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12 November 2004 @ 10:55 am
Book Advice Needed  
Yesterday evening, I was asked find and buy  what has been solely described to me with the words " a good English book",  as a birthday present for an old highschool friend with whom I haven't been in close contact for ages. Probably the task has been dropped on my indecisive shoulders, mainly because I'm the English literature student, the one person known to actively seek out English books and to actually enjoy them *g*

It's been about ten years since birthday girl and I took Advanced English classes together. Since I haven't been to her place in ages, I'm completely clueless about how her private book shelves might look like. No idea, whether she's into classics, crime, thriller, romance, or possesses any tolerance for sci-fi or fantasy. My first pick would be  Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring. A piece of solid quality, entertaining and highly enjoyable, containing nothing too gross, too sexual or too violent.

If you don't really know the person, it's better to stay on the safe side, I guess.

However, there is this soft, little voice in my head, telling me that Chevalier, after all, might be too decidedly un-offensive, too arbitrary. That I could do much better, if I just tried...

So I'm looking for alternative options. Any suggestions, folks?  
Current Mood: workingworking
Current Music: Billy Joel, We Didn't Start the Fire
Kathyh: Kathyh readingkathyh on November 12th, 2004 10:42 am (UTC)
I read too much genre fiction to really be of any help here but if you're looking for something a little more dangerous a book that really impressed me this year was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. It's a story told from the viewpoint of an autistic boy and does contain bad language but it's incredibly readable as you're catapulted into this boy's strange world. Not necessarily a comfortable read but very compelling. For someone I haven't seen for years though I might be more inclined to go for safe *g*.
Cavendishcavendish on November 12th, 2004 01:36 pm (UTC)
I am still convinced, Ondaatje / Skin of a Lion would be a good choice.

Steinbeck / East of Eden ranges sencond.

if she posesses (American ;-) ) sense of humour : Kurt Vonnegut / Timequake.