What are the best books by Joan Didion?

asked by Anonymous
218 contributors
10 solutions
  1. 29

    #1The Year of Magical Thinking

    The Year of Magical Thinking

    The Year of Magical Thinking is Joan Didion's accounts in her life following the death of her husband John Gregory Dunne, and her attempts to make sense of her grief while tending to the severe illness of her adopted daughter, Quintana.


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    Ruth Taylor
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "The geological imagery conveys the disparity of scale between any mortal intelligence and those immense, lethal gulfs and mountains"
  2. 25

    #2Play It As It Lays

    Play It As It Lays

    Play It As It Lays tells the story of 31-year-old actress and former model Maria Wyeth who is institutionalized in a neuropsychiatric hospital; it traces her life and how she ended up in the facility. 


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    Philip Little
    Written on March 21, 2018
    "I thought this story was OK. Not a masterpiece by any stretch, but I read the whole thing at least and was entertained. Not a bad read for a plain trip or something like that. "
  3. 25

    #3The White Album

    The White Album
    The White Album is a mosaic of American life during the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s exposing the realities and dreams of an age of self-discovery whose spiritual center was California.

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    Kelly Ortiz
    Written on March 23, 2018
    "The White Album is by far Joan Didion's best work. This enthralling mosaic of the late 60's and 70's will keep you entertained to the very last page."
  1. 22

    #4After Henry

    After Henry

    After Henry is a book of essays containing Joan Didion's personal memorial for her friend Henry Robbins, who was also her editor from 1966 until he died in 1979. The essays included here were written after Henry's death.


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    Larry Sims
    Written on March 18, 2018
    "The american politics and personal memoirs are the entangled parts of never ending love story. The political history and the media narrative around are always in equivalency of their intended conclusion. Didion I think makes a good portray of the media overall and their role in shaping the political and social discourse. This is mentioned by Noam Chomsky in his book called "Manufacturing Consent" where he mentions how media chooses between the worthy and unworthy victims to advance the interest of a specific group. The essays of all memoirs, including by Joan Didion, always purport unknown perspective that is worth considering"
  2. 21

    #5A Book of Common Prayer

    A Book of Common Prayer

    A Book of Common Prayer centers around the fictional Central American country of Boca Grande and American expatriate Grace Strasser-Mendana who married into the Mendanas family, one of the families that dominate Boca Grande politics. 


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    Raymond Cole
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "I fell in love with this Book of Common Prayer when I read it for the first time.The content has been written in a very brilliant way and this book has never gotten old for me.I find it easy to read.Its a very interesting and cinematic book."
  3. 20



    Salvador is a book of an essay which centers on the height of the civil war in El Salvador that took place between 1979 and 1992, wherein it deconstructs the assumption people know about the war in El Salvador is all about.


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    Alice Nelson
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Salvador is a boring book to me. I've read it once or twice for school and thought it was extremely dull, slow paced, and didn't catch my attention at all."
  4. 18

    #7Blue Nights

    Blue Nights

    Blue Nights is Joan Didion's accounts on her parenthood and aging while recounting the untimely death of her daughter Quintana Roo Dunne, as well as memories from her own childhood and married life with her husband John Gregory Dunne. 


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    Arthur Johnson
    Written on March 26, 2018
    "It's an incredibly personal moving tribute and chronicle of loss, you have to keep that in mind. It's raw and unpolished. It's not meant to have any great epiphanies or any kind of bright outlook or moving personal growth, etc. It's simply the act of and details surrounding loss, which is all very personal. So I can't say that I liked or loved it. it just is what it is. God, what Didion has been through. She has got to be the toughest broad I've ever heard of. If you haven't read 'The Year Of Magical Thinking', try to read that first, then this one."
  5. 17

    #8Where I Was From

    Where I Was From

    Where I Was From is a series of essays by Joan Didion on California's history, its civic priorities and the way it has been depicted by painters and writers, including her younger self.


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    Marilyn Burke
    Written on March 25, 2018
    "Where I Was From is a book looking at and exploring California. I fell in love with the stories following families during the Westward movement. Great book by Joan Didion! "
  6. 16

    #9Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    Slouching Towards Bethlehem
    Slouching Toward Bethlehem is a collection of essays written by Joan Didion featuring topics from murder to hippies, and the meaning of self-respect to the existence of morality in the modern world.

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    Aaron Andrews
    Written on March 26, 2018
    "Very interesting book. Description is somewhat lacking. Plenty of positive reviews "
  7. 15

    #10Political Fictions

    Political Fictions

    Political Fictions is a collection of essays by Joan Didion which centers in the American politics from 1988 through the 2000 election looking on how the press, political strategists, and opinion makers conspire to create stories.


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    Ben Cheng
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "While I have not read a Joan Didion book I have heard that she does create some wonderful writings. This book is more of a collection of short diary entries deatling American politics from 1988 through the 2000 election. This alternate look into american politics will give you a whole new respect for everything that goes into an election. "


Best What are the best books by Joan Didion
1The Year of Magical ThinkingBooks 29 Paid
2Play It As It LaysBooks 25 Paid
3The White AlbumBooks 25 Paid
4After HenryBooks 22 Paid
5A Book of Common PrayerBooks 21 Paid
6SalvadorBooks 20 Paid
7Blue NightsBooks 18 Paid
8Where I Was FromBooks 17 Paid
9Slouching Towards BethlehemBooks 16 Paid
10Political FictionsBooks 15 Paid

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