“For myself, I want no advantage over my fellow man, and if he is weaker than I, all the more is it my duty to help him.” —Eugene V. Debs
I'm pretty sure all my favourite books are in the library of that house. I always go back to reading MacDonald to fall in love with everything.
Once a year, every one should dip into Mark Twain. There is plenty to choose from. You can hardly go wrong. You will be surprised. You will laugh like hell. And you will very often astonish yourself with tears for the human condition. Try it.
Propertius' elegies - even in English they're good. Everything from "teen" angst (my girlfriend is with somebody else - and he's a jerk -> Yeah! she's back -> that faithless bitch) to grief for the unburied dead of the civil war and some simmering discontent with the new world order of Augustan Rome all while sucking up to Maecenas, Augustus' semi-official "patron of the arts".Dhalgren of course.I do have a guilty pleasure (maybe a couple others too) - Michener's "The Source".
The Lovely BonesThe Time-Traveler's WifeThe Nerve Guide to Sexual EtiquetteThe Tao of Pooh and Te of PigletGoing to the MoviesPretty much any Neil Gaiman novel besides American Gods
"The Way of All Flesh: A Celebration of Decay" by Midas DekkersI also like reading psychology books by R. D. Laing and laughing at them... but that might just be me.
What a great bunch of suggestions! Thanks, all!I'll even take a peek at Michener, 'cause I remember reading a book or two of his when I was young and liking them. Guilty pleasures are part of loving books.Dunno if I'll try laughing at Laing. But I might.
chine Mieville. Especially Perdido Street Station, Un Lun Dun, and The City & the City. I was surprised by how much i enjoyed Moby Dick in audio, read by William Hootkins. I've not enjoyed Melville in the past, so I suspect the reader was critical.Wilkie Collins is much fun.Dickens -- Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend. NOT Tale of Two Cities or Dombey & Son.I'm enjoying The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari so far, but I'm not far enough to give it an unqualified recommendation. But tentatively, so far so good.
Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Whimsey novels are my secret vice. And almost anything by Georgette Heyer.
Off the top of my head...Tao of Pooh - Benjamin HoffThoughts Without A Thinker - Mark EpsteinThe Stand - Stephen KingThe Bone Setter's Daughter - Amy TanTo Kill A Mockingbird - Harper LeeChoke - Chuck PalahniukWouldn't Take Nothing For My Travels - Maya Angelou
I just finished Anthony Trollope's Palliser novels, and they are brilliant -- beautifully observed portraits of truly engaging characters. I never wanted to read them before, but I think that's because they are novels particularly suited for middle-aged people:-- they are concerned with watching young people grow up while watching mentors grow older; they are concerned with big political questions (esp. the question of what it means to be a liberal or a conservative); and over the course of the 6 novels we watch the central characters age from young adulthood to early old age (and even death, in the case of one character).Best of all, these are books that were written as popular fiction, so they are easy to read with good plots.
I have had this post sitting in a tab for a week, because I couldn't think how to answer it. My favorites list shifts all the time.So I decided to think about it in a different way. What books do I go back to when I need to feel good about life?Laurie Marks, Earth LogicJane Austen, PersuasionJ.R.R. Tolkien, The Smith of Wooton MajorGeorge MacDonald, Phantastes and The Golden Key