A bit of a different scene this time .
Welcome to the newest installment in my Reading Lists Feature, a series of posts where I compose reading lists for and inspired by different characters. These are all books that I feel fit into the character’s aesthetic and personality, but also books I feel those characters would love to read. You can check the previous posts (Ronan Lynch, Hermione, Ron, Kaz Brekker, Nina Zenik, Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood, Inej Ghafa, Iseult det Midenzi and Adam Parrish) HERE.
This month I am doing something completely different – Jude St. Francis by the suggestion of the lovely Rachel @ Pace, Amore, Libri (if you’re not following her blog, you need to check your priorities)!
Jude is the central figure of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, which is one of my favorite books of all time. You’ve probably heard of it and you probably heard that it’s sad. And it is. And it’s sad because of Jude. Yanagihara uses Jude to create a character that doesn’t get better. Jude is less a character and more a concept. He is a martyr and an enigma, and he is Yanagihara’s personified tragedy. He also has friends who care about him really deeply and he is extremely smart and successful.
So that’s the vibe we’re going for – tragedy and friendship. Really lighthearted. Here’s Jude St. Francis’ reading list:
1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
This is a book about redemption, what we think we deserve and what we actually deserve. It’s a look at morality and people tend to classify this as a psychological thriller. It’s not, but it is psychological. It’s one man’s struggle with himself, what he thinks is right and what actually is right. It has a clear Jude vibe and I really think it suits him.
2. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Have I really made a list if I don’t include this? But seriously, it works. It works because at its core, this is a story about a friendship. A friendship of different shapes and sizes, but an ever constant, growing and solidifying friendship. I think Jude would appreciate that. Plus not to be that person, but there’s four Raven Boys and four of them in A Little Life so it totally works out.
3. Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter
This is a novel in verse which deals with a husband losing a wife and his two children losing a mother. It draws on elements of Ted Hughes’ Crow, which visits them and becomes their grief personified, but also becomes a symbol of overcoming sadness and coming to terms with the stuff that has happened to you. I think Jude would enjoy this because it’s so wonderfully crafted, but also because he needs something like this.
4. The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe
This is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe and it’s a story about a dying man that is placed in a hypnotic state right as he is dying. And this is a very disturbing account of what happens when a dying body isn’t allowed to die. Not to be dark, but if you’ve read A Little Life, this rings really true for Jude. Moreover, this story is really graphic and gruesome, and it just feels like a pick for Jude. Plus, it’s a brilliant piece of literature, so it really works out.
5. More Than This by Patrick Ness
This is a story about a boy who drowns, dies, and then wakes up. It’s a really multi-faceted story, with so many different layers, and it’s a story that keeps revealing itself, keeps on adding to the mystery by solving another mystery. It’s ambiguous and it can be so many different things, depending on the reader. So I thought it fitting for Jude.
6. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
To end on a positive note, this is simply a book I think Jude would enjoy. It’s clever, wonderfully crafted, intelligent and witty in its execution, so I think it would really suit Jude. It’s a book that you can read in a sitting and still get a ton out of it, and one that will make you think about it, long after you’ve finished it. So I think Jude could relax and escape a bit with it.
And those are my picks for Jude! Thanks again to Rachel for the request, I really enjoyed doing something different to my usual YA character lists. Let me know how you like these picks if you’ve read the book and if you have any requests of your own, let me know!
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