You’ve Got to Read This!

Ralph Marino has submitted a list of books, but in a bit of an unconventional format.  But that’s OK.  Here are his thoughts:

In lieu of 10 favorite books I would like to submit and describe the 4 dusty stacks of books next to my bed which likely reveal my intellectual shallowness or most unlikely, a facile mind.

Those read or reread or in the process of reading in the last 12 month include Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.  I have given up on William Faulkner’s Sanctuary and two tedious Hemingway’s, but I did finish For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Ready to return to the book swap place: Mila 18 by Leon Uris, Night Fall by Nelson DeMille, Gap Creek by Robert Morgan, In the Company of Eagles by Ernest K. Gann and a Grisham or two.

The to-read pile includes Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2 DeMille’s, two Jack Reacher novels by Lee Childs and a Baldacci plus a little classic or two like John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.

My favorite pile which I slip miserly in between the others includes numbers 18, 19, and 20 of Venetian Commissaro Guido Brunetti mysteries by Venetian author Donna Leon.  Sadly I have just about caught up as number 21 is just out in hardback.  Leon is one of my favorite authors.  Her chief character is truly a man of many facets in love with his beautiful, corrupt old city.

I have truly enjoyed all of Ernest Gaines’ works and Jeff Shaara’s Revolutionary and Civil War pieces.  Since retirement I had picked up my reading, starting the catch up with what I should have read as a young man.  But after cancer treatments I decided to go pulp for a couple of years and did all of the Elmore Leonard “epics,” and most every Robert Parker I could find…and yes, every couple of years I reread Summer of ‘42.

_ _ _

My wife, Pat, and my daughter, Christy, have each given me a list of their favorite books.

Pat’s favorite books include:

  1. Christy by Catherine Marshall (the source for our daughter’s name, and for another Christy who we know)
  2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
  3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  4. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  5. Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt
  6. The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux

Christy’s favorite books include:

  1. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
  2. The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
  3. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
  4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  5. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  6. The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
  7. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
  8. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
  9. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

_ _ _

I invite you to send me a list of your favorite books (fiction and nonfiction), short stories, plays, essays and anything else that is meaningful to you.  I suggest that the list include no more than ten works.  You can either give complete descriptions or simply present the books and their authors without any comments.  You can list old works, new works or a combination.  Most importantly, tell us WHY you have chosen those particular works if you give descriptions.  Send your list to me at geraldlively@cox.net, and it will be included in a future post.  I reserve the right to reject any submission that I deem inappropriate or too controversial for this blog.

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