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Monday, December 30, 2019

Five favorite books

Over at EconLog, a libertarian website, there have been a series of postings on "Five favorite books" or simply on favorite books, both in blog postings and in the comments.

You can read Russ Roberts' five favorite books, and a similar list from Scott Sumner. 

And here is David Henderson on "Some of My Top Books."  I plan to hunt up some of his recommendations.

Here is what I posted in the comments for the Russ Roberts posting:

Here are my current top five works of fiction:

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.
The Gold Bug Variations, Richard Powers.
Cryptonomicon,  Neal Stephenson.
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe.
The Illuminatus! trilogy, Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

I have omitted Lord of the Rings for lack of space. If I could mention another series, it would be the Iain Banks Culture novels.


Lvx15 said...

I took this post as an invitation... and am confining myself to novels even though the topic is “books”
Giles Goat-Boy by John Barth
Aegypt, or The Solitudes by John Crowley
Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
And, thanks to this blog:
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I've been meaning to read several of those, especially the Crowley. Thanks for posting.

Lvx15 said...

Aegypt is really the name of the series, the first of which was The Solitudes. The whole series was very much to my liking and seemed to be somehow magically linked to my life as I read them. Lots of esoterica is woven thru these. My favorite bits encompassed the lives of John Dee and Edward Kelly and what became of their shew-stone. Lots of thinking about how the magical revival during the Renaissance intersects with or gave birth to our times. Dame Francis Yates is a character in the last book.

Eric Wagner said...

Prometheus Rising by RAW
I, Wabenzi by Rafi Zabor
In Search of Lost Time by Proust
The Bear Comes Home by Rafi Zabor
Moby Dick by Melville.

Van Scott said...

Moby Dick. I’m planning to reread it again his year concurrently with Nathaniel Philbrick’s Why Read Moby Dick and Charles Olson’s Call me Ishmael.

At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen. Matthiessen is probably my second favorite author next to RAW. This one was a close call. I also loved his Far Tortuga, Shadow Country, and In Paradise. The latter deals with a meditation retreat in Auschwitz. Other books of his that I’ve loved are Wildlife in America, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, and The Snow Leopard.

100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My college Spanish teacher gave me a copy and told me to read it. I’m thankful.

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West.

Pan by KnutHamsun. This was assigned to me by my eleventh grade English teacher and I’ve reread it three or four times. Hamsun, it turns out, was a despicable excuse for a human being but I still love this book. Henry Miller loved it also.

I haven’t read The Gold Bug Variations but Powers’ The Overstory is at the top of my to read list for the coming year. And thanks to Lvx. Crowley has been on my list for a while and I downloaded The Solitudes right before I wrote this.