Marjorie's Picks

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316769518
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Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 1st, 1991

At fourteen I fell deeply, painfully, in love with the Glass family; I’ve never gotten over it. I meet them from time to time and the flame still burns.

The Odyssey Cover Image
By Homer, Robert Fagles (Translated by), Bernard Knox (Introduction by), Bernard Knox (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780143039952
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Published: Penguin Classics - October 31st, 2006

Every time I make this journey I find new lands, rare treasures I missed before, and Fagles’s translation brings these worlds into thrilling, immediate life.

Duino Elegies & The Sonnets to Orpheus: A Dual-Language Edition (Vintage International) Cover Image
By Rainer Maria Rilke, Stephen Mitchell (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780307473738
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Published: Vintage - October 6th, 2009

Reading these poems opened some hidden door in my psyche through which the winds of Tartarus now blow. Mitchell’s translation feels inspired, and the result is something haunting, disturbing, and extraordinarily beautiful.

Our Mutual Friend (Modern Library Classics) Cover Image
By Charles Dickens, Richard Gaughan (Introduction by)
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ISBN: 9780375761140
Published: Modern Library - September 10th, 2002

Dickens at his darkest, least sentimental, and most wonderful. The Thames, in all its teeming, sordid, thriving life, is one’s of his most engaging characters.

The Wings of the Dove (Wordsworth Classics) Cover Image
By Henry James, Nicola Bradbury (Introduction by), Keith Carabine (Editor)
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ISBN: 9781840221817
Published: Wordsworth Editions - June 5th, 2009

Everything happens, with James, in the spaces between what his characters say and do, and here he is at his most enigmatic and sublime. One of the most deeply moving novels I have ever read.

Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679725220
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Published: Vintage - February 19th, 1990

The rewards, in Nabokov, are directly proportional to the effort you expend to meet him. This is no passive reading adventure, but if you see it through, you will be lavishly repaid: a masterpiece.

A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube Cover Image
By Patrick Leigh Fermor, Jan Morris (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590171653
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Published: NYRB Classics - October 3rd, 2005

At once a coming of age memoir, a travelogue through worlds now vanished, and a history of middle Europe to the cusp of the second world war, this trilogy defies definition, and Leigh Fermor’s erudite, utterly charming style makes you believe you travelled with him.

Underworld: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780684848150
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Published: Scribner - July 9th, 1998

DeLillo’s writing is so exquisitely good it makes me happy, and here he is at the top of his game. I savored all 827 pages of this novel, and I will read it again if only for the pleasure of Marvin Lundy’s company.

Little, Big Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061120053
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Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 17th, 2006

A fantasy like no other, this extraordinary novel opens up worlds within worlds in ways that continually surprise and challenge and enchant. I got lost here, and I’ve never fully returned.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780156364652
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Mariner Books - August 23rd, 1977

Many, many years ago this collection taught me the difference between a good and a great short story, and I eternally return to this well for inspiration and delight.