Sunday, January 28, 2007

Favorite Books of Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is one of my favorite authors and, in fact, I've collected over 70 of her books now, most of them in hard cover, several of them signed, and I'm generally reading in and out of one of her short story collections most of the time. So this list of her favorites was especially interesting to me.

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  2. Ulysses by James Joyce
  3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  4. The poems of Emily Dickinson
  5. The stories of Franz Kafka
  6. The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  7. The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence
  8. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
  9. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Oates is noted for her rather dark view of the threatening world that women inhabit and the suddenness with which situations can turn ugly for them, so some of these titles are not surprising.

From The Top 10: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books


  1. Hi Sam...

    I'm interested in knowing YOUR 'top ten' Oates books. I have not read any by her yet, but have had a few on my TBR list. So, if you don't mind, I'd love to know. Thanks!

    How's the job search going?

  2. That's an interesting question, Joy. I won't try to rank them but here are a few of the ones I enjoyed the most:

    1. You Must Remember This
    2. Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart
    3. We Were the Mulvaneys
    4. Heat (short stories)
    5. Blonde
    6. The Tattooed Girl
    7. Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque
    8. On Boxing (non-fiction)
    9. The Female of the Species (short stories)
    10. Faithless (short stories)

    As for the job search, it's been a rather uneventful two weeks since I was shoved out the back door of mega-oil. I think that the Easter holiday has made things slower than usual, but I'm really just getting all my personal loose ends tied up so that I can decide what I want to do next anyway. So the pace has been a blessing, I suppose.