Perfect Books: a search for the impossible

As an avid reader and a voracious writer, it doesn’t take much to pull me out of a book. A misguided POV shift, a terrible sentence, too many “feels”, “knows”, and info dumps, and suddenly, you’re done. I’m not interested. I read to learn about the craft, the hone in on stories that capture the imagination and captivate the soul.

This might sound dickish, but it’s really because my twisted brain can’t turn off the internal editor when I read. So, to enjoy a novel, I need it to be perfect from start to finish.

I asked my writer friends to tell me the most perfect books they’ve read. Not their favorites. The most perfect. And yes, there’s a difference. Murakami is a favorite author of mine and I love all his books, but I don’t count any of his books among the “perfect” ones I’ve read.

The reason for asking for this? I wanted to branch out beyond Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners and venture into genres that I don’t usually read to read the BEST each genre has to offer.

Here’s some of the list they provided:

  • Hagridden
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
  • Oryx and Crake
  • Old Man’s War
  • Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • The Devil All the Time
  • Winter’s Bone
  • Tinkers
  • A Good Scent from A Strange Mountain
  • The Known World
  • Beautiful Ruins
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  • Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • The Kite Runner
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Disgrace
  • The Duke and I

I’ve read and mentioned several of these texts in previous posts. Be prepared for a look at most of these as I take their word for it and read these novels. I’m actually very excited to read things I wouldn’t have otherwise read.

Next up: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi! A traditional science fiction novel that was apparently a runner up for the Hugo Award. And it was his debut novel. Let’s go venturing!

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