Guest Post

Oh Gosh, I am so posh | Books that make you feel like a literary snob (GUEST POST!)

July 15, 2016

Hello everybody! Today, an exciting new thing is being introduced to Million Book Mill: GUEST POSTS! The wonderful Caroline @ Culture Coverage has very kindly written a creative bookish post for you fangirls and fanboys! (Thanks a bunch by the way, if you're reading this Caroline!) She has decided to share with you...

5 Great Titles to Make You Feel Like a Literary Snob

Ever walk into a coffee shop and feel like you want to be as verbally abusive of the illiterate as all the wannabe novelists with their MacBooks open? Do you feel like you’ve been left out of literary conversations over time among some of your friends?

Whether that’s your exact imagery (or maybe a very heavily opinionated one of mine), there have been many occasions where I’ve felt left out due to my book choices not being as top shelf as everyone else’s. Fortunately, I’ve got a couple titles for people who have had the same problems. Not only will they be riveting reads, but there will be a time down the road when you’ll be able to ask people why they haven’t gotten to reading it yet.

So whether you’re in the mood to impress the literary elite or just looking to expand your horizons, here are five titles that are sure to get the job done.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - Haruki Murakami

Murakami may be known as the greatest Japanese writer of all time for his elusive, magical stories, but it’s his memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running that really sets the pop culture junkies away from the true fans. Throughout his training to run the New York City Marathon, Murakami takes his readers on a rare journey into his own storied mind. Containing deep obsessions with writing and running as well as insightful commentary, readers get a good look into the private life of a very personal writer whose words have shaped a generation.

A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

This novel requires a very singular mind to enjoy. Those singular minds usually belong to literary geniuses. John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, published 11 years after his death, is a picaresque novel. It follows that mold by having very little plot development, an array of beguiling characters, and a protagonist (named Ignatius J. Reilly) who seems at once delusional and creatively determined at the same time. Set in New Orleans and fashioning himself as a sort of modern Don Quixote, Ignatius J. Reilly himself can take days to fully analyze and form an opinion on.

The Paris Review

There are few things more highbrow than a high-level literary magazine. As far as literary magazines go, The Paris Review is one of my favorites. Founded in Paris in 1953, it’s been headquartered in New York City since 1973. There it has been publishing the best of rhetorical form for over 50 years. Including everything from great interviews right in the front to poems, shorts stories, and works of art, The Paris Review has published big names such as Samuel Beckett, Ezra Pound, Joan Didion and Ernest Hemingway.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find - Flannery O’Connor

Oh O’Connor, what a devilish writer. When it comes to taking apart a Flannery work, it’s best to do so with a Bible close at hand. She’s notorious for bringing strong Catholic (and Southern Irish) culture into each one of her works. Born in Savannah, Georgia, O’Connor was a pioneer of the Southern Gothic style along with William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams. Her most famous short story is just an introduction to her work, which includes another two novels and more than 30 short stories. For this one in particular, a good Southern family heads off on a summer vacation that takes a turn for the worst. It’s an interesting story that will leave you with plenty of nagging questions by its conclusion. 

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

Oscar’s creator, Junot Diaz, may be one of the most celebrated literary figures in modern American literature. As the editor of The Boston Review and author of This Is How You Lose Her, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a clear indication that Diaz is on the brink of winning a Pulitzer. Consumed with the lives of Dominican immigrants, the book centers on one nerdy guy named Oscar who searches for love and meaning in the U.S. This happens only for Oscar to return to his homeland to find much of what he was looking for. This alternative literary pick will win you points for its stark diversity and emotional story.  

Whether you’re determined for a little self-improvement or just want a couple bragging rights at the next writers’ symposium, these literary works of genius are sure to provide you with something great to talk about.

About the Author: Caroline is a digital nomad and online writer who splits her time between writing for Culture Coverage and Secure Thoughts. She also enjoys reading her way through the stacks at her local bookstore. Whether it's written or watchable, great storytelling is her weakness, and she's out to share the written (and spoken) word with the world.

I hope you enjoyed Caroline's genius work about some wonderful pieces of literature. Do you have any other books that you’d like to add to this list? Do you have thoughts on the books above? Please leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

(And Rekha)

P.S: Be Sure to check out Caroline's Website HERE. I bet you'll find some fun stuff to look through.

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