It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the folks at the Broke and the Bookish. This week: “Top Ten ‘Older’ Books You Don’t Want People To Forget About (you can define older however you wish. Basically just backlisted books you think are great. Basically the point is to share books that could be forgotten about in the midst of all the new releases).”
Okay…I can definitely talk about “older” books I enjoyed…although I can’t say for sure what’s in or out of print.
1. Make Death Love Me, by Ruth Rendell (originally published in 1979). I read this book years and years ago and forgot about it. For some reason, it flashed into my mind when I was thinking of possible books to give mr. strivingcynic for Christmas last year. When I went to buy it on Amazon, it was only available used. Certain aspects of the story have really haunted me (and I know that’s a contradiction since I said I forgot about it…but when it came to mind, it lingered and stayed awhile).
2. The Angelic Avengers, by Isak Dinesen (originally published in 1944). I read a description of this in 1994 but didn’t actually come across a copy (in a used bookstore) for another five years. In part, I thought the title was cool (and I’ve said before that I use the name Zo here because of one of the characters, named Zosine).
3-6. Kate Ross’s Julian Kestrel series (originally published between 1994 and 1998). Cut to the Quick, A Broken Vessel, Whom the Gods Love, and The Devil in Music. I wrote about Ross last week, but these (and a short story) are all that exist of this series, because she died very young (41, of breast cancer).
7. 84 Charing Cross Rd., by Helene Hanff, (originally published in 1970). It’s been almost 10 years since I read this book, and who knows how long since I saw the movie….but this book is pure pleasure for book lovers and I hope it never goes away.
8. In a German Pension, by Katherine Mansfield (originally published 1911). Another “it’s been forever since I read this” reads. I first encountered these stories and Mansfield in college. I also reread these 10 years ago. She’s another author who died at a young age (34 of tuberculosis), so isn’t someone you hear much about.
9. The Sea Wolf, by Jack London (originally published in 1904). Not the best known, but probably not the most obscure of London’s works either…and the only novel of his I’ve read. It’s got such a weird story…literary guy is in a ferry accident and gets saved/kidnapped/forced to work on a ship by a domineering captain…then more strange things happen.
10. Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York, by Gail Parent (originally published in 1975). Chick lit (sort of) before there was chick lit. The hilarious and maybe-a-little-sad story of a woman looking
for love to find a husband, especially before hitting 30 in the big city.
What “older” books are you hoping have a long-to-indefinite life being enjoyed by readers?