Wednesday, May 10, 2006

FAQ's, or rather, FAQ

When I whined about no one asking me questions in last weeks Random Thoughts, Sarah evidently felt sorry for me (Whoo-hoo!! Pity!) and asked me a two-part question, so here’s my answer:

What are your five favorite books and what five books should I read?

My five favorite books are:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
  3. Walden by Henry David Throeau
  4. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  5. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Five books that you should read (assuming you've read TKAM & some Shakespeare):

  1. The Art of War by Sun Tzu – not just a war strategies book anymore.
  2. Blue Highways by William Yeast-Heat Moon – an incredible look into Americana. Somewhat dry at times, yet still a must-read.
  3. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – my brother’s favorite book. He forced me to read it years ago and I was not disappointed. Neither will you.
  4. On the Road by Jack Kerouac – Best. Road-trip book. Ever.
  5. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson – Best. Drug & Road-trip book. Ever.

I have more books that I think should be required reading for people, in case you care: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, Beowolf, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, The Harry Potter series (don't laugh, they're good and are getting better with each progressive book) Undaunted Courage, Band of Brothers & D-Day by Stephen Ambrose and the early works of Michael Crichton (before he sold out) such as The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery and Jurassic Park.

I considered doing this as a meme and tagging people such as Scott, CP X 2, Mr Big Dubya, MetroDad, Croutonboy, Becky, Roger, QofS, Gidge, a few others (who shall rename nameless… but you know who you are) and Sarah, but I decided against it (wow, that was a huge collective sigh of relief I just heard)

But I am still going to throw this question out to all of my loyal readers out there... assuming I have a couple...

What are your five favorite books and what five books should I read?


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

"Catch-22" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" are both on my list.

I read "On the Road". I didn't get it.
I loved "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Shakespeare.

My favorite books of all time are (probably)"
"The Poisonwood Bible" - Barbara Kingsolver
"Atlas Shrugged" - Ayn Rand
"Slaughterhouse-Five" - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
"A Handmaid's Tale" - Margaret Atwood
"Fight Club" - Chuck Palahniuk

Everyone should read:
"The Poisonwood Bible"
Any Palahniuk
"Angela's Ashes" - Frank McCourt
"Middlesex" - Jeffrey Eugenides

CroutonBoy said...

Glad to see "Spoon River Anthology" on your list...I love that and NO ONE ever talks about it.

I wish I'd seen this meme earlier before I slaved over my homage to would have saved me an hour today. But I'll get on it...

Gidge said...

I would agree with Angela's Ashes, quite good and meaningful.
I also recommened
"Cat's Eye" by Margaret Atwood. Although men don't usually like it, I think any man who ever wondered "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH WOMEN?" should read this book. This explains what is wrong with us.
I hugely recommend Foucaults Pendulum but Umberto Eco.
I think that Eon and Eternity by Greg Bear are also really fascinating.
I don't know that these belong on any required reading list....but I really recommend them.
The latest "pop" book I have read was WICKED by Maguire and I hugely enjoyed it. It was REALLY good.

Becky said...

Loved Catch-22, Mockingbird and anything by Vonnegut. Haven't read Fight Club yet but did read Choke. That boy is sick. But good reading. Middlesex is brilliant. Also really liked Kite Runner. I don't get Jack and Hunter. Some do. Some don't. I don't.

One I keep promising to dig up for Sarah is Mystery Train by Greil Marcus. Awesome. Especially if you have the music to go with it.

Scott said...

The Catcher in the Rye
To Kill a Mockingbird
and pretty much anything by Shakespeare.

I would also suggest Dune by Frank Herbert, but not sure if I would make it my fifth.

I have heard that Atlas Shrugged, Angela's Ashes and Cat's Eye are all good books. I have a copy of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas but have yet to read it.

samantha said...

I'm late to the game but I'll play too:

TKAM and Skakespear are a given so we won't count them as part of my five.

1) Of Mice and Men
2) The Bible (and actually I'm not that religious. I was an English Major in college and almost all of the major books out there reference the bible in some way. So if you read the bible you will get more out of what you read)
3) Anything by Flannery O'Connor
4) Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Haddon
5) LOTR Trilogy

Kinda all over the board. But hey, I'm like that.

laurie said...

Finally catching up on a month of blogs that I've missed while renovating our kitchen. But definitely want to play this game.

My favorite books:
- The Bone People (Keri Hulme)
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathon Safran Foer)
- Kissing in Manhattan (David Schickler)
- Sula (Toni Morrison)
- TKAM -- whose movie I love almost as much as the book (Harper Lee)
- The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger)
- Cat's Eye (Margaret Atwood)
- The Sportswriter (Richard Ford)
- Operating Instructions (Anne Lamott)
- Harry Potter series (JK Rowling)

Everyone "should" read:
- The Catcher in the Rye
- To Kill a Mockingbird (I'm repeating everyone else because I also believe one must see the movie to be a complete person)
- Sula (or something by Toni Morrison)
- One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
- The Sun Also Rises or A Farewell to Arms (Hemingway)
- Slaughterhouse Five (Vonnegut)

Every New Parent "should" read:
- Operating Instructions (Anne Lamott)

Every Aspiring Writer "should" read:
- Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)

I can't help but feel as if I'm forgetting some, but this was fun to put into a list format. Thanks Sarah (by way of Kemp)!

laurie said...

oh. i remember what i was going to say. personally, i thought Dharma Bums was a better road book than On The Road. although i read On The Road when i was a freshman in college and i read Dharma Bums when i was 25, so that may account for some of the difference.

roger said...

I will offer two because you now have a LOT of reading to do:

Fiction: Don Quixote. It's for real funny.

Non-Fiction: The Seven Mysteries of Life. The single most fascinating book I've ever read, about mostly (seemingly) mundane things all around us.

Matthew said...

Hey, I meant to link to you when I did my little 5 books on my blog! I forgot. Sorry!

Just wanted you to know I was answering that question with you in mind.

Kemp said...

Ok... thank you all who gave your opinion as to what books I should read... and I am listening as I have already started reading two of the suggestions. The others have been put onto my reading database on my Palm Pilot (yes... I have a reading database, I am that much of a nerd...