Favorite Books

Over the years I have a read a lot of books, lately I do not seem to have the time to read as much as I like. But here comes the list of books that are among my very favorites. They are in no particular order.
Some time ago I already posted the books I never finished reading in Daily Delusions: Unfinished Books. I do not know all the English titles of the books so I will post the language I read the book in. And I’ll omit my favorite fantasy sagas since this is more a ‘literature’ list.

Wahlverwandtschaften – Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe
Nana, Le Reve – Emile Zola
Die Elixiere des Teufels – E.T.A. Hoffmann
Narziss und Goldmund – Hermann Hesse
Montauk – Max Frisch.
Ein Tag im Leben des Iwan Denissowitsch – Alexander Solschenyzin
Das Glasperlenspiel – Hermann Hesse.
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Memoiren einer Tochter aus gutem Hause – Simone de Beauvoir
Der Spieler – Fjodor Dostojewski
Les chouans – Honore de Balzac
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Mephisto – Klaus Mann

I will probably think of a bunch of other books as soon as I publish this post. Anyhow I have enjoyed all of the above books a lot. Off late I have mostly been reading fantasy books – so much easier – and trivialities. And I have also started reading several comicbook series and a few online comic series.

To the list above I have to say one thing. A lot of these books have a biographical nature or theme and that is what I like a lot, it’s the reason why I am doing this blog, my homepage and why I enjoy reading other people’s blogs. Those biographies and especially the autobiographies contain a lot about the authors. Just read Montauk. Or Hemingway. Often when authors try to explain themselves in their books that is where I can best identify myself with the book, with its author. I learn something about myself.

And as I am posting this I keep noticing that my English is not good enough for this kind of posting. It used to be better but now all this sounds rather crude and in-elegant, but hey it’s not my mother tongue.

Not all of the books are of a biographical nature. But the others like Goethe or Hoffmann or Emily Bronte weave intricate social patterns around unique and beautiful characters. I have this page of Quotations from Wuthering Heights done long ago. Those quotations make me still cry even after I have not read the book for five years.
Mostly these books deal with love stories, in them love is never easy and rarely happy. I’ll never forget one quote I believe to be from a Hermann Hesse book: “Das Schönste an der Liebe ist die Sehnsucht.” The most beautiful thing about love is longing, it is so true and so sad because it essentially says that in order to be happy you need to be unhappy. If you get what you want it will not make you happy.