Franz Kafka from National Library Israel

Franz Kafka once wrote: "A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us."

In my podcast episode "Ice and Axes - What Makes a Favorite?", I gave Kafka's words some lengthy thought and concluded they make a lot of sense.  I've since abandoned having "favorites" and resolved to evaluate books in this new light.  When I read now, I see if a book a) gives me a new idea, b) causes me think about an old idea in a new way, or c) changes my life in some other way.  This is how I personally define an "axe" book.

The books below comprise a partial list of my fictional "axes."  Some of them are carryovers from my old favorites list, while others - not quite fitting the "favorite" label - have still impacted me.

My "Axe" Novels - a non-exhaustive list in no precise order:


Stephen said…
I was intrigued by the "Classics | History | Axes| arrangement...Very interesting idea to have an axial category!
Marian H said…
Thanks! :) It's a little quirky, but I liked Kafka's idea so much, I thought I'd just go with it.
Beth said…
Til We Have Faces is on my list for someday. The Idiot is one Dostoevsky I haven't heard of -- I have read only _Crime & Punishment_/_The Brothers Karamazov_/_Notes from Underground_. _Notes_ is the one I remember best probably because I have read it more recently than the others.

Is there any chance you will revisit the ones that don't have reviews? I would be interested to see what you think.
Marian H said…
Oooh, I'm happy for you you haven't read those two yet - the first time is quite an experience! Let me know what you think when you do...

I should update this page; I actually did a podcast review on the Alice books last year:

I also plan to re-read Jane Eyre and Sherlock Holmes soon, then I'll review them properly!

Popular posts from this blog

Valkyrie (2008) and My Thoughts on Historical Dramas

Top Ten Favorite Reviews

Tales of the Long Bow: Eccentrics and Impossibilities