Quote of the Day:
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx
TB checks in at least a couple of times a week on nmisscommentor, a lawyer’s blog out of Oxford, Mississippi, that covers a little bit about a lot of topics I find interesting along with a healthy dose of Mississippi politics and legal news. Today there was a post and some interesting responses concerning “the ten most influential books” on the author. Of note, it is reported by NMC that “blogs all around are listing 10 influential books.” NMC says he is late to the party, so if I sneak in right behind him maybe my faux pas will go unnoticed.
Anyway, I think its a cool topic for commentary. Some people have more time and some perhaps more interest, but most everybody has read something that they consider influential. I hope to hear your list. It’s supposed to be “off the top of your head” so don’t feel like your decision is set in stone, and in keeping with TB’s anti-authoritarian mandate, feel free to number your list anything other than ten.
Here’s the list I’m going with today, in no particular order:
- The Virginian, Owen Wister–progenitor of the western genre, and the mythos of American rugged individualism.
- Charlie Wilson’s War, George Crile–gave me a much better understanding of how Congress works, how Afghanistan became “our” mess and the law of unintended consequences
- Paris, 1919, Margaret McMillan–all about the Treaty of Versailles ending WWI, how it shaped the 20th century, and the law of unintended consequences
- The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis–spirituality, irony and a dry wit that resonate with TB
- The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway–nobody strings together words more perfectly than Papa
- North, Towards Home, Willie Morris–learning to look inward critically, without self-loathing, and without romanticizing; I loved this book even while I resented Willie’s opinions; loved it even more when I came around to his point of view.
- The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown–because its a helluva fun adventure and because he raises issues that ought not be taboo
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle–because we should at least attempt to see things as they are, not as we expect them to be
- The Norton Anthology of English Literature, many, many Brits–because I found out I really did like poetry, a lot of it anyway, especially the parts about girls and booze
- Ulysses, James Joyce–if and when I ever get through this without injuring my feeble brain, I will officially consider myself well-read. My previous record was getting to page 2. But its been a few years, so maybe I should try again soon.
- TB’s Work in Progress, TB–if and when I ever get through this, I hope to be able to move past the nagging feeling that I missed my true calling.