Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ten of the best books that make heroes out of readers

Niall Williams, a Dublin born writer, has lived in Kiltumper, Co Clare in the west of Ireland for the past 30 years. He is the author of eight novels, three stage plays, four non-fiction works and several screenplays. His new novel is History of the Rain.

One entry on Willaims's list of ten of the best books that manage to make heroes out of readers, as shared at the Guardian:
Possession by AS Byatt

It's 1986. In the Reading Room of the London Library, (perfect bookworm setting) Roland Michell, a post-doctoral research student, (perfect bookworm job) is turning the pages of a book that once belonged to his hero, the Victorian poet, Randolph Henry Ash. The book is thick and black and covered with dust. Its spine broken, it is bandaged and tied together with a bow. But among its pages Roland finds two unsigned letters written in the unmistakeable hand of the poet. The letters suggest a love affair. So begins one of the great bookworm-as-detective novels.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Possession also appears on Kyle Minor's list of fifteen of the hottest affairs in literature, Emily Temple's list of the fifty greatest campus novels ever written, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best fossils in literature, ten of the most memorable libraries in literature, ten of the best fictional poets, ten of the best locks of hair in fiction, ten of the best graveyard scenes in fiction, and ten of the best lawyers in literature, and on Rachel Syme's list of the ten most attractive men in literature, Christina Koning's critic's chart of six top romances, and Elizabeth Kostova's top ten list of books for winter nights.

--Marshal Zeringue