Beth's conversation (Wednesday) got a great deal of feedback (see http://thecommonills.blogspot.com/2005/01/beths-follow-up-conversation.html) and the bulk of the e-mails were people weighing in with their own favorite books.
Some of you chose to name many, some of you chose to name few. Some of you chose to share in an e-mail but not here on the site (which is fine). One of the bloggers who is a permalink e-mailed book choices. I thought it would be nice to invite all the bloggers we have permalinks to (I'm not including Dahr, I couldn't imagine e-mailing, "Hey Dahr, I'm know you're over there in the middle of that whole Iraq thing, but think you could take a moment to list your book faves?" Ms. Musing is a blog and but it's part of the Ms. web site -- e.g. "professional blogger" -- so they weren't asked.) And that chose to respond are included below.
This is about the books that are your favorites. Three e-mailers who made lists but didn't want to share them felt that their lists weren't up to the level people would be expecting. I think any book you read that spoke to you enough to become one of your favorites is a book worth listing.
Your choice didn't have to be "highbrow," it just had to speak to you.
Below are books that were cited as speaking to readers. A word on the order of the listing, it's listed in terms of permission. If you said you could be quoted in your first e-mail, you're listed first. Those that were written (Friday) asking permission are listed in the order they responded.
Some of you made comments that you didn't want included which I think it a shame because your comments were very strong. (I enjoyed reading them.)
Billie had a great idea. One that we'll probably never use again, but are using here. Her idea? Provide links via amazon to the books cited. That way you have the option of finding out more details about a book. It's a great idea. It has consumed over four hours of copying and pasting, however. If a book listed doesn't have a link, I either couldn't find it on amazon or it's not offered on amazon.
A word on corrections. There aren't going to be any for this post unless you feel you were misquoted. If you feel you were misquoted, you have until Wednesday to e-mail the site
firstname.lastname@example.org and after that, (Kat's phrase) "it is what it is."
If an author's name is mispelled, it may have been my accident, it may have been the person citing the book. Guess what? It doesn't matter this time because links are provided. (I've also noted in one listing that amazon.com lists the author's name wrong. So if you click on that link, don't write the site that I have misspelled "Leroi" because amazon spells it "Leroy" -- amazon is wrong. Click on the photo of the book cover and you'll see that the spelling is "Leroi.")
Amy and David Goodman wrote Exceptions to the Rulers. This book was cited by several of you. (And it's a great book.) Some of you cited it as "Amy Goodman's . . ." I went with your comments so that's how it's cited in some places. Again, click on the link, any information you need can be found there.
People put a lot of thought into their lists (and it shows) so I want to thank everyone. And let's thank Beth too because this is all a response to something she raised.
Gina didn't send a list; however, she sent in a comment: "Books? Are we now going to be copying Oprah for the book club?"
On Oprah's book club, some books below will have "Oprah's Book Club" or some additional comment (or punctuation). Those are the amazon links. There are many places online and offline where you can find books. Amazon was Billie's idea and it was a good idea. (I am not paid by amazon and have never been paid by them.) Blah, blah, blah, here's the books that spoke to you.
Oregon: Fiction: 1. At Swim, Two Boys: A Novel by Jamie O'Neill. 2. The House of Mirth (Signet Classics (Paperback)) by Edith Wharton 3. All of Elizabeth George's Lynley Novels (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index%3Dbooks%26field-keywords%3Delizabeth%252520george%26store-name%3Dbooks/102-1151708-5495369)
Non Fiction: 1. Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk by Maureen Dowd 2. Who Let the Dogs In? : Incredible Political Animals I Have Known by Molly Ivins 3. The Clinton Wars by Sidney Blumenthal
Ben: Jack Kerouac On the Road, Allen Ginsberg Howl and Other Poems (Pocket Poets), Tom Hayden's Street Wars: Gangs and the Future of Violence and Fyodor Dostoyevsky Notes from Underground the Double: The Double (Penguin Classics) . The four books spoke to me in ways that nothing else ever has before or since.
Kara: John Rawls' A Theory of Justice, Amy and David Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, Noam Chomsky's Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (South End Press Classics) and John Dean's Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush .
Brad: Angela Y. Davis' Are Prisons Obsolete?, Ernest Hemmingway's The Old Man and The Sea, Hannah Arendt's On Revolution (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics), and Michael Walzer's Arguing About War.
Cedric: Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Tenth Anniversary Editon, bell hooks' Black Looks: Race and Representation Angela Y. Davis' Blues Legacies and Black Feminism : Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday, Nelson George's The Death of Rhythm & Blues, Nelson George's Hip Hop America, Tupac Shakur's The Rose That Grew From Concrete.
Tyrone: Anne Sexton's Live or Die, Leroi Jones Dutchman and The Slave: Two Plays [note: amazon.com mispells his first name as "Leroy" -- check the book cover and you'll see it's "Leroi" -- Tyrone spelled it correctly, I just don't want e-mails about "Amazon says it's 'Leroy'"], Richard Wright's Native Son (Perennial Classics) , Richard Wright's Black Boy: (American Hunger) (Perennial Classics), Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Toni Morrison's Beloved.
Kat of Kat's Korner: Carrie Fisher's The Best Awful, Hannah Arendt's Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics; Civil Disobedience; On Violence; Thoughts on Politics and Revolution, Naomi Klein's No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, Howard Zinn's Artists In Times of War and Other Essays (Open Media) and Amy Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them. I could do a whole list of books on rock but I'll note three by three happening women: Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison, Michelle Phillips' California Dreamin': The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas and Pamela Des Barres' I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie.
Shirley: Howl and Other Poems (Pocket Poets) by Allen Ginsberg All My Pretty Ones by Anne Sexton, Live or Die by Anne Sexton, Life Studies & For the Union Dead by Robert Lowell, Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker and The Best Awful by Carrie Fisher. I could make a list of just poetry.
Krista: Carrie Fisher's Postcards From the Edge, Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon (Oprah's Book Club (Paperback)), Ernest Hemmingway's The Sun Also Rises, Syliva Plath's The Bell Jar (Perennial Classic) Julia Alvarez's How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Plume Contemporary Fiction) and anything by Margaret Atwood.
Carl: Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, William Carlos Williams' The Doctor Stories, Nancy Chang's Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties, Tom Hayden's Rebel: A Personal History of the 1960s and Bill Ayers' Fugitive Days: A Memoir.
End Zone: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man John Cheever's The Stories of John Cheever, Ernest Hemmingway's The Sun Also Rises, Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition, Amy Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them Anne Sexton's The Death Notebooks.
Eli: W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage, Dawn Powell's The Golden Spur, Ernest Hemmingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls , John Knowles' A Separate Peace, John Steinbeck's
Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century), Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein (Enriched Classics) and Howard Zinn's The Politics of History
Gore Vidal Is God: Three fiction choices would be Julian : A Novel (Vintage Interational), 1876 : A Novel (American Chronicle) and Inventing A Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson. Three nonfiction choices would be Imperial America : Reflections on the United States of Amnesia, Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta and Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and, yes, all the books I selected were written by Gore Vidal, aka God.
???: Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook : Perennial Classics edition (Perennial Classics), Ford Madox Ford: Parade's End (Millennium Ford) , Katherine Ann Porter's Ship of Fools, Edna O'Brien's Mother Ireland, F. Scott Fitzgerald's TENDER IS THE NIGHT, Sue Miller's While I Was Gone and Tom Hayden's Irish Hunger: Personal Reflections on the Legacy of the Famine
Billie: Toni Morrison's Love, Howard Zinn's The People Speak : American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known.
Domnick: Carrie Fisher's Postcards From the Edge, Howard Zinn's Howard Zinn on War, Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome (Signet Classics (Paperback)).
Bernardo: Alice Walker's Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Carlos Fuentes Diary of Frida Kahlo,
Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States : 1492-Present (Perennial Classics),
Amy Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them.
Rob: Jack Kerouac On the Road, Angela Y. Davis' Are Prisons Obsolete?, Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project) and Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (Open Media Series).
Liang: Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Tenth Anniversary Editon, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States : 1492-Present (Perennial Classics), Nancy Chang's Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties and Maxine Hong Kingston's The Fifth Book of Peace. I also enjoy poetry anthologies.
Trina: Sylvia Plath's Ariel, Sandra Cisneros' Woman Hollering Creek : And Other Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) and Daniel Stern's The Suicide Academy (Library of Modern Jewish Literature) .
Martha: Toni Morrison's Beloved, Angela Y. Davis' Women, Race, & Class, Nancy Chang's Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties
Keesha: Alice Walker's In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Toni Morrison's Beloved, George Eliot's Silas Marner (Bantam Classics) and anything by Margeret Atwood or John Irving.
Francisco: Carlos Fuentes' Contra Bush, Gabriel Garcia Marquez Memoria de mis putas tristes and Cien Anos De Soledad, Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo, Ana Castillo's So Far from God: A Novel, and Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies.
Frank in Orlando: Angela Davis' Angela Davis: An Autobiography, Naomi Klein's No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, Amy Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them.
Molly: Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States : 1492-Present (Perennial Classics) and Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within : A Book of Self-Esteem.
Rod: Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Tenth Anniversary Editon, Cornel West's Prophesy Deliverance: An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity, Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project), and Eduardo Galeano's Juarez : The Laboratory of Our Future
Marcia: A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars and Interviews of Anais Nin, Alice Walker's Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth : New Poems, Anne Sexton's Transformations, Zelda Fitzgerald's Save Me the Waltz (Vintage Classics), Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior : Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale : A Novel.
Jimmy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper (Dover Thrift Editions) , Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project), Honore De Balzac's Lost Illusions (Modern Library Classics) and Arianna Huffington's Fanatics and Fools: The Game Plan for Winning Back America
Sam: Howard Zinn's Failure to Quit : Reflections of an Optimistic Historian (Radical 60s)
Erika: By Anais Nin: Spy in the House of Love, Seduction of the Minotaur Possessing the Secret of Joy Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin. By Alice Walker: Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon The SAME RIVER TWICE : A Memoir Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart : A Novel (Walker, Alice). And I'll toss out one more fiction because I found it very illuminating, Carrie Fisher's The Best Awful and one more nonfiction (same reason) Diane Middlebrook's Anne Sexton : A Biography
Abhilasha: Naomi Klein's No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Amy & David Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them.
Tamara: The Color Purple: Tenth Anniversary Editon by Alice Walker, Where We Stand: Class Matters by bell hooks, and Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism by Cornel West.
Dallas: Angela Y. Davis' Are Prisons Obsolete?, Noam Chomsky's Propaganda & Control of the Public Mind, Cornel West's Race Matters and Maxine Hong Kingston's The Fifth Book of Peace.
Alabama: Howard Zinn's Passionate Declarations: Essays on War and Justice, Arianna Huffington's Pigs at the Trough : How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America and Susan Faludi's
Backlash : The Undeclared War Against American Women.
In Dallas: Amy Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country?, Michelle Phillips' California Dreamin': The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas and
Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway.
Denise: Carrie Fisher's Postcards From the Edge, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Fifth Book of Peace, James Joyce's Dubliners (Dover Thrift Editions) , Gertrude Stein's Three Lives (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) , T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and Other Poems (Dover Thrift Editions) and Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo.
Jack: Anais Nin's Collages, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, Jack Kerouac On the Road
Nonfiction: Henry Miller's The Air-Conditioned Nightmare and Black Spring, as well as
Allen Ginsberg Howl and Other Poems (Pocket Poets)
Tori: Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead : 50th Anniversary Edition, Howard Zinn's
The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace and Barbara Kingsolver's Small Wonder.
Susan: Maxine Hong Kingston's The Fifth Book of Peace, Rebecca West's A Train of Powder.
Natalie: Carrie Fisher's The Best Awful, Postcards From the Edge, DELUSIONS OF GRANDMA. Angela Y. Davis' Are Prisons Obsolete?, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying (Vintage International) and Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country (Modern Library Classics).
Maggie: Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose, bell hooks' Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, Jean-Paul Sartre Being And Nothingness, Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, Naomi Klein's No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, George Sand's Marianne and one that I fell in love with in third grade and still love today, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web (Trophy Newbery) .
Folding Star of A Winding Road (http://awindingroad.blogspot.com/) :
Three Non-Fiction titles. This is hard, and I should note that this list fluctuates. At any given time, you might find three different books on my list. It changes with the more titles I read and whatever my mood may be. For instance, I have two books by Naomi Klein in my ever growing To Read stack. I suspect one or both could easily find its way to this list once I've read them! 1. You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train : A Personal History of Our Times by Howard Zinn. You can see my book chat from last Saturday for the reasons why. And I couldn't not have Zinn on this list, even if this wasn't such an inspiring book, because he's an incredible voice. 2. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. An incredible book about the working poor in America. To read this is to know that the idea of getting ahead by hard work has become a myth in modern America. You often times can't even stay afloat with hard work. Ehrenreich brings her intelligence and wry humor into play as she demonstrates how many people, in particular how many women, struggle to make it day today, even holding down multiple jobs. It's a must read. 3. Imperial America : Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal. I should disclose that Vidal is a favorite of mine, but even if he weren't, his writing would be apt to make this list. Imperial America is his most recently published essay collections. It's a mixture of new essays reflecting on current times, and older essays that are on subjects all too familiar to what we're facing today. For instance, the essay "Armageddon?," published in 1987, deals with Ronald Reagan's enthrallment to the ideas of the Religious Right and the End of Times and the dangers of having a person with such beliefs as President, and could easily have been written with Bush in mind. Fiction. See my Disclaimer re: Non-Fiction. Same thing applies. Always in a state of flux. And since fiction is my first love, this is a much harder list for me to come up with. Narrowing it down to just three, I mean. It's also harder to say why I love these books. They just spoke to me in some way. 1. Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. An incredible book from an incredible writer. It deals with cultural identity and the essence of what makes a true family and is in general just great writing. 2. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. A book that nearly redefines what fiction is and can be. There's no way to describe it except to say that it's like nothing you've read before. 3. Middlemarch (Penguin Classics) by George Eliot. Okay, so a lot of pretentious know-it-all types like to toss out Middlemarch to makes themselves sound smart and well read. I can't help that, and you'll just have to take my word that I'm not such a person! It's an amazing book that takes a cultural photograph of an early era that of course influenced our own in many ways. To read it is almost to feel like you've gone back in time and visited a 19th Century English village. Even better, though, it's a well written book with many characters whom you quickly come to know and follow with interest. I guess that would be my list, as of this moment."
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude (http://sexandpoliticsandscreedsandattitude.blogspot.com/) :
Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls: A Novel (fiction) and Amy Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them and the always groovy Michelle Phillips' California Dreamin': The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas!
Coturnix of Science and Politics (http://sciencepolitics.blogspot.com):
How can one limit oneself to just three plus three? Impossible!
Twenty or 25 years ago I would have picked David Copperfield (Penguin Classics) by
Dickens, The Little Prince by Exupery, "Mysterious Garden" by Jirzi Trnka, perhaps
the whole series of "Alfred Hitchkock's The Three Investigators" (http://www.3investigators.homestead.com/files/t3ihome.htm) and all
the Dr. Dolittle books. Add to that a couple of works by Henryk Sienkiewicz
("The Teutonic Warriors" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0781804337?v=glance and "Through the Desert and the Jungle" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0781802350/qid=1105948425/sr=1-9/ref=sr_1_9/002-0331478-1525604?v=glance&s=books) and the Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Unabridged Moby-Dick : or, The Whale (Modern Library Classics), Anna Karenina (Modern Library Classics) and Les Miserables a New Unabridged Translation (Signet Classics) .... Of non-fiction, it would have been something like Darwin's Origin of Species,
Karate-Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi, and Karl Brehm's "Life
Today, it is impossible to reduce oneself to only three. How about
Kafka's The Trial, Heinlein's Time Enough for Love and the entire Vonnegut
opus. Add short stories by Mark Twain and H.G.Wells. Non-fiction, holy cow,
I have listed a bunch elsewhere
etc.). I may remain with Origin of Species even
now. For a biologist, Gould's The Structure of Evolutionary Theory is a
Ciondolino (Prince and his Ants):http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index%3Dbooks%26field-keywords%3DPrince%252520of%252520Ants%26store-name%3Dbooks/002-0331478-1525604
For understanding politics, one has to start with Lakoff's Moral Politics : How Liberals and Conservatives Think, then move to other stuff...Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is
surely a must-read, and his newest one, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed I am reading now and it appears to be just as good. To understand what is wrong with the US economy, Marjorie Kelly's The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy is a must. Sorry, three is just too
small a number. Three hundred would be better!
Ron of Why Are We Back In Iraq? (http://www.whyareweback.blogspot.com/):
5 favorite books (non-fiction) - Autobiography of Malcolm X , The Halderman Tapes, The Armies of the Night: History As a Novel/the Novel As History, Ten Days That Shook the World (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) , good work by e.f. schumacher (the rest of the authors are kind ofobvious)5 favorite fiction (no way is this list final) -Mailer's An American Dream (Vintage International (Paperback)), Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground (Vintage Classics) and Crime and Punishment (Crime & Punishment), that's where it gets tough...my other top 10 favorite writers next to those two I like for everything they wrote...but none in my opinion wrote a great great great book (f scott's tycoon would've probably qualified) f scott fitzgerald, raymond chandler, raymond carver, jack london, toni morrison, tim obrien, john updike, richard wright, jim thompson (i know that's 11...oh well...and it's hard to list favorite writers and not mentioning shakespeare)
Jim, Dona and Ty e-mailed in their picks on Friday. They decided to instead go with the group picks (by Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava) that can be found on the profile for The Third Estate Sunday Review: http://www.blogger.com/profile/6353470. The Third Estate Sunday Review
went up today (new blog!) and can be found at: http://thirdestatesundayreview.blogspot.com/.
And while we're noting blogs, let's note that A Winding Road does a book chat every Saturday.
Please check out the book chat from yesterday if you haven't already (http://awindingroad.blogspot.com/2005/01/lost-within-pages-saturday-book-chat_15.html).