Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Romance Beckons has done a feature on me and my books and asked me to compile a list with my 13 favorite books. Here are eight of them. To see the rest, go to http://romancebeckons.blogspot.be/2012/12/thursday13-fave-books-of-all-time.html.
The Comfort Of Strangers by Ian McEwan
Colin and Mary are bored lovers on vacation in Italy. They accidentally bump into Robert, a seemingly friendly man, and they quickly become drawn into a dangerous fantasy of violence and obsession. Paul Schrader's movie adaptation is equally captivating.
The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke
Actor Ethan Hawke encapsulates well the characteristics of a doomed love affair and the psychological breakdown which follows it. I like this novella for its emotional honesty and its simple, yet poetic style. Hawke directed his own film version in 2006, but as much as I loved the book, the movie just didn't do it for me.
Twee maal leven by Clem Schouwenaers
A Flemish classic in which a man, bored of his routinous office life, decides to leave his job and be free.
Shangai Baby by Wei Hui
Publicly burned in China for its sensual nature and irreverent style, Shangai Baby is the semi-autobiographical story of Coco and her love for two men: Tian Tian, for whom she feels tenderness and love, and the Westerner Mark with whom she begins a highly-charged physical affair.
Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
My favorite romance novel. Kathleen Tessaro's Elegance is not only wonderfully romantic, it also captures well the fears of most women: the uncertainties about their looks and age and the fear of not leading the life one has hoped for.
The Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater
The highs and lows of Provençal life: living in a warmer clime, eating fresh Mediterranean food, the adoption of a menagerie of animals, swimming in one's own pool and the thrill of harvesting your own olives.
Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
Half-brothers Michel and Bruno have a mother in common but little else. Michel is a molecular biologist, a man with no erotic life to speak of and little in the way of human society. Bruno, by contrast, is a libertine. Both are symptomatic members of our atomised society, where religion has given way to shallow new age philosophies and love to meaningless sexual connections. This French novel has been turned into a German feature film in 2006.
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A young woman struggles with depression during her first year at Harvard. Based on a true story.