Friday, December 24, 2010

Quiet Masterpieces

Here is a question from The Blue Bookcase
designed to provoke discussion:

What literary title (fiction or non-fiction) do you love that has been under-appreciated?
We all know about the latest Dan Brown, and James Patterson isn't hurting for publicity.
What quiet masterpiece do you want more readers to know?

Most of my all-time favorite reads are literary reads.
Most of my all-time favorite reads are quiet masterpieces.

To choose my favorite quiet masterpiece,

I shall visit my list of favorite reads.

My All-Time Favorite Reads

 So, what shall I choose as my small favorite,
my favorite quiet masterpiece?

How about
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell?
The story of Mrs. Bridge is the story of an ordinary person.
Mrs. Bridge is just an average
upper-middle class white housewife
living in America in the middle of the last century.
But it is an extraordinary story.
The book is written in little chapters,
almost like long poems, little snapshots,
about the everyday events in Mrs. Bridge's life.
No sensationalism.
No Big Awful Traumatic Problems.
But a powerful story of
a little life,
a person who lived, in the words of Thoreau,
a life of "quiet desperation."
A quote: 
"They had started off together to explore something
that promised to be wonderful,
and, of course, there had been wonderful times.
And yet, thought Mrs Bridge,
why is that we haven’t — that nothing has — that whatever we — ?"
There's a Mr. Bridge, too,
but I like Mrs. Bridge best.

I'd love to hear your recommendations.


  1. I like Mrs. Bridge a lot, and I agree with you about Mr. Bridge. I didn't like it nearly as much.

  2. Mrs Bridge is a new to me book -it sounds really interesting-thanks for sharing

  3. Hopping through. Oooh...a War and Peace readalong! I've always wanted to read that.
    Merry Christmas!
    My FF

  4. The cover alone of Mrs. Bridge makes me want to read it. I'm adding this to my TBR!

  5. A bit off topic but since you mentioned James Patterson it reminded me that at my local Target he, Nicholas Sparks & Jodi Picoult are all displayed under the "up and coming authors" section with about 20 books each...Makes me crazy.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

  6. "Up and coming", eh? Isn't that crazy!

  7. War and Peace is my favorite novel and Tolstoy is my favorite author. I've just about everything he's written. Wonderful blog! I also liked your Teacher's blog too.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I haven't read Mrs. Bridge, but it sounds interesting! I'll have to take a closer look at it!

  9. Oh, I love a quiet depiction of a life. I don't need all the sensationalism or dramatic problems.

    Thanks for the recommendation. :-)

  10. hi, thanks for following me, I'm an old follower. Have a great weekend!

  11. HI stopping by to say hi, I have always wanted to read War and Peace.

    Xmas Eve Follow Friday

  12. Just wanted to repay the visit and say thanks for following--will do the same. I've never read Evan Connell, but Son of the Morning Star (is that the right title?) is one of the favorite books of my first mentor.

    I was paging through your list of favorite books and found myself nodding enthusiastically down the page. Kindred book spirits, as AoGG might say!

  13. I'm not really familiar with Mrs. Bridge. I'll have to check that out. I think I'll have to wait on war and peace -- maybe after I'm retired. Happy Holidays!

  14. Thanks for checking out my blog and following! Will do the same :]

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  15. Ooo, I'm intrigued. Sounds like great fun! Thanks!

  16. Books of quiet desperation, that simmer just below boiling point, are books that appeal to me.

  17. Nice to see Good Omens in your list - such a fun read!

    I tend to read a lot of strange fiction, generally shying away from the bestseller lists, but I think I'd have to go with Clive Barker's the Thief of Always.

  18. Thanks for stopping by.

    YAY, there's a War and Peace readalong.I have heard this book since I was in high school.But
    I never have chance to read and open that book. Let me try, this time

  19. Thanks for hopping by! :)
    Ooh, Mrs. Bridge sounds quite the literary classic. That quote itself explains it! Have a wonderful holiday season :)

  20. I haven't read Mrs. Bridge yet... I think I would have to go for What Maisie Knew by Henry James - does that qualify as a quiet masterpiece? I just think it was not given as much attention as it deserves.

    I'm your newest follower too, thanks for dropping by my blog. Happy Holidays!

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  21. Great question! I specialize in independent authors, and there are a lot of great authors working their way up the ranks. One of the first ones that comes to mind is "The Noble Pirates" by R. L. Jean. I'm not sure it's under- appreciated so much as working-its-way-up-to-being-fully-appreciated!

    (I'm following you as well- thanks for checking out my blog!)

  22. Where the Sidewalk Ends is one of my favorites as well. I haven't read either of the ones you chose at your favorites. War and Peace is on my TBR list, though.

    Merry Christmas! And, thanks for stopping by!

  23. thanks for stopping by my blog, i'm a new follower, Im looking forward to seeing what you thought of Cleopatra its on my wish list

  24. Just following along the Friday Follows :-). So, yes, I'm a new follower to your blog, and it looks to be quite a busy space (and fun!). I'd appreciate a follow back, but either way, I hope your holiday season is amazing! :-)

  25. hi! Merry Christmas and a most blessed New Year to you! thanks for being a follower on my blog. you're the 80th and 8 is a lucky number for me.i'm following you now as well. j'adore les livres aussi! c",)

  26. I was glad to see The Little Prince on your list. I think it's a book everybody should read, should read to their children (I have wonderful memories of my grand mother reading it to me), should read while growing up, should read as adults so they don't forget about important values as they tend to do in that fast-paced world.

  27. great, great choice. i hadn't even thought of this one when i wrote my post, but you're right - it's a stunning, "quiet" book that not enough people know about or have read. i'm trying to remember if i read 'mr. bridge' too; think i did.. in any case, i'd love to reread both books in the next couple years. thank you for reminding me about connell!

  28. Adding these to my TBR pile! Thanks!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Have a wonderful time with them!

    Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!

  29. Hi!
    Thanx for the visit!
    I'm gladly following you back =D

  30. Mrs. Bridge sounds like a book I would love--thanks for bringing it to my attention...

  31. The book sounds very interesting, and I also love the passage you posted. Thanks for sharing. :)

  32. Hi! I'm your newest follower from a Friday Blog Hop! I'd love it if you would follow back at one or all four of my blogs :)

    Happy Holidays!

  33. I wouldn't ordinarily pick up a book about a person's daily routine. I love action and a plot that moves and intrigues me, with the plot be something very physical or intangible.

    Perhaps, I would have a loot at Mrs Bridge. :)

  34. hi there! This book sounds intriguing, I'll have to add it to my list! Thanks for stopping by my place and following. I'm now following you :-)

  35. You've got me curious about Mrs. Bridge. Thanks for recommending it!

  36. Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Always glad to have new friends and followers! : )

  37. Your post is very inspiring...I need to get MRS. BRIDGE. :)

    I am new to this blog hop...glad I found it. Nice to meet you.



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