabeth Barrett-Browning (1806-1861)

Gerald Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Margaret Atwood poetry

May Sarton (1912-1995)

Marianne Moore (1887-1972)

You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense – Charles Bukowski (1986)

https://bukowski.net/database/displayContents.php?book=110

Contains Mild Peril – Fran Lock (2019)https://www.culturematters.org.uk/index.php/itemlist/user/679-franlock

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle anthology (1966)

https://www.jstor.org/stable/817057?seq=1

 

Thank you to all those who have contributed so far with such splendid suggestions Keith Evetts, Clarence King, Sue Dakin, Oz Hardwick, Yin Mon Tha Tun, Judith Railton, Dave Hubble, Alison Head, Kate Beaufoy, Bernadette O/Reilly, Annemarie Cooper, Jo Smart, Don Morley, Laura Frances Martin, Elsje Winnubst, Catrin Davies, Carolyn Crossley, Tom Fox, Julia Fortier, Maureen Farrelly Baines, Emlyn Boyle, Rupert Mossadeghi, Steev Burgess, Rae Moore, Eva Oliveti, Sara Hirano, Paul Bowersox, Lee Mosswood, Bittor Duce, Debz Ferguson, Lyntha Nelson, Shirley Zanes, Vivien Eliades, Yvonne Ugarte, Carolyn Crossley, Will Riding, Catrin Davies, Elsje Winnubst, Laura Frances Martin, Don Morley and

a beautiful poem BEFORE THE LIGHT GOES OUT by John Lanyon expressing ‘the love that will never betray you’ with some fond literary references.

BEFORE THE LIGHT GOES OUT

Fur coats still hang in a dusty wardrobe

Blind Pew’s cane still taps the floor

The fire still burns in Mr Badger’s parlour

Snufkin is sitting on the bridge

Swallow waits in the secret harbour

This is the longest love

The love that will never betray you

The medicine that restores, redeems.

 

 

 

 

11 Comments on “Conversation 53: THE DAILY HAIKU Reading List”

  1. Love Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy, would like to add Doris Lessing’s Children of Violence series and for children, The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster and A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline de L’Engle.

  2. Another vote for the Gormenghast trilogy; I’d add Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials; anything at all by Margaret Atwood; anything at all by J G Ballard; among detective fiction, anything by Michael Innes (rather old) and Philip Kerr (d. 2018; among poets, Donne, Neruda, Norman MacCaig, Edwin Morgan, Denise Riley, Kathleen Jamie, Carolyn Forché. And — forever — Shakespeare.

  3. Hi Amanda,
    I’m really astonished by the work you’ve done again. Incredible, priceless. At least, for me, a great reference for my readings. Thanks a lot one more time.
    I’d like to add two points to my post about my favourite books;
    1.- I don’t know why, but I thought that poetry books were not expected in the list…
    MIGUEL HERNÁNDEZ was, in my view, poetry himself. His life and poetry are both worth reading. There is a bilingual book about him “The selected poems of Miguel Hernández” edited by Ted Genoways with a foreword by Robert Bly. I read the introduction of another one (ebook) but the one above is much more complete. Additionally, the ebook one has got some inaccuracies.
    There are many more great Spanish poets, men and women, but had I to pick one it’d be, undoubtedly, Hernández.
    I also recommend Antonio Machado.
    Lorca was another big one, another must-read one. In the ebook I’ve mentioned it’s said that they, Lorca and Hernández, were friends…Well, not correct, just the opposite I’d say and Hernández was not the culprit… I admire Lorca’s poetry and so did Hernández but, in some aspects, they were as different as cheese from chalk. Lorca was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, whereas Miguel was born surrounded by lots of goats and an authoritative father.
    Lorca did never help Hernández, he just ignored and tried to avoid him. In my opinion, after reading quite a lot about it, Lorca was obviously aware of the quality of Hernández but he was too arrogant to admit it. He himself was, in his opinion, the best poet at the time and I dare say he envied the talent Hernández was born with. Despite this, after Lorca’s assassination, Hernández wrote great poems in his honour, “Llamo a los poetas” – “I call the poets” for instance, in which he sings to Federico more beautifully than a nightingale. This kind of person was Hernández.
    There are quite a few poems by him made songs by the songwriter “Joan Manuel Serrat”:

    https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAvlG50hCB_27pcBBce2sXoNKXlu17ByB

    2.- “The holy innocents” (Los santos inocentes), an incredible book by Miguel Delibes was made into a great film. The movie stars Alfredo Landa and Francisco Rabal two great actors. Francisco Rabal was glorious. Both won the Best Actor Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. You’ve got the film in Spanish with English subtitles.
    I can’t really understand how on earth “Señora de rojo sobre fondo gris” by Delibes is not translated into English. Such a book.
    Ok, it’s enough… Sorry for such a long post…
    Bye bye,

    Bittor

  4. Poets: MUST add John Donne, Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Frost, John Keats, S T Coleridge. Otherwise many individual poems by otherwise patchy poets.

    Non-fiction: Darwin’s The Origin of Species, Heinle and Heinle’s Written in Blood (stunning history of Haiti), Thomas Macaulay’s History of England (fabulous prose writing, some later historians might put it in the Fiction category LOL).

    Too many….

  5. Hi everyone,
    I’d like to add two books to my favourite-list. Both by Patricia Highsmith, whose 100th anniversary this year 2021.
    The books are:
    Edith’s diary
    The price of salt
    I really enjoyed reading both.

  6. Oh my, what a list. It’s hard to imagine adding another book recommendation but I’m just at the end of “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell. Since it’s about William Shakespeare, and a great read, I’ll go ahead and suggest it for your list.

  7. I’d like to recomnend two more books and a film. Both are by the Galician Manuel Rivas, who normally writes in Galician.

    1st
    It’s a short story “La lengua de las mariposas” (Butterfly’s tongue). I haven’t found it in English, however, it was made into a really good film which is available with English subtitles. It stars the great Fernando Fernán Gómez. It got the “Goya” awards in 1999 for best adapted screenplay.

    2nd
    The novel “The Carpenter’s pencil” (El lápiz del carpintero). This book it’s translated into English. A must read one, in my opinion.

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