Sherry Chandler tagged me with this on Facebook but never let it be said that I don't know how to seize the opportunity for an easy blog post. This is a list of 15 Books That Will Always Stick With Me. I take that to mean books that pithed me straight through the occiput when I read them and changed the way I saw the world and my place in it, books that imprinted themselves so indelibly on my heart and mind that I don't have to have them in my hand to re-read them, I just need to shut my eyes and watch them unscroll in my imagination.
You'll notice Atlas Shrugged isn't on the list. Nor is Capitalism and Freedom, The Book of Five Rings, Lee Iacocca's autobiography, Think and Grow Rich, or The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need. Instead, my list starts with Walden. Explains a lot, unfortunately.
Of the books read before I got to high school:
1. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
2. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
3. Advise and Consent by Alan Drury.
4. Macbeth by William Shakespeare.
5. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Of the books read before I got to college:
1. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
2. The Reivers by William Faulkner.
3. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
Of the books read before I got to grad school:
1. The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux.
2. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad.
3. The Honorary Counsel by Graham Greene.
4. The Essays of E.B. White.
5. The Survival of the Bark Canoe by John McPhee.
Of the books read before I got old and my brain and soul calcified:
1. The World of Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse.
2. Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell.
The list is incomplete. Fifteen is probably about half of all the books that meet the criteria I set at the top. And the books on the list aren't necessarily the books I loved most or thought were the best books I'd ever read at the time I read them, although some of them are both those things. The list is a list of what I described, books that became so much a part of me that the day that I start to forget them is the day I start to forget who I am.
Your turn. Consider yourself tagged, here, on your own blog, or on Facebook.
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