April 12, 2013 1:45 am at 1:45 am #608959
My favorite English writer, ever, even more than JK Rowling.
The only reason I’m willing to consider reading Terry Pratchett one day, is that some of the quotes in the Discworld thread reminded me of things I’ve read in Jonathan Swift. My favorite book of his is “Essays on Polite Conversations”, which is basically a play making fun of small talk, which I found in a compilation of his works, but it’s available almost nowhere nowadays. I also enjoy A Modest Proposal (which is not taught in most BYs for some reason). Gulliver’s travels is pretty good. A Tale Of A Tub proves that censorship was no more effective back then than it is now. And The Bickerstaff papers show that people are just as gullible as they always were.April 12, 2013 2:17 am at 2:17 am #945331
If you that sort of satire, you should also read Nikolai Gogol. Also for excellent satire in general, Mark Twain (you’ve probably read some of his stuff already–his short stories are the best, though) and Edith Wharton (kind of like Jane Austen but funnier).April 12, 2013 2:46 am at 2:46 am #945332
Thanks OneOfMany! I should have posted this long ago.
NG looks interesting, maybe if I come across it.
I generally don’t enjoy female writers, JK Rowling was the one exception, and you see what happened to her later.
Could you tell me a “hook” to get me interested in Edith Wharton?April 12, 2013 3:13 am at 3:13 am #945333
That’s a shame–some of the very bestest writers are female (ahemToniMorrisonaAHEMahem). Here are some Edith Wharton quotes:
“She sang, of course, “M’ama!” and not “he loves me,” since an unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.”
“It was easy enough to despise the world, but decidedly difficult to find any other habitable region.”
“‘Who’s “they”? Why don’t you all get together and be “they” yourselves?'”April 12, 2013 3:26 am at 3:26 am #945334147Participant
How is he related to Dayan Moshe Swift?April 12, 2013 3:28 am at 3:28 am #945335
And now since I can’t resist…here’s a list of supremely awesome female writers:
Pearl S. Buck
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Muriel BarberyApril 12, 2013 4:06 am at 4:06 am #945336
George Eliot? That’s a girl?April 12, 2013 4:09 am at 4:09 am #945337
Pearl S. Buck: AMAZING. I had forgotten about her.
The only other ones I’ve read is Wilder, who is good, but not great, and Lois Lowry, who I never really appreciated.April 12, 2013 4:12 am at 4:12 am #945338BYbychoiceMember
oom- i think you forget afew
daiana wynee jones
emily dickinsonApril 12, 2013 4:12 am at 4:12 am #945339☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
George Eliot? That’s a girl?
That’s a pen name.April 12, 2013 4:15 am at 4:15 am #945340WIYMember
Are these books kosher as in no lewd scenes?April 12, 2013 4:23 am at 4:23 am #945341
torah613: Yeah, George Eliot was female. That is the name her books are published under, so I use that.
And of course Wilder isn’t great–she is SUPREMELY AWESOME.
ym613: Got Lois Lowry. 🙂 A lot of people have recommended DWJ to me, and I have to say, if Miyazaki made a film out of one of her novels, then it’s gotta be good. 😀 And Emily Dickinson is excellent, but I really haven’t read enough of her to give a good rec.
WIY: Which books?April 12, 2013 4:35 am at 4:35 am #945342WIYMember
The books generally written by the list of authors you posted.April 12, 2013 4:50 am at 4:50 am #945343
Most of them. Though Kate Atkinson definitely qualifies for lewd. But you should probably look the plots up for yourself before reading (as I do), and NOT take my opinion on it, as I do differentiate between lewdness and “content” (which I am guessing you don’t). 🙂April 12, 2013 5:42 am at 5:42 am #945344Smile E. FaceMember
second promotion of a modest proposal!!! loved learning that!
🙂April 14, 2013 3:07 am at 3:07 am #945345
I have found a point wherein I disagree with you, OOM…
But I generally agree with your other authors (at least the ones I’ve read, which, come to think of it, aren’t many). I LOVE Lois Lowry’s books.April 14, 2013 3:12 am at 3:12 am #945346
The Hedgehog book? It was a teeny bit pretentious but I still like it a lot. It was very well written. And ULTIMATE PLOT TWIST. D:April 14, 2013 3:16 am at 3:16 am #945347
A TEENY bit pretentious?
It was a bit too much philosophy delivered by elitist people who think they’re smarter than everyone else, but that’s my opinion. Good writing, if a bit flowery.April 14, 2013 3:26 am at 3:26 am #945349
Okay it was a lot pretentious. But really that was mostly Paloma and that is very in character for her age (I recall learning the word “sophomoric” at that age from my exasperated mother :P). I liked Renee. :'(April 14, 2013 3:29 am at 3:29 am #945350
Well, I guess the difference is that I didn’t like Renee. You’re not meant to like Paloma, at least not in the beginning, so since your other alternative is Renee, whether you like or hate her is whether you like or hate the book.
I felt more sorry for Paloma than anything else. She was obviously deluded.April 14, 2013 3:55 am at 3:55 am #945351
hmmm I see.April 15, 2013 1:59 pm at 1:59 pm #945353benignumanParticipant
A list of excellent female writers is lacking without Beverly Cleary.April 15, 2013 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #945354Sam2Participant
Ben: And Carolyn Keene
edited -127April 15, 2013 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #945355🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Margaret Peterson HaddixApril 15, 2013 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #945356adamemes1Participant
I could care less about the subject of Woman writers but I saw the name George Eliot it reminded me of a story. Here’s how it goes.
My uncle runs an organization for sick children so he travels around a lot. One time he passed by Far Rockaway and stopped into R’ Freifeld’s yeshiva to daven Mincha. Before he left he noticed some CDs for sale. The CDs were different lectures given by R’ Freifeld so picked one up to have something to listen to on the way home. My Uncle relates that the lecture was not too interesting for him since it was given to college students.
A few days later he entered a Hospital to visit one of his patients. The Patient told my Uncle that there is another Jewish patient in a different room and suggested my uncle go talk to her. My Uncle reluctantly went since my Uncle usually only goes to people who call him for his assistance. On the way to the other patient my Uncle frantically tried to think of something positive to say when he sees the patient but to no avail. Upon entering the patient’s room still apprehensive not knowing what to say he noticed the girl was reading a book by George Eliot. He instantly had a flashback to the Shiur from R’ Freifeld. In the Shiur R’ Freifeld asked the students if they knew that the writer George Eliot was a women and most students were surprised by that and were even more surprised that R’ Freifeld knew. My uncle seeing that the patient was reading a book by George Eliot introduced himself and asked the patient “Did you know that George Eliot was a woman”? My uncle dresses in Chassidishe Garb so you can imagine it was an eye opener for the patient and it lead to a pleasant conversation. Now my uncle knew why he picked up that CD by R’ Freifeld.April 15, 2013 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #945357
are there any frum female writers that are well-known in the book world, or write for more wider audiences?April 15, 2013 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #945358
Absolutely not frum, but a great writer: Ayn Rand.April 15, 2013 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm #945359🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Frieda Friedman for children.April 15, 2013 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #945360
Carolyn Keene is not necessarily a woman. That’s a pseudonym for a whole group of writers, some of whom are men.April 15, 2013 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #945361
Haifagirl: really? Ayn Rand is (in)famous for her flamboyant atheism and belief in the legalization of srufs. Her philosophy was that moral laws don’t exist and that man’s aim in life is simply happiness, at any cost. It goes without saying she is not a Jewish role model, and her beliefs are antithetical to Torah and basic human decency.April 15, 2013 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #945362
my bad, not srufs, I meant legalization of drugs.April 15, 2013 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #945363
Yes, she was an atheist. But you are simplifying her philosophy to the extreme.
There is nothing antithetical to Torah about rewarding accomplishment rather than incompetence. At least, not that I know of.April 15, 2013 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #945364
[…]rewarding accomplishment rather than incompetence.
I think you are simplifying (or at least whitewashing) her philosophy. What I got from reading Atlas Shrugged is that the unfortunate are all soulless grasping vermin that seek to leech off the successful and drag them down to shame and mediocrity. I very much agree with the essential ideas (as you have stated) of hard work and vision being valued, but she takes these ideas to an extreme that doesn’t even make any sense.
Also, about her writing–in my personal opinion, she is not a great novelist. True, she has very good technical style, being that English is not her first language and all, but that isn’t the only criterion of good writing.April 15, 2013 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #945366yytzParticipant
Ayn Rand preached atheism, as part of the all-encompassing cult-like philosophy of life she invented (“objectivism”), and her books were meant to convince people to adopt her warped worldview. Her books exalted ruthless selfishness as the highest value, and displayed utter contempt for poor people. Much like Nietzsche, she meant to turn Western Judeo-Xian values upside down.
I think it’s highly inappropriate for a Jew to read a book by a someone (particularly a Jew like Ayn Rand) who invented and evangelized for a new atheistic ideology. However, I’m not surprised that some read her anyway, since its politics coincide with some people’s right-wing economic views.
People have every right to conclude that conservative economic and welfare policies are better — even though, at least in Israel, you’d be hard-pressed to find any gadol supporting right-wing economic policies like cutting welfare and such — but they shouldn’t conclude that then any author who shares such views is kosher.
Perhaps many people enjoy her writing, but it’s also commonly observed that reading her books tends to warp people’s personalities, making them less kind and pleasant and more ruthless and cruel. I’ve noticed this personally in people I know. It’s often temporary, but not always.
I’m not concerned about her advocacy for legalization of drugs. It’s a genuine empirical question whether making drugs illegal causes more harm than good. I’m not aware of Chazal showing any interest in banning or restricting certain substances and throwing people in jail if they disobey.April 15, 2013 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #945367benignumanParticipant
Ayn Rand’s books preached midas s’dom. A self-centered society where charity is a crime, was her ideal. She held about as an anti-Torah philosophy as one could have.April 15, 2013 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #945368
Midas S’som is an excellent analogy to the ‘utopia’ Rand constructed in her ridiculous works. She may have been a fine writer, and definitely convinced many people that she was right. However, it’s clear that anyone who calls themselves frum or God fearing should view her philosophy with disgust.
She believed knowledge was based on sensory perception(eliminating morality), despised all forms of religion, and believed the highest purpose of man is his own selfish happiness.
Here’s the money quote: “An individual should exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.” That’s a disgusting ideology, which will only lead to a culture of selfishness, hedonism, and the abandonment of good deeds.April 15, 2013 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #945369
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