Have to thank Rhonda over at Help Me Rhonda for this award–one I am ever so eager to share with all of you, list my 5 favorite books of all time, and then nominate 5 other people whom I want to
perter know more about what their favorite books are, and why. Rhonda knows I normally do not “do” awards, but hey–I am loving this one, so I am going to break my own rules and accept it.
Speaking of rules, there are a few to be observed here, too:
1. Nominate other blogs, as many as you want but 5-10 is always a good suggestion. Don’t forget to let your recipients know.
2. Post the Booker Award picture.
3. Share your top 5 books of all time
So–the top 5 books of all time for me (and this is a tough one, because I have been reading a book a day since….since the age of 5) are:
1. Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard (where is the ability to underline when you need it?). Never mind about that! This book is a long prose poem; magical and lyrical. It describes the writer’s time in Puget Sound, and I kid you not, I borrowed this book from someone in the early 80s and I would not return it until I had my own copy. Read it folks. Well, everyone except the blogging friend to whom I am sending a copy this week. You–and you know who you are–this book will soon wing its way over to you 🙂
2. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. This book raised my consciousness to politics in South America when I was all of 16–and I love it for so many other reasons. This is magically lyrical throughout, even when describing some of the most brutal realities.
3. Watership Down by Richard Adams.
4. The Earth’s Children series by Jean Auel, which was already eloquently described by Rhonda on her blog. I love it for the same reasons.
5. The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough. For the same reasons as Rhonda, minus the Catholic shock and guilt.
I could go on and on, but will stop with five.
Okay, hmmm? Who do I want to know more about favorite reading lists? Oh, oh, I know! Goody! Here we go:
Jeremy Nathan Marks–really want your list.
Noel — Please? I know you hate the awards process, but just a comment here telling us what they are will do!
Celestine — would love to know what your top 5 books are.
David — What are your favs, my northern friend?
Leo — What books keep you awake at night?
Ooooh yes, Watership Down too! So many. Good ones all Susan and I guess my bet only resulted in a 1. But seeing as we like so many of the same things…it’s a good surprise. 🙂
🙂 I think so too–this was a fast list, off the top of my head–could have given you 50…but no, too much writing taking away from my reading time.
now, you have to limit me to CATEGORIES, SFAM, like:
1. Five favorite science fiction novels.
2. Five favorite books of poetry.
3. Five favorite nonfiction books.
you get the idea…
I so do…and perhaps we’ll see something from this. BUT, I would challenge your ease in picking your top 5 of number 2…is that a 1,2,3, go answer? or more like a ‘good grief at least give me 24 hours” answer. Hmmmm
Okay, Ms. R. I’ve had about 24 hours so here they are.
1. “The Moon Is Always Female” by Marge Piercy.
2. “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” by Pablo Neruda.
3. “Personae” by Ezra Pound.
4. “The Fact of a Doorframe” by Adrienne Rich.
5. “The Waste Land” by TSE.
Again, this list could go on for ages and pages…
I’m with Noel on these internet awards chainletter things but happy to give you a list:
1) The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. Forget the over the top movies, the original trilogy is a great work of mythic storytelling that inspired countless imitations. I read it many times as a youth.
2) 100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The original magic realism novel – mandatory reading if you want to understand latin america.
3) Rebel Angels, Robertson Davies. One of the great Canadian writers of the 20th century, he loves language and is a delight to read. This is the first in a trilogy, along with The Lyre of Orpheus and the third one which I can’t recall.
4) The House of Niccolo (series), Dorothy Dunnett. Rousing historical fiction set in15th century Europe. Delicious swashbuckling escapism.
5) Jean-Christophe, Romain Rolland. This is an obscure novel that was written a few years before the first world war and provides a fascinating glimpse into “fin de siecle” thinking.
6) Outlander (series), Diana Gabaldon. A time travelling 20th century nurse hooks up with a Scots warrior fresh from the Battle of Culloden and then they sail to the new world and get caught up in the Revolutionary War. And they have great sex!
7) Ulysses, James Joyce. Maddening at times and a challenge to read but worth the mental workout.
8) The First Man of Rome, Colleen McCullough. Another series set in ancient Rome. More fun than a lot of history courses I sat through.
9) Scoop, P.G. Wodehouse. This one highlights the foibles of journalism and media manipulation. All of his novels are hilarious and insightful.
10) A Guide to the Good Life; The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, William B. Irvine. A reinterpretation of Stoic philosophy for the modern world. This saved my life and has become my touchstone.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I only do these if Mimi or Rhonda give me one. Otherwise…I just pass the award on to everyone on my blog. I did, though, want to know what certain of you read…So thanks much for indulging me!
David is another Kindred…Gabaldon is on my short list, as you know…for all the same reasons (and he’s right….GREAT sex) 😉
Thank you, Susan. I will post a list in a day or so. I move in ultra-slow motion compared to you!
Ow Susan dear, thanks for this unique award; I will do the honours in a day or two. Congratulations to you. I loved Thorn Birds too, Catholic guilt and all. I cried over the film too.
Oh, I cried too! I reread Thorn Bords every few years, it is so good!
It is difficult to name only five (especially since this changes often).
Okay, here it goes:
1.) American Power and the New Madarins by Noam Chomsky. This is the epic takedown of elite opinion about why the United States became involved in the War in Vietnam. I admire Chomsky immensely, he is one of the reasons I see myself as off the map politically and has made me a more conscientious advocate for and student of animal welfare, human rights, anti-colonialism, the Global South and on and on. A true intellectual guru and a great humanitarian.
2.) Lament for a Nation by George Parkin Grant. This book opened up a new world for me in my attempt to understand and deconstruct modernism in politics, technology, international affairs. It is hard to describe this book: it has to be experienced. I highly recommend it because it is short but immensely provocative and offers a fascinating perspective on the United States (from the point of a view of a Canadian nationalist).
3.) Collected Poems by Dylan Thomas. Thomas was the first poet I really adopted as my own way back nearly twenty years ago. Bob Dylan led me to him, but Thomas had me almost instantly.
4.) East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck on good and evil, northern California, family relationships and so much else. This was the first Steinbeck I ever read and remains my favorite.
5.) Gravity’s Rainbow by Tomhas Pynchon, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner & Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. These books showed me what a novel is capable of and revolutionized the way I think about narrative, perspective, absurdity and consciousness.
Okay, I misspelled Thomas (in Thomas Pynchon) and I cheated by making three books count as one. I hope the rules aren’t too inflexible. 🙂
Jeremy–thanks for the list–a wonderful one, I might add. Three books counted as one is what I call fine cheating–how on earth could you decide which was best between those three–I couldn’t.
They are each so good for such different reasons.
Also, Becoming Animal belongs on that list too.
Oh, yes. I had a hard time narrowing it down to 5–I need subcategories of 5 each to do this right 😉