Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The George Meme
Or, The Ten Most Influential Books I've Read.
In no particular order they are:
1. Doctor Dan the Bandage Man. The first book I recall owning. The Band Aids in the back made me want to cut myself just so I could use them.
2. The Catcher in the Rye. I identified with the kid who was out of step with the world. Still do.
3. The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I may have the title wrong, but once I read one story I had to read them all.
4. I. the Jury. I was just the right age to appreciate the sex and violence and I always found Hammer's over-the-top emotions amusing in a strange way.
5. Fanny Hill. This combination of Victorian prose and blatant sex made me wish I'd been born a century sooner and a lot richer.
6. Slaughterhouse Five. Which started me on a tear through Vonnegut's work, which I like a lot.
7. Farewell, My Lovely. My first Chandler. I still consider him the best.
8. Son of the Morning Star. The first detailed and balanced biography of George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn I read.
9. Babbitt. Love the zip, zing, and zowee.
10. The Pictorial History of World War II. A four-volume set we had at home when I was a kid, covering the war in stark detail.
I'm not counting comics, though if I did the first Spider-Man would be the one. I left out fantasy and science fiction, too. I was much impressed with Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlien. If I had to choose a Western it would be Shane or True Grit, but I read them too late in life to really call them influential. The illustration that accompanies this post is what is known as gratuitous.