A few of my favorite books

What are some of your favorite books? The question always seems to come up when I tell people I am a writer. Usually I mumble something or other and try to steer the conversation elsewhere. It’s very hard to think of these things on the spot, mainly because there are too many for a concise answer to be complete. But to put the matter to rest, I’ve put together a list here for anyone who might be interested.

Please note that the list is not at all scientific. I just thought about it for a while and wrote down what came to mind. The list doesn’t include random collections of short stories or poetry so a few of my favorite authors are not represented. And it doesn’t include non-fiction, although a few may be considered memoir.

Each of these books has stuck in my mind for one reason or another. Some are beautifully written, others are simply impossible to put down. Some are triumphs of the imagination or the intellect. Some are heartbreaking; some are mind-blowing. And some just struck a chord and have remained in my thoughts, worthy of remembrance.

So here they are, a few of my favorite books:

Narrow Road to the Interior – Basho
The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
Middlemarch – George Elliot
Mona Lisa Overdrive – William Gibson
The Forever War – Joe Haldeman
Victoria – Knut Hamsun
Beowulf – tr. Seamus Heaney
The Sun also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Dune – Frank Herbert
Mythago Wood – Robert Holdstock
Against Nature – J.K. Huysmans
Snow Country – Yasunari Kawabata
West with the Night – Beryl Markham
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller
Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind – Hayao Miyazaki
Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World – Haruki Murakami
Akira – Katsuhiro Otomo
Gateway – Frederik Pohl
The Prestige – Christopher Priest
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Holy Fire – Bruce Sterling
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Perfume – Patrick Suskind
The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Aeneid – Virgil
The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
Night – Elie Wiesel