Thursday, April 30, 2015

You Really Should Read...Fifty Personal Favorites

Not a list of the best of all time, not a grab bag of obscurities. Just 50 books I recommend to people and urge on them at various times for various reasons. All personal favorites, ranging from all time classics to award winners to respected titles to under-appreciated gems. No rhyme or reason here. But when people ask for a personal favorite of mine or something off the beaten track, these are the titles that spring to mind. These are the ones I buy in multiple copies so I can hand them to guests or use as fool-proof gifts. In other words,


Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (translated by Gregory Hays)

The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Peter Pan by JM Barrie

Wartime Lies by Louis Begley

Mapp And Lucia by EF Benson

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

True History Of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell 

Night Flight by Antoine de Saint Exupery

The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell

The Meadow by James Galvin

Black Jack by Leon Garfield

The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame

Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Act One by Moss Hart

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

The Thin Red Line by James Jones

Blue Heaven by Joe Keenan

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

The Debt To Pleasure by John Lanchester

Slapboxing With Jesus by Victor LaValle

West With The Night by Beryl Markham

The Lighthouse At The End Of The World by Stephen Marlowe

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

An Arrow's Flight by Mark Merlis

Tales From The South Pacific by James Michener

Martin Dressler: Tale of an American Dreamer by Stephen Millhauser

The Book of Job translated by Stephen Mitchell

Two Adolescents by Alberto Moravia

The Spyglass Tree /Train Guitar Whistle  by Albert Murray

The Last Grain Race by Eric Newby

Thunderhead by Mary O'Hara

At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill

Edisto/Edisto Revisted by Padgett Powell

The Yearling by Margaret Rawlins

Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Was by Geoff Ryman

Dusk and Other Stories by James Salter

The Human Comedy by James Saroyan 

The Rings Of Saturn by W.G. Sebald

Kara Kush by Idries Shah

A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan

Year of the King by Antony Sher

The Reason Why by Cecil Woodham Smith

Endless Love by Scott Spencer

Tristram Shandy by Lawrence Sterne

The Old Forest and Other Stories by Peter Taylor

The Palm-wine Drinker by Amos Tutuola

In The Blue Light of African Dreams by Paul Watkins

Sideswipe by Charles Willeford

Stoner by John Williams

The Virginian by Owen Wister

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff

To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

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