Your favorite literature..?

What’s your favorite language’s literature? Let’s set some guidelines…

Don’t pick your own languages, unless you really really want to.
It’s okay to say English language lit but what else?

I’d have to say mine is Spanish language lit. I love the dreamy quality of it. In the Spanish thread there’s a discussion about Zafon who really takes from great past writers like Borges and Marquez. They’re not afraid to put hints of the supernatural even if it’s a work realistic fiction, and in general the books are written in a way that the writer never feels like he’s wasting your time to show off his skill. That’s my impression anyway.

I wonder if Portugese lit is the same, I’ve read a Paulo Coehlo book and hated it. So I can’t really have an opinion there.

Thanks for starting this thread blindside. I think it could be interesting to hear what the members like first!

For me - I am interested in all what describes nature, animals, life, including the change i.e. climate changing (why and what we can do against).
The life from people in other countries and their culture.
The next point is food and what to do for a healthy life (including cooking books ha ha - I am writing recipes for others too).

What I really like to read is a good written criminal story :slight_smile: - the last has been “Illuminati” and now I will go in the movie too that is produced and comes out in the next few days.

It’s a tough question indeed! I love Scandinavian literature (perhaps because I love EVERYTHING (ok. almost everything) that comes from Scandinavia. It’s so fascinating, so mysterious. I remember that I was really impressed when I read for example “Ondskan” by Jan Guillou. The book itself is extremely thick but I devoured it in one evening!!! Portuguese and Spanish literature is fine, I find Jose Saramago really interesting. Recently I’ve been preocuppied with English litereature (especially with children’s fantasy novels like “His Dark Materials” by Pullman or “The Chronicles of Narnia” by Lewis) as I’ve been finishing my B.A. dissertation on the topic concerning gender stereotypes hidden in children’s literature generally. And I do adore “His Dark Materials” trilogy, it’s utterly engrossing, imaginative story I’ll remember till the end of my life. As a matter of fact, I’m keen on fantasy literature, Tolkien or Beagle are my personal gurus. Recently I’ve also read a German fantasy book “Tintenherz” by Cornelia Funke and found it quite pleasant. Anyway, I’m a bookworm, I feed on reading both good and bad books. :wink: and Irene, if you like criminal stories you should really look for something written by Scandinavian writers like Liza Marklund or Henning Mankel - they’re more than good!!!

Most of the books that I read are originally written in English or German.
Some of the books are written by Scandinavian writers. I agree, that they were nice too.
Some books are written by French authors.
But I’m shure if I would look at my bookshelves I could find a lot of other countries, where the books come frome.
“Tintenherz” is an intersting book for all who loves fantastic stories. Also there are some (but not all) stories from Wolfgang Hohlbein with fantastic themes.

“His Dark Materials” was incredible. Tolkien or CS Lewis for humanists. I loved it too. My wife wasn’t happy with the ending but I thought it was great, Pullman really knew how to play with your emotions and your intellect in that trilogy.

I like literature to take me in to a pleasant, exotic, adventurous world, with observations on the human condition and I like it be well written. I want to enjoy the language. I am enjoying La Sombra del Vento by Zafon, I enjoy the plot, the setting and the language. The author’s poetic license was acceptable. Yet I did not enjoy A Bruxa de Portobello by Coelho because I do not like reading about witchcraft or “sprituality”.

I usually read non-fiction, especially history books. The language is important. Dawkins on evolution, or the ever dramatic Radzinski on Russian history are enjoyable to me. But if the subject is interesting enough the language matters less in non-fiction.

I fiction I am of the Romantic period. I love reading Goethe and Toltsoy and Balzac, and do not like the dark books of social criticism. If I want social criticism I will read it as non-fiction. I do not want the author to manipulate a plot to persuade me of injustice in the world.

I just ordered some books from Lisbon, including some historical novels and some books by Saramago.

I have enjoyed Lao She in the past, when I was more heavily into Chinese. I enjoyed the Izu Dancers by Kawabata when I was more into Japanese. I have enjoyed Hermann Lindqvist’s history books and audio books read by Stefan Kalsen ( or however his name is spelled). There is not enough time to read everything one wants to read. But reading literature is a great way to get into the culture of a country. Audio books really add to it.

That is all I can think of saying right now. I am sure I have left out a bunch of books and writers that I enjoy.

Favourite lit changes over the years, yet there are some in my mother tongue which are an absolute must on my bookshelf: Mann (Thomas und Heinrich), Tucholsky, Kästner, Brecht, Böll, Grass, Lenz and Kempowski, they all shaped my youth. Then there are the wonderful women “Krimi”-writers (much lighter stuff, but great fun). Since I’ve been reading books in English for a long time now, I read everything, from Classics to Sci-Fi, from Tolkien to Pullmann to Rowling (my children’s fault). My favourites remain the classics, with a good sprinkling of 20th century writers thrown in. In French I do struggle with the Classics, but like them very much. It is much easier to read Camus than Hugo. On the lighter side I have just been reading two of Anna Gavala’s books: Ensemble, c’est tout and Je l’aimais. . In Spanish I have started Cervantes on LingQ, but I’m not good enough yet to fully appreciate the humour and irony, so it is a bit of an effort. I do, however, read Isabel Allende with great pleasure and a Spanish “Krimi”-writer I find easy to read is A. Giminez-Bartlett, she has Petra Delgado as a very capable police inspector who does her detecting in Barcelona. A treat. In Russian, Swedish and Italian I’m not yet able to tackle any books in the original language, so make do with translations, but I don’t list them among my many, many favourites just yet. I need to feel and be able to taste the flavour of the original before I can add them to my ever growing list. The same goes for some beautiful translation from Chinese and Japanese literature. I can’t off-hand think of any Portuguese writer I’d put on a pedestal for the same reasons. I like reading interesting threads on here… but I am also aware that I am neglecting my studies which I am after all undertaking so that I can read books in the original version.

Well, I love fantasy, science fiction, ghost stories and horror. The British (and Irish) of the nineteenth-century were experts at the macabre and the creepy.

For science fiction Jules Verne was the Daddy and he pretty much created the whole genre.

For swashbuckling action, adventure and romance you can’t beat the French. The Count of Monte Cristo, the Three Musketeers, the Man in The Iron Mask…great books and they make fantastic films too.

I’m just starting to address all these old favourites in the original French after having read the English translations many years ago.

I have to admit, I am just crazy about Sci-Fi and romance novels and reading them in English gives me a good excuse to enjoy “non-serious” literature.
My favourite authors are Nora Roberts, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Arthur C. Clarke and Margaret Atwood, but it’s kind of hard to find something which I don’t know yet.
In French literature I like Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir and Francoise Sagan.

The last serious thing what I read was Shevardnadze’s autobiography, but I’m not sure if that was more fact or fiction :wink:

And a very nice and interesting book about the Caucasus is Ali and Nino by Kurban Said!