Saturday, January 30, 2010

Favorite Books & Writers

All this talk about languages and writing has got me thinking about books and writers so with that in mind here are some of my favorites.

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker. I just bought his entire collection for the kindle and reread it for the umpteenth time which felt like the first.
  2. All Quiet on the Western Front by Enrich Maria Remarque. One of the most powerful novels about war, I think, showing life in the trenches. A close second would be Catch-22 by by Joesph Heller which highlights the absurity.
  3. Wind up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.  My introduction into contemporary Japanese literature, a perfect blending of the real and surreal. For those interested in China, Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian paints a vivid and unique picture.
  4. Population 1280 by Jim Thompson.  For me he's the best crime writer of the twentieth century and any of his stories is a must read. This one, though, is my personal favorite.
  5. Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck. A funny and tender story written by one of America's literary masters. It's a good idea to read Cannery Road first since this is its sequel.
  6. Mysteries by Knut Hamsun. Many people cite Hunger as his best book, but I prefer the main character in this one because of his eccentricity.
  7. The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński. Not for the faint of heart, but no book better captures both the savagery of humans and the strength of our spirit.
  8. Not Fade Away by Jim Dodge. The perfect American road trip novel - 59 Cadillac, police chase, drugs and crazy preachers in search of the meaning of rock 'n roll.
  9. Tooth and the Claw by T.C. Boyle. A great and diverse collection of short stories from one of my favorite current authors. Dogology in particular shows his gifts.
  10. Ghost Story by Peter Straub.  The perfect horror story because of its suspense and use of story-telling rather than gore and shock. 
I could go on, but I like round numbers and have to run


  1. "Not Fade Away" is by Jim DODGE! I know, I used to have it once upon a time!

  2. Thanks for pointing out the mistake! Great book, isn't it?