Luke’s Top Ten

Here is my top ten list.  I am more drawn to the classics in general, and I especially love Russian literature.  The depth that they have captivates me in a way that most modern literature lacks, at least for me.  I’d much rather read a book that takes a bit longer and has something really to say, rather than choosing quick reads for entertainment.  Not to say, of course, that these books aren’t quite engaging as well.

Top Ten Novels for Luke:

1. The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I love Russian literature and this is the crown jewel.  Dostoyevsky tells a tale so full of humanity and life that 800 pages actually won’t seem enough.

2. Les Miserables
Victor Hugo

Another story filled with humanity.  Forget the musical and read the book.  It’s super long but even the extended rambling asides are really interesting.

3. East of Eden
John Steinbeck

The master’s masterpiece.  Not as simple as the common “it’s a modern retelling of Cain and Abel,” it is a tale of good and evil, but as complex and engaging as they come.

4. Gilead
Marilynne Robinson

Fathers and sons and beautiful language.  The fictional letter that is Gilead says much about life in one man’s thoughts and how he sees the world.

5.  The Brothers K
David James Duncan

America’s epic: baseball, family, Vietnam war, and a nod to my favorite book.  Everyone I’ve recommended this book to loved it.  It will make you laugh, and just might make you shed a manly tear or two.

6. The Idiot
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Another Dostoyevsky on the list, probably his most complex and least accessible.  Even if you don’t quite “get it,” you’ll close the book still somehow feeling that it was profound.

7. Cancer Ward
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Perhaps one of the most depressing settings you can think of, Solzhenitsyn brings life to the characters wrestling with despair and hope.  Not your feel-good read, but rewarding for delving into the heavy issues.

8. The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas

The most masterful enactment of revenge you’re ever going to read.  Clever and thrilling throughout, the book goes into infinitely more detail than any movie you’ve seen about it, even in the abridged addition.

9. Godric
Frederick Buechner

A novel about a 12th century English monastic hermit might not sound the most interesting, but it completely works. Buechner is a master of the English language and writes in gritty, earthy prose that is refreshing and unique.

10. For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway’s writing is certainly unique, and this is Spanish war story is compelling and classic.

About Luke

Luke learned to read at the age of two, whereupon he decided, like much of the male population, that it was a chore to be done only when absolutely necessary. Then suddenly at age nineteen, he discovered good books—he has been reading voraciously ever since, earning multiple literature and writing degrees. At any given moment you'll find him reading at least one book, smoking a cigar, up fifty feet in a tree he free-climbed.

Currently Reading:
Collected Stories by Alexander Pushkin
-Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
The Mystery of Being by Gabriel Marcel


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  2. Excellent top ten favorite book list!

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and taste on books..
    Way better taste than the other retarded lists from the other kids who put Harry potter and hunger games in it…

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