Thursday, May 07, 2020

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Hippo's top twenty books

Posted by Hippobean at 2:56 PM
In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro
-Thomas a Kempis

f = fiction nf = non-fiction

1. Wuthering Heights (f)- Emily Brontë
"He took a seat opposite Catherine, who kept her gaze fixed on him as if she feared he would vanish were she to remove it. He did not raise his to her often: a quick glance now and then sufficed; but it flashed back, each time more confidently, the undisguised delight he drank from hers."

2. Rebecca (f) - Daphne Du Maurier
"Will you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me now?"

3. The Binding (f) - Bridget Collins
"'Lucian. Lucian.' It wasnt him."

4. Marina (f) - Pietro Coldesina

5. The Romance of a Poor Young Man (f) - Octave Feuillet
"At midnight, when everything was silent, I said farewell, to the old tower where I had suffered - and loved - so much. I slipped into the chateau by a secret door of which I had the key. Furtively, like a criminal, I passed along the empty and resounding galleries, guiding myself as I best could in the dark. At last I reached the salon where I had first seen her. She and her mother had not long left it, and their recent presence was revealed by a sweet and pleasant perfume which transported me. I searched, and I touched the basket where a few moment before she had replaced her embroidery. Alas, my poor heart! I fell on my knees before the seat she generally occupies, my forehead against the marble. I wept. I sobbed like a child."

6. Possession (f) - A S Byatt

7. A Canticle for Lebowitz (f) - Walter M. Miller Jr.

8. The English Patient (f) - Michael Ondaatje
"When we meet those we fall in love with, there is an aspect of our spirit that is historian, a bit of a pedant, who imagines or remembers a meeting when the other had passed by innocently, just as Clifton might have opened a car door for you a year earlier and ignored the fate of his life."
"We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead."

9. Seymour an Introduction (f) - J. D. Salinger
" ..artists and poets who as well as having a reputation for producing great or fine art have something garishly Wrong with them as persons; a spectacular flaw in character or citizenship, a construably romantic affliction or addiction - extreme self-centeredness, marital infidelity, stone-deafness, stone-blindness, a terrible thirst, a mortally bad cough, a partiality for grand-scale adultery, a certified or uncertified weakness for opium, and so on, God have mercy on the lonely bastards. If suicide isnt at the top of the list..."

10. The Agony and the Ecstasy (f) - Irving Stone
"I honestly dont know the answer, Your Grace. For Raphael, the creating of a work of art is a bright spring day in the Campagna; for me, it is a transmontana howling down the valley from the mountaintops. I work from early morning to dark, then by candlelight or oil lamp. Art for me is a torment, griveous when it goes bad, ecstatic when it goes well; but always it possesses me. When I have finished with a day of work I am a husk. Everything that was inside of me is now inside the marble or the fresco. That is why I have nothing to give elsewhere."

11. Balkan Ghosts (nf) - Robert D. Kaplan
"These lands require a love for the obscure. If the intruder from the West is not willing to feel with his whole being, he cannot hope to understand."
"Travelling in Romania was often like inhabiting the pages of a Dostoevsky novel. After a few weeks in Romania, a perverse side of your nature allowed you to fall in love with the country and people. You even thought that, perhaps, the Romanians possessed a peculiar wisdom about life and survival that the rest of the world lacked. And thus you would begin to undertand..."

12. The Monstrumologist (f) - Rick Yancey

13. The Winter of Our Discontent (f) - John Steinbeck

14. Lireal (Old Kingdom book 2) (f) - Garth Nix

15. The Last Romantic: A Biography of Queen Marie of Roumania (nf) -
Hannah Pakula
"Captured a whole squadron of impassioned admirers, most of them...officers, brilliant, dashing, sentimental, daring, full of Russian ardour mixed with that almost intolerable melancholy so characteristic of the Slav, a melancholy which tore at your heartstrings and disturbed your peace..."

16. The Glass of Time/The Meaning of Night: A Confession (f) - Michael Cox

17. The Rule of Four - Ian Caldwell (f)/ The Real Rule of Four (nf) -
Joscelyn Godwin

18. The Book of the Dead (Pendergast Series 7) (f) -
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

19. The Cloisters Walk (nf) - Kathleen Norris

20. The Odyssey (f?nf?)- Homer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν

Exquisite figure, as of heaven's shaping, waited beside a pillar as he passed... "Fare well, stranger; in your land remember me who met and saved you. It is worth your thought". - Translated by Robert Fitzgerald

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