John Berendt, a one-time editor of New York magazine, is the author of two books including 1994’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and 2005’s The City of Falling Angels — the former a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1995. The book also received acclaim from readers, spending a record-making 216 weeks atop the New York Times’ bestseller list.
Below are John Berendt’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.
See the full list...
Tennessee Williams’s short stories are eclipsed by his plays, but they are by no means outclassed. His ear for dialogue, his eye for character and his dramatic gifts are as powerful in his stories as they are in his plays. Like the plays, the stories are flavored with a connoisseur’s taste for the strange and bizarre, including cannibalism, incest, rape, castration, nymphomania, alcoholism and murder. My favorite among the stories is the fiendish “Desire and the Black Masseur,” but there are many, many runners-up.
This is travel writing at its best. As a boy, Chatwin was fascinated by a dried-up piece of skin and hair, said to be from a brontosaurus brought back from Patagonia by a distant cousin and and kept in a glass-fronted cabinet in his grandmother’s dining room. Chatwin’s musings about the brontosaurus eventually led to a trek through Patagonia described in ninety-seven brief chapters filled with sharp observations and crystal-clear prose, gem-like entries in a brilliant diary. The narrative meanders, just as Chatwin did on his journey. Passages describing the stark landscape are juxtaposed with profiles of people encountered, nuggets of historical lore, and the details of rugged overland travel. Readers who insist on a traditional narrative thread might be disappointed, even put off. But for me, Chatwin evokes a serene curiosity that I find ingratiating.
The Complete Stories
O’Connor enshrines in each of her characters an unforgettable rendition of a basic human flaw: venality, bigotry, pent-up anger, stupidity, jealousy, greed, even innocence. Her dark humor is funniest when she is laying bare some horrible piece of human nastiness. And the writing! She can evoke more from the particulars of a person’s face than any other writer I know. For example:
“His face behind the windshield was sour and froglike; it looked like it had a shout closed up in it, it looked like one of those closet doors in gangster pictures where there is somebody tied to a chair behind it with a towel in his mouth.” (“The Heart of the Park”)
“She jumped back and looked as if she were going to swallow her face.” (“The Peeler”)
From: $170.90 The Magic Mountain
$160.84 Donkey Gospel
$178.88 Mindfulness for Beginners
$170.85 The Tremor of Forgery
$157.73 The Interpreter of Maladies
$157.96 The Small Backs of Children
$376.84 Don’t Shoot the Dog
$190.75 Time Lived, Without Its Flow
$166.83 Far from the Madding Crowd
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