in Recommends

Ten Books

Joining in on the annual list-making frenzy, with my “top 10 (most meaningful) books”, in a kinda-sorta-chronological order:

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury) ~ What Bradbury means for me: October. Halloween. Carnivals. Magic. Aging…  This story smells like dry leaves & used bookstores.
  • Dune (Herbert) ~ In a 3-way tie with STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND & FOUNDATION as the finest of all ‘science fiction’ for me.
  • Cat’s Cradle (Vonnegut) ~ SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE might be better, but this was the first Vonnegut I read. It skewed me, no doubt.
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Stoppard) ~ Is there any other literary work that blends homage, cleverness, fun, & inspired genius better than this? No.  (Truthfully, I’ve recently come to love & appreciate ARCADIA far more.)
  • Tao of Physics (Capra) ~ Changed my life. For realz. The book on this list that had the most impact on me, by far. It altered the wiring of my brain. The ‘physics’ was out-dated even when I read it (1993), but its still a beautiful story.
  • Et Tu, Babe? (Leyner) ~ My sense of humor…a sheer delight on so many levels.
  • JR (Gaddis) ~ Mind blowing. Almost incomprehensible, but once you give up & allow it to swallow you whole…it’s a beautiful symphony on the page.
  • A People’s History of the United States (Zinn) ~ A hard slap to your pudgy, entitled face. I named my son after Howard Zinn, who’s such a goddamned American hero he should be on a postage stamp.
  • His Dark Materials (Pullman) ~ Cheating a bit by including a trilogy…but by the end I found this to be a haunting, emotional story. It resonated with me far more than Harry Potter, et al.
  • Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth (Ware) ~ A staggeringly detailed portrait of disconnection, human loneliness, & need.

If you haven’t read them, tsk tsk.