Thursday, July 4, 2019


            This week’s post lists some of my favorite books, by category. I don’t know if these are really my favorites, or if I simply have pleasant memories of my experiences reading the books, and memory is unreliable. These days I read a lot of books on my kindle, and those books tend to disappear because they are not lying around, and because most of the books I download on my kindle are ones whose disappearance will not bother me as long as I enjoy the reading.

            Here’s my list. If I do it a week from now, the list will probably be completely different.

Favorite “Classic” Novel
            Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky  – my introduction to human perversity
            Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
            Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
            The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupéry

Guilty Pleasure
            Fifty Shades of Gray by E. L. James

When I was in my 20s . . ..
            The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy – I’ve not reread it, but I remember loving the style
            Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence – my introduction to women in love

When I was a Kid
            The Hardy Boys by F.W. Dixon and a committee who actually did the writing.

Books Recommended by my Sons
            Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – and the sequel, Speaker for the Dead, is equally good: sci-fi at its best.

Books I Recently Read and Loved
            The Other Wife by Michael Robotham
            The Overstory by Richard Powers – long, complex, brilliant, and an important environmental story.

Precocious High School Reading
            The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer - a step up from The Hardy Boys
            Dialogues of Plato - I read some and said, “What’s this?” So, I wrote one. My teacher advised that I not write any more.

Author in Whose Book I Don’t Want to be a Character
            John Updike - He would see right through me.

Books You Probably Never Heard Of
            The Bone People by Keri Hulme - Set in New Zealand, the story involves the Maori people, Europeans, and a magical artist. I read it on a flight to Aukland.

Books by People I Know
            The Woods are On Fire by Fleda Brown
            Guilty at the Rapture by Keith Taylor
            The Great Halifax Explosion by John U. Bacon
            The Very Inappropriate Word by Jim Tobin and Dave Coverly

            Anything by David Sedaris
            Anything by Bill Bryson
            The Book of Guys by Garrison Keillor
            The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump

Best Book Title
            Waking Up Dead by Stephen Dunning

            Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

            A quick look at my list tells me that most of the authors are men. Guilty! I know there are a couple of works by Joyce Carol Oates that should be on the list, but I kindled them, and they have disappeared into the digital soup.

            Now it’s your turn. What are your favorites? What categories are better than mine? What should I read when I have time? Let  me know at or


  1. Thanks for putting me on your list! I just read a wonderful novel by Rebecca Makai you might like, The Great Believers. It's a finalist for the National Book Award. She and I taught at Interlochen this spring.

  2. I have a long list of books. I have read most of these authors'books.
    Dalva by Jim Harrison
    The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx
    Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
    Empire Falls by Richard Russo
    The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich
    Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
    My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
    Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    The Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  3. The list above starting with Dalva by Jim Harrison
    is Angie George's list.