This week's questions are about what my research into Nobel authors has done for my TBR list, and if there were any surprises.
The surprise was that John Steinbeck is a Nobel laureate. I read The Pearl in high school and liked it quite a bit. I've read Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. These are books that stay in a corner of your mind, and influence your future-self, so definitely praiseworthy.
The next Nobel author I'd like to read is Herman Hesse. I read his life history on Wikipedia in the wee hours of a sleepless night. He seemed destined to an early death by suicide, so I cheered when I got to the end of the page and saw that he lived to a ripe old age!
That alone would be enough for me to give a writer a try, but the titles of his nineteen (!) books were actually what started my research into his life.
I'll be honest, Siddartha (1922) scares me a bit. It gets rave reviews from people I respect, but when I read the summaries it seems heavy and intense.
Steppenwolf (1927), like the band? (Yep, the name change from The Sparrows was inspired by the book.) After reading the summary on Goodreads, I want to read it. I love Faust and Jung, and it's under 300 pages.
Narcissus and Goldmund (1930) seems the most approachable, but again, it is ultimately a philosophical book. Maybe...
Beneath the Wheel (1906) seems like the most autobiographical of his books. That makes me interested in it to see his interpretation of the events that happened to him. I suppose that's voyeuristic of me, but as I mentioned, I admire him for surviving his mental illness.
The Glass Bead Game (1943) intrigues me. It was the book that actually won him the Nobel, and it's speculative!
And then there's The Fairy Tales of Herman Hesse with Jack Zipes as translator. Can you say, YES!?
That will be my starting point into a complex and brilliant writer's life of work.