My list from one of those dumb Facebook things. This one was cool:
“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I’m interested in seeing what books my friends choose.”
I annotated because I’m a geek, primarily for my own benefit. You don’t hafta. Hell, you don’t hafta take the quiz.
1. Stranger in a Strange Land–Robert Heinlein
“Thou art God.” Immanence. Hmm. “Drop your boundaries and let your so-called water brothers walk all over you.” Hmm. “Sex is pretty much essential to any meaningful relationship, or enjoyable relationship, or lack of relationship.” Um, does my personal individual opinion of what I feel like doing with my body get any say? I’m wrong and I should do it anyway if I’m evolved? Hmmmm.
2. Illuminatus! trilogy– Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
The world is not what you think it is. (Useful.) Weirdness is in itself a cultural imperative: No matter what, if it’s weird, it’s cool. If you’re weird, you’re cool. Oh, and by the way, drugs are really cool. (Not as useful.)
3. There is nothing wrong with you–Cheri Huber
The title says it all.
4. Narnia Series –C.S. Lewis
You can get enormously wonderful things from believing in the cheerful irrationality of a theistic cosmos if it floats your boat; and, if you don’t proselytize about it, feeling secretly smug toward atheists who do proselytize is an Easter egg. (Easter egg. Get it?)
5. Sister Carrie–Theodore Dreiser
I knew every bit of what Hurstwood was going through even before I went through it myself. Now I’m going for the Carrie part.
6. Lolita–Vladimir Nabokov.
Go look up “unreliable narrator.” Then come back. I’ll be here.
7. Nine Princes in Amber–Roger Zelazny
I just took enormously to Corwin at the git-go. One of the books holding a topography of a huge piece of my inner space. Don’t know why.
8. Little Women–Louisa May Alcott
A real family. The fantasy aspect of the different world of Civil War New England. Positive female characters. I needed this book.
9. Moby Dick–Herman Melville
“God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught — nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh,Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!”
Go magnetize yer own harpoons. Arr!
OK, not for everybody, but it’s my favorite book.
10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull–Richard Bach
Well, *have* you ever seen an imperfect sky? Have you? Book on this list I most wish I could disown, but . . . Doh! Stupid seagull!
11. A Wrinkle in Time–Madeleine L’Engle
Being a nerd kid is cool. (In case you don’t know, it’s only the first book about the Murrys, and the one about the twins is possibly my favorite.)
12. The Phantom Tollbooth–Norton Juster
I got up my nerve and approached him after a talk. I confessed that PT had such a profound influence on the way I thought about learning, that I was about to graduate from Harvard with my PhD. I thanked him.
YES. I actually got to personally thank him. What made it infinitely even more awesome was that he got just a teeny-tiny bit damp around the eyes.
13. The Faerie Queene–Edmund Spenser
What a long strange trip it’s been. The reason I went to grad school in English.
14. The Tempest–William Shakespeare
The three-line literature course:
III,ii CALIBAN: I am subject to a tyrant, a
sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island.
V.,i. MIRANDA: . . . O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
PROSPERO: ‘Tis new to thee.
15. Xenogenesis trilogy–Octavia E. Butler
I wrote my &^%^$%^& dissertation on it. “Stay with me.” Heh.