If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up for bookclub. I hadn’t realized that the book was originally published so long ago that it pops up under modern classics. 

When I was reading it, I was struck by how much of the story is still very relevant today. It is a hard story to read, but I hope to get to the movie someday. 

I enjoyed the book and I would definitely recommend reading it. I was not so thrilled with the ending, which is why I didn’t give it 5 stars. 

View all my reviews

20 Best Books

20 Best books of all time

According to the above article, these are the twenty best books of all time. I have read many of them, and I pretty much agree on the ones that I have read. It’s a pretty good list.

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez

Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

Great Expectations Charles Dickens

Catch-22 Joseph Heller

Frankenstein Mary Shelley

The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith

The Color Purple Alice Walker

Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

Beloved Toni Morrison

Lolita Vladimir Nabokov

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie

The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien

My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante

Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7) J.K. Rowling

Modern Classics

Modern classics

The above linked article is an older article, but I was looking for suggestions for Modern Classics bookclub. All of these books are newer than 1950, but are older than 20 years old. I have read some of them, and I want to read some of them. I got a few suggestions for what to request for Modern Classic bookclub, which was my goal.

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1952)

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952)

The Crucible by Arthur Miller (1953)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin (1953)

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1953)

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns (1954)

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955)

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West (1956)

Night by Elie Wiesel (1956)

Palace Walk by Naguib Mafouz (1956)

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud (1957)

Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy (1957)

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: (1961)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (1961)

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (1961)

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker (1962)

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (1962)

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (1962)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (1963)

Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar (1963)

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima (1963)

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carré (1963)

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe (1964)

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe (1964)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X, Alex Haley (1965)

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1965)

Stoner by John Williams (1965)

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967)

A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter (1967)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick (1968)

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion (1968)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (1969)

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (1970)

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro (1971)

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (1972)

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (1972)

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P. D. James (1972)

The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1973)

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (1974)

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (1976)

Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (1976)

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lespector (1977)

The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch (1978)

If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (1979)

Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979)

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron (1979)

Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai (1980)

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1980)

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard: (1980)

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)

So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ (1981)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (1981)

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (1982):

Look at Me by Anita Brookner (1983)

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1983)

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (1984)

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (1984)

The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1984)

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter (1984)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (1984)

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (1985)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985)

Anagrams by Lorrie Moore (1986)

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa (1987)

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid (1988)

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (1989)

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver (1990)

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (1990)

Possession by A. S. Byatt (1990)

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez (1991)

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (1992)

Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson (1992)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992)

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie (1993)

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (1993)

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat (1994)

Blindness by José Saramago (1995)

The Rings of Saturn by W. G Sebald (1995)

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1996)

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus (1997)

Underworld by Don Delillo (1997)

Top fifteen discarded books


I can honestly say that I have not finished most of these books. I have started a few, but discarded them quickly. I don’t plan on finishing at least one on this list. Maybe none of them?

The Top 5 Most Abandoned Classics

(As selected by members of GR)

Catch 22

Lord of the Rings


Moby Dick

Atlas Shrugged

The Top 5 Most Abandoned Books – overall

(Overall list based on GR users)

The Casual Vacancy

Fifty Shades of Grey

Eat, Pray, Love

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


The Top 5 Most Abandoned Books – Kindle

(As highlighted by the Hawking Index for Kindle)

Hard Choices


Infinite Jest

A Brief History of Time

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Ten Best Books Chosen by Famous Authors

Famous authors pick ten best books

Here are the books that some famous authors decided are the ten best of all time, and they also list the top ten authors. I am disappointed that there aren’t more women on the list. I do understand that women have to catch up since they weren’t able to publish for so many years.

The 10 Best Books of All Time

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

2. Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert

3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fizgerald

8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Checkhov

10. Middlemarch by George Eliot

The 10 Greatest Authors of All Time

These are the 10 greatest authors of all time, by points earned.

1. Leo Tolstoy – 327

2. William Shakespeare – 293

3. James Joyce – 194

4. Vladimir Nabokov – 190

5. Fyodor Dostoevsky – 177

6. William Faulkner – 173

7. Charles Dickens – 168

8. Anton Checkhov – 165

9. Gustave Flaubert – 163

10. Jane Austen – 161

Books for Little Women Fans

Books for Little Women fans

This list of books seems wonderful if you’re a Little Women fan. I have read some of them and some are on the TBR list. I look forward to those I haven’t read.

Meg & Jo

By Virginia Kantra

Sense and Sensibility

By Jane Austen

The Fountain Overflows

By Rebecca West

Slow Poison

By Sheila Bosworth

The Group

By Mary McCarthy

Our Father

By Marilyn French

Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman

Three Sisters

By Norma Fox Mazer

Charming Novels of Classic Heroines

By Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, L. M. Montgomery, Kate Douglas Wiggin and Eleanor H. Porter

Little House in the Big Woods

By Laura Ingalls Wilder


By Geraldine Brooks

The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah

Three Wishes

By Liane Moriarty

Retelling of Classics

Retelling of classics

These 23 books are told about in the above linked article. They are all retellings of classic books.

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

A retelling of: Frankenstein

Destroyer by Victor LaValle

A retelling of: Frankenstein

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

A retelling of: “The Red Shoes”

Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany

A retelling of: Orpheus/Eurydice

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera (September 1, 2020)

A retelling of: Orpheus/Eurydice

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

A retelling of: Persephone/Hades

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

A retelling of: Hansel and Gretel…sort of

A Blade So Black and A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney

A retelling of: Alice in Wonderland

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust (May 12, 2020)

A retelling of: The Shahnameh

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (June 30, 2020)

A retelling of: Every crumbling, haunted, Gothic house tale

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang (September 29, 2020)

A retelling of: Red Riding Hood and the Hou Yi myth

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

A retelling of: One Thousand and One Nights

Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim

A retelling of: The Count of Monte Cristo

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

A retelling of: Dark Norse myths

Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

A retelling of: Snow White

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

A retelling of: Snow White

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

A retelling of: Pride and Prejudice

Ash by Malinda Lo

A retelling of: Cinderella

Of Curses and Kisses Sandhya Menon

A retelling of: Beauty and the Beast

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

A retelling of: The Wizard of Oz

The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas

A retelling of: Mulan

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

A retelling of: “The Horror of Red Hook”

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

A retelling of: Korean Gumiho Tales