Good books to read.

Can anyone suggest some good books (fiction) to read?

I have a question here. How exactly do you define a novel? What makes a book a novel?

A novel is a fictional, book-length story. In school we were told that a novel is a fictional story that is too long to read at one sitting.

Daemon, you’re being a bit general with your request, so we don’t really know what kind of novels you’re interested in.

I don’t like pop fiction much, so my choices might not be to your taste.

I’d recommend looking at anything by John Steinbeck, especially The Grapes of Wrath and a lot of his shorter works. Pretty much everything he wrote is good, and it’s not too hard for foreigners to read.

Jon Krakauer writes books that are not novels, but they are documentary works that are as interesting to read as novels. A good one to start with is Into the Wild, which is a true story of a young man whose hubris led him into the Alaska wilderness unprepared, and who didn’t know how to save himself, even though help was only a day away or less. This book was made into a movie recently.

Novels by Erich Maria Remarque are hard to get in English, but his most famous one, All Quiet on the Western Front, about World War I, is quite good, and it makes you think a lot. The English version is old-fashioned and has a lot of mistranslations in it, but it’s nonetheless worth reading.

I like novels by Kim Wong Keltner. They deal with the life of a Chinese-American girl in San Francisco. She is 1,000% American, speaks no Chinese and knows nothing about China, but everyone expects her to be really Chinese, and she is often approached by men who are a bit too excited by Asian women. Her family members are very funny also. Her first novel is called The Dim Sum of All Things, and I highly recommend it. It’s full of slang and American cultural references, but you’ve got the Internet, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

There is a similar writer, named Gish Jen, who deals with Chinese people who have immigrated to America and how they deal with American culture and their own American children. I enjoy her work a lot. There are also some writers who deal with those immigration and cultural issues from the East Indian point of view.

I won’t even start suggesting all the classic Russian novels I love! :x