Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Top 5 Favorite Books of All Time

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King

I read this as an undergrad and was never really the same. It is whimsical, historical, chock full of metaphor, and entertaining to boot. I can honestly say that my Native American Lit class was one of the most interesting and invigorating classes I ever had the pleasure to attend. I would also highly recommend James Welch's Fool's Crow and anything, anything by Louise Erdrich. But start here first.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My friend Chris loaned this to me not too long after its release. I sat down at my kitchen table, thinking I'd read a chapter or two, and didn't budge until it was finished. It's a quick read, obviously, but an astonishingly satisfying read, as well. The part with the dog? I lost my shit completely. For those still on the fence about that whole "death" thing--where it leads, what it means, am I going to hell, etc.--it is also strangely comforting. Considering the main protagonist's demise, this is no small feat.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I love the crazy ass book. Ishmael's introductory explanation as to why he sets off on a whaling ship is particularly meaningful to me: "Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses...and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." Sound like anyone you know? Lately?

It by Stephen King

It must be said that every time I finish this book, I cry. Sometimes it's just a sniffle and watery eyes; sometimes I bawl like a baby. Despite King's questionable choices of plot (as I age, the way the kids get out of the sewers grows creepier and creepier) and a regrettable, stereotypical female lead (which, to be fair, he's worked heroically to improve upon in subsequent novels), this is the most satisfying, terrifying, and fantastically rich book of King's. What originally inspired my strong emotional reaction still holds true today: losers band together to fight an unfathomable foe. It's the loveliness of that friendship that particularly struck me, and its mark remains today.

The Monster at the End of This Book by Grover

I won't spoil the ending, but if you haven't read it, do it, do it now. Because I still love the story, the anticipation, and Grover.



Blogger Toby said...

I summarized key points in "It" for my cousin one night when his family was staying with us. His little brother, about six at the time, overheard me and couldn't sleep for days. Understandable. I read it as a junior in college and the eyes of the clown on the cover would stare at me after I turned out the lights. I always had to make sure to lay the book face-down to avoid freaking myself out.

10:35 AM  

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