I have been fascinated reading all of the entries that people have been posting on Facebook about the books that have resonated with them. While I consider myself an avid reader (although not as much lately – like writing that has drifted away somewhat as I settle into my new life), a quick scan over these lists leads me to believe I have so many covers to crack open to continue my education. And I am fine with that.
So, not to let this opportunity to show you a bit more about myself go by, I present you with some of the books that have, for one reason or another, resonated with me. In no particular order except for the first one:
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, JRR Tolkien. I first read LOTR when I was 11 years old, a year after reading The Hobbit. I re-read LOTR every year until I was 36 and moved to Saudi Arabia. After reading it the first time, I knew I wanted to write. The thought of having just one kid as absorbed in something I had written as I was in the world Tolkien created was brilliant to me. I am, of course, still waiting.
Black Swan Green, David Mitchell. A semi-autobiographical tale with the lead character and narrator a 13 year old boy with a speech impediment. The book came out in 2006, but the story is set in 1982/83. Very much my age. As someone with a speech impediment, this book resonated with me.
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis. I love Lewis. I was very much into the realms of fantasy as a child, still am, and in Aslan, I think Lewis created the best authority figure ever.
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck. The friendship between George and Lenny is one that all people should try and find. The original movie is still the best one, although the remake with Gary Sinise and John Malkovitch isn’t bad as far as remakes go.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas. Had to be something Welsh on my list. I’m not much for poetry, but I do have a book to poems by Thomas. Just something about him and this book that get me. Funny really. I don’t recall having a Christmas in Wales!
On Writing, Stephen King. I have read a lot of books on writing, composition, et al, but King’s book is my favorite. I am a fan of his work too, with The Stand being my favorite novel and The Body being my favorite story in a novella. Hearing King admit that a lot of his work is, well, shit, really empowered me to look past the stuff I write that is shit.
Playing Through, Curtis Gillespie. Curtis was my creative writing teacher in college and this book, a tale of his time in Scotland and the death of his father is very moving and allowed me to see him in a different light. I hadn’t considered writing non-fiction before, but having read this book I had a second thought on the genre.
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote. I had to read this for my creative non-fiction class and it is one of the few books from school I have actually read again. It’s hard to believe that this is the same guy responsible for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Also interesting to see how Capote describes the two men responsible for the murders – the one he was alleged to have a thing for and the other he didn’t. You can feel the bias in his words.
Labyrinth, Kate Mosse. This story blends fact and fiction, the past and the present, and wraps it up with a spectacular location of Carcassonne, France. So vividly described, I had to visit Carcassonne myself. I fell in love with the city, too.
Green Eggs and Ham, Dr Seuss. Laugh if you want, at the title in italicized font. When I was a child, tormented and wild, this book made smile, and sit for a while. I would read it in a chair. I would read it on the stair. I would read it to my cats, those who don’t like it are stupid twats. I’d even read this to a moose, my favouritist book by Dr Seuss.
I must also give an honorable mention to the Harry Potter series. To be able to string together sub-plots for seven books, create vivid and dynamic characters, and not waste a single item introduced, Rowling must be commended. She gets a lot of flack in literary circles, but she is probably responsible for millions of children around the world putting down television remote controls and picking up books. That can never be a bad thing.
I could go on and add Douglas Adams, Golding, Goldman, Shakespeare, but the list would just be too long. I’ve read a lot of the classics, or so-called classics, but the 10 above, although fairly modern, sit better with me and most of you would be able to find them and give them a read. Unless you want to try the Latin in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. That’s kind of fun.
I would also, probably because I’m sick and twisted, like to see these books hit bookstores sometime soon.
I am a Sex Addict… but Only with my Wife, by any celebrity who manages to stay faithful for any length of time. We can attribute it to the late Paul Newman if necessary. I’m just sick of this whole “sex addict” thing.
Me Love you Long Time – An Around the World Tour of Call Girls and Whores, by Charlie Sheen. I’m not saying this has to have photos, although it would help, but who better than our man Charlie to enlighten us about the world’s oldest profession.
The Last Scientologist, by Tom Cruise. With his popularity waning, good old Tom forges a lonely path when the rest of his Hollywood brethren realize you can’t trust a man whose name starts with a solitary letter. The subsequent movie fails at the box office, even though Johnny Depp is hired to play the role of Cruise.
You Mean the Internet can be Searched by Anyone, A compilation of shocked celebrity tales about their scandals of leaked photos, stories, videos, and confessions. It stays number one on all book charts until …
Kraft Dinner won’t get you Laid, by Geraint Isitt. My over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek, not for the faint of heart dating advice book for men (although women will probably take more away from it then men will). Written in one month for NANO, I’m seriously thinking of finding a publisher for this comedic dissertation. Excerpts available for all who ask.