All posts tagged: Richard Yates

Literary Snobbery Series

The LSS Book List, Part 7

Visit the The LSS Book List page for more information about this post. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (1895, L) – This is a short novel about war that is written by a person who has never been to the thick of a war. It ponders on the nature of fear, cowardice, courage and heroism with realistic impressions of battles. If you want to know what goes on inside the head of a soldier in action, pick this up. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989, L) – I’m collecting the striped Vintage editions of Ishiguro’s back list but I haven’t really bothered to go through them. But by all means, let’s put this title, the first book that I ever discussed with our book club, on this list. It’s a meditative book on greatness and dignity through the silverware, I mean lens, of a butler. Remembering Babylon by David Malouf (1993, H) – The first ever winner of the IMPAC Literary Prize, one of the richest awards in the bookish …

My Thirty Greatest Books

Thirty Years, Thirty Books

At the moment of typing this, I realize that I’m spending my last couple of hours as a twenty-something hacking at my book shelves and sorting through my memory for my greatest books. I haven’t read a lot yet, but I already have my small personal canon. There are the random books of my childhood, the limited choices in high school, the varied selections in college, and the hordes of them all in the last decade. And before I realize it, I’m already thirty. Actually, the realization has not yet hit me hard (should it?). I look at my shelves and wonder at the space that I could have emptied had I not been a reader. But no, I’m happy to be a reader. I selected my list of greatest books based on my Goodreads ratings and on how important they are to me at multiple points in my life. If you are a keen reader of my blog, I think you will have a pretty good idea on what most of these books are. …

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge

The Best, the Honorable Mentions, and the Worst Reads of 2013

I am so glad to have finished my reading challenge of 52 books this year. And indeed, this has been a challenging year in reading and blogging. Blame it on the occasional reading ruts that I have gone through. This does not mean though that I didn’t get to read great books. In fact, there are a number of surprises for this year thanks to the “cheat reads” that I took off my shelf, just so I could reach 52. On the other hand, quantity should not supersede quality. Yes, I pulled out thin books from my shelf, but these are in the forms of novellas, plays, and poems, forms that I don’t usually read, so it’s not really cheating. As I’ve mentioned, there are surprises. I’ve prepared nothing fancy this time. No Top 12 (like in 2011), no elimination (like in 2012), just plain rants and raves on the books that I’ve read this year. The Best Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?; What We Talk About When We Talk About Love; Cathedral; Short Cuts …

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

The Model Couple – Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road is a novel that I presumptuously described as an existential suburban drama. Frank and April Wheeler, a self-assured couple, move their family at the end of Revolutionary Road in Connecticut despite the thought that they are intellectually superior to their neighbors. The couple feels a sense of entrapment: Frank sticking with a job that he thinks is too lame for his capacities and April blaming herself for her husband’s career. They start to bicker until their marriage nearly disintegrates, and then April suggests that they move out of that town and emigrate to France. This will allow Frank to find himself while April initially supports the family. Their loving relationship is restored, but will they ever get out of the gaping emptiness not only of that town, but also of life? Have you ever had that feeling that you just have to read a book that you literally have to turn over your shelves to find your copy of it? This is the case with Revolutionary Road, and although I had notions of …

Books to Read: March 2013

Books to Read: March 2013

February was a pretty good reading month for me mostly because I read two that are worthy of 5 stars and there wasn’t a lot of pressure to finish all the books that I put in the monthly reading list. Yes, I like pressuring myself especially when it comes to books and another yes, the books that I picked last month were easy to handle. The latter owes to the fact that one of them is a short story. Oh well, let’s review them Dead Stars by Paz Marquez Benitez – 2 out of 5 stars. The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen – 4 out of 5 stars. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda – 5 out of 5 stars. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver – 5 out of 5 stars. Additional Books Read: None The 2013 Reading Backlog: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – currently on page 180. Not a lot of progress, I know, but I’m trying my best …