Monday, December 22, 2014

Recommended Reads for My World Literature Students

This semester, my classes in world literature read several books, stories,and poems, some of which they liked better than others. I always have more trouble narrowing down the syllabus than adding to it, a habit my students adore, I'm sure.

They especially enjoyed two contemporary novels, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. Several students asked at the course's end if I had more books I could recommend.
Why, I'm so glad you asked! I brainstormed the following list for them, but I thought I'd share it on the blog, too. 

Two books I wanted to add to the syllabus but didn't have the room for:
Americanah by Chimimandah Ngozi Adichie
The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Books I've Read in the last Year that I'd Recommend (World Lit-ish)
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (I'm reading The English Patient now, and so far I think I like it better)
Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
The Secret Scriptures by Sebastian Barry

Old Favorites: Books to Films (of which you should read the books first, Always, always, always.)
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

New-ish Releases That I've Been Telling People About
Swamplandia! By Karen Russell
Tenth of December by George Saunders
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Books You Might Have Read in High School (and if you didn't you should)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

That's off the top of my head for now, and this is by no means an extensive list. Get started here, tell me what you like, and I'm happy to make more recommendations.
My husband, Kern, has been telling me about NPR's book concierge, which I haven't tried yet, but I think it's a stellar idea. I'll let you know if I figure it out.
Happy reading!

7 Comments:

Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Rather sadly, I know almost nothing of these authors.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Madison Lewis said...

I enjoyed your class this past semester! Thank you for the book recommendations!

1:40 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Charles, I'm sure you have favorite authors that I know nothing about. That's what I love about the reading community: we share our friends.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Maddie, you were a delight to have in class. You're welcome for the recommendations. Let me know if you get a chance to read any of them, and what you think.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Madison Lewis said...

Dr. Coleman,
I started Secret scriptures by Sebastian Barry, and LOVE it so far! Thank you for the excellent recommendation!!

1:43 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Maddie, I thought you might like it. Let me know what you think of it when you finish. It's got a terrific ending.

4:00 PM  
Blogger ชื่อที่แสดง said...

Charles, I'm sure you have favorite authors that I know nothing about. That's what I love about the reading community: we share our friends.

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10:52 AM  

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