I’ve always enjoyed reading well-written books about foreign countries; these, however, are relatively rare, and so I herald new treasures with delight.
Kipling’s Kim fits the bill, being well-written, fascinating, mysterious, page-turning, and so on.
It’s about a boy growing up in India, rather more than a hundred years ago. As Kipling actually lived in India I can only hope that his portrayal is accurate; if India was colorful, strange and composed of variegated landscapes back then, then I should say he knew how to paint it with his words.
I believe it is available for free on the Kindle. Larger libraries ought to have it; if you frequent a smaller one it may need to be requested.
I’ve always loved Verne’s books. Some of them are better then others, and others require great patience— for instance, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is easy enough for a nine-year-old to read, whereas its sequel, The Mysterious Island, is chock-full of scientific statistics and descriptions of how the least little thing works. However, it is excellent.
One of the best books he wrote was From the Earth to the Moon, and its sequel Around the Moon. Funny, scientific, interesting, not as hard to read as some of Verne’s other books.
I found a most excellent book at the library the other day— The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E. B. White.
It’s quite dry, of course, and rather slow and dull to read. However, the advice, or rather instructions, for utilizing the English language contained in it is priceless. The book explains a great deal about how to write (and speak) correctly. For instance, it begins by telling you, that one must write “Burns’s poems”, and not “Burns’ poems” (I quoted the book).
I believe it’s out of print now, but you may be able to get it from your library (or request it if they don’t have it). You could also find it used, in all likelihood. Enjoy!
If you’ve seen The Sound of Music, then perhaps you would be greatly surprised upon reading Maria von Trapp’s autobiography, Maria.
You’d be shocked by how much the movie changed her story— things such as Baron von Trapp’s temperament, to why she married him. However, that’s not the only reason to read this book… Maria von Trapp is really funny! From her story about when she met the women from a tribe of cannibals, to the time she was visiting with Bob Hope’s family on April Fool’s Day, her book is really very funny indeed.
I’ve never seen Maria in a bookstore, so I’d suggest trying to find this at the library, or on an e-reader.
I’ve always loved reading about King Arthur. Unfortunately, Le Morte de Arthur is very dull and repetitive; and good translations are very hard to find, so that finding a sensible book about King Arthur is quite difficult.
But an excellent book has at last been found! It is The Death of King Arthur, translated by Simon Armitage. It consists of the original and the translation side by side. The original is not lacking in beauty or description, and the translation does it justice. In short, an excellent work.