domingo, 30 de julio de 2017


"Money may not buy happiness, but I'd rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus."

Françoise Sagan

*Cover Characteristic is a book meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. Check it out and participate!

8. Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories by Kevin Wilson


The stories in Kevin Wilsons collection are populated by the strange and the fascinating: 

Grand Stand-In is narrated by an employee of the Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider-a company that supplies stand-ins for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents. 

The young boy in Birds in the House is assigned the task of judging a bizarre origami contest, in which his father and uncles are competing for his grandmothers estate. 

And in Blowing Up On the Spot the story singled out by Ann Patchett for Ploughshares, a young woman works sorting tiles at a Scrabble factory after her parents have spontaneously combusted. 

Kevin Wilsons characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. 

Southern gothic at its best, laced with humor and pathos, these wonderfully inventive stories explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both.

7. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates


In the hopeful 1950s, Frank and April Wheeler appear to be a model couple: bright, beautiful, talented, with two young children and a starter home in the suburbs.

Perhaps they married too young and started a family too early. Maybe Frank's job is dull. And April never saw herself as a housewife. Yet they have always lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. But now that certainty is about to crumble.

With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.

6. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression follows the western movement of one family & a nation in search of work & human dignity.

Perhaps the most American of American classics. The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, & changes in financial & agricultural industries. 

Due to their nearly hopeless situation, & in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other "Okies", they sought jobs, land, dignity & a future.

5. Looking for Jack Kerouac by Barbara Shoup


It wasn't Duke Walczak's fault that I took off for Florida, like Kathy thought. The truth is, we started getting sideways with each other on our class trip to New York and Washington D.C. nearly a year earlier—which, looking back, is ironic since she was the one dead set on going.

In 1964, Paul Carpetti discovers Jack Kerouac's On the Road while on a school trip to New York and begins to question the life he faces after high school. Then he meets a volatile, charismatic Kerouac devotee determined to hit the road himself. When the boys learn that Kerouac is living in St. Petersburg, Florida, they go looking for answers.

4. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe


Tom Wolfe's much-discussed kaleidoscopic non-fiction novel chronicles the tale of novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. 

In the 1960s, Kesey led a group of psychedelic sympathizers around the country in a painted bus, presiding over LSD-induced "acid tests" all along the way. 

Long considered one of the greatest books about the history of the hippies, Wolfe's ability to research like a reporter and simultaneously evoke the hallucinogenic indulgence of the era ensures that this book, written in 1967, will live long in the counter-culture canon of American literature.

3. Crash by J.G. Ballard


In this hallucinatory novel, the car provides the hellish tableau in which Vaughan, a "TV scientist" turned "nightmare angel of the highways," experiments with erotic atrocities among auto crash victims, each more sinister than the last. 

James Ballard, his friend and fellow obsessive, tells the story of this twisted visionary as he careens rapidly toward his own demise in an intentionally orchestrated car crash with Elizabeth Taylor. 

A classic work of cutting edge fiction, Crash explores the disturbing potentialities of contemporary society's increasing dependence on technology as intermediary in human relations.

2. Christine by Stephen King


A supernatural tale about girlfriends, boyfriends and a car called Christine.

Christine was eating into his mind, burrowing into his unconscious.

Christine, blood-red, fat, and finned, was twenty. Her promise lay all in her past. Greedy and big, she was Arnie's obsession, a '58 Plymouth Fury. Broken down but not finished.

There was still power in her - a frightening power that leaked like sump oil, staining and corrupting. A malign power that corroded the mind and turned ownership into Possession.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach ...

Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. 

For Gatsby - young, handsome, fabulously rich - always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. 

Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.

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