Sword and Citadel by Gene Wolfe
Holy smokes. I really enjoyed Sword and Citadel. Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun definitely figures into my favorite "genre" series of all time. And part of that is of course that Wolfe demands a lot from his readers, and his writing is literary.
Severian is simply one of my favorite characters in fiction, and he is a perfect guide to the strange world of Urth. Absolutely recommended.
I have decided to keep expanding into Wolfe's writings, which I'll detail in a coming month.
Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
Have you ever read a novel because of a song lyric? David's Bazan's lyric in the Headphones cut: "Wise Blood":
If you think you've been redeemed Then I wouldn't want to be
The above always resonated with me. So when I saw Wise Blood the novel on staff display at the local library, I snagged it.
I was not disappointed when O'Connor's iconic line-turned-lyric is spoken in the opening pages by Hazel Motes, the iconoclastic atheist protagonist. Motes is always taken by strangers to be a man of faith, before he embraces the role as a sort of anti-minister. If this sounds remotely interesting to you, then it is recommended.
- Harper's June 2017