As an avid reader I seek out books to read to meet my goal of reading 60 books a year.
When reading fiction, part of the fun is finding a book you like.
The first pages rule is an excellent tool to help with this.
This is where you read a few pages from the beginning of the book and if the text speaks to you then you will like the book.
I gravitate towards books that have a sophisticated voice.
Also, reading fiction is wonderful because it provides an escape while still being good for your brain.
Reading fiction is also inspiring particularly as an actor. You can imagine the world and engross yourself into the characters.
I tend to think about how I would play the lead by working through obstacles, objectives and actions.
Below are 4 of my favorite fiction books I’ve read so far.
1. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brein
Actress Jena Malone read this book while filming The Hunger Games, probably to help her get into character.
That gives you a clue about the tone of this book.
This book is about a group of soldiers in the Vietnam War.
At first, I thought I was reading something true which is a reflection of the writer’s style.
Structurally, each chapter is it’s own story but there is a very strong through line.
Here is the blurb from the publisher.
"A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling."
2. Anthem by Ayn Rand
This book was the only book I finished in school, most likely because it's about 100 pages.
It follows Equality 7-2521 as he breaks free from a collectivist society.
You have to get used to reading we, they and them instead of I, me and my but, surprisingly, it doesn't take that long.
Anthem is a succinct story with ideas that feel familiar.
So much television and film right now follow the same genre.
Though, if you haven't read any books in the 'post society' realm, this is a good place to start.
Here is the blurb.
"Anthem is a dystopian fiction novella by Ayn Rand, written in 1937 and first published in 1938 in England. It takes place at some unspecified future date when mankind has entered another dark age. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur at all) and the concept of individuality has been eliminated."
3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This Pulitzer Prize winning book from one of the greatest recent writers is full of simple sentences that convey a very rich world.
The story is about a father and son in a post-apocalyptic world traveling down a road and the obstacles they face.
Because the language is so simple it makes for an easy read. This is a book that everyone should read.
The blurb it is below.
"A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation."
4. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
East Of Eden is a grand novel that is 600 pages and tells the story of two families in two generations.
The best writing I have ever read is in this book.
"That year the rains had become so gently that the Salinas River did not overflow. A slender stream twisted back and forth in its broad bed of gray sand, and the water was not milky with silk but clear and pleasant. The willows that grow in the riverbed were leafed, and the wild BlackBerry vines were thrusting their spiky new shoots along the ground.
It was very warm for March, and the kite wind blew steadily from the south and turned up the Silver undersides of the leaves.
Against the perfect cover of vine and bramble and tangled drift sticks, a little gray brush rabbit sat quietly in the sun, drying his breast fur, wet by the grass dew of his early feeding. The rabbit's nose crinkled, and his ears slewed around now and then, investigating small sounds that might possibly be charged with danger to a brush rabbit. There had been a rhythmic vibration in the ground audible through the paws, so that ears swung and nose wrinkled, but that had stopped. Then there had been a movement of willow branches twenty-five yards away and downwind, so that no odor of fear came to the rabbit.
For the last two minutes there had been sounds of interest but not of danger – a snap and then a whistle like that of the wings of a wild dove. The rabbit stretched out one hind leg lazily in the warm sun. There was a snap and a whistle and a grunting thud on fur. The rabbit sat perfectly still and his eyes grew large. A bamboo arrow was through his chest, and its iron tip deep in the ground on the other side. The rabbit slumped over on his side and his feet and and ran and scampered in the air for a moment before he was still."
East of Eden is a well-worth investment you will look back on as a work of beauty.
"East of Eden is a novel that is explicitly biblical in its scope, centering on the patriarchal figure of Adam Trask, and his uneasy relationship with his twin sons and their scandalous mother. This epic family saga, chronicling the turbulent ambitions and desires of the Trasks and their neighbors in California's fertile Salinas Valley, is characterized by one fundamental theme: the need for a personal choice between good and evil. Much of the historical background and some of the colorful events in the narrative are based on John Steinbeck's own memories and the recollections of his forebears in the region. But the vital protagonists - the dominating Adam, the favored Aron, the tormented Cal - and the fascinating cast of supporting characters, including maidens and whores, Chinese servants and scions of pioneer stock, are the fruit of Steinbeck's own imaginative genius and his love for the land of his birth."
So yeah, those are my thoughts about my four favorite books. Have you read them? What did you think?
What is your favorite book? Let me know!