The OF Blog: Fifty Books That Dwell In My Thoughts

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Fifty Books That Dwell In My Thoughts

Back in May 2006, I posted a list of 50 personal favorites.  Without looking at that list until my work was done, I went through my bookshelves and wrote down the titles of 50 works whose names made me think the fondest (or most disturbing, in some cases) of thoughts.  There is some overlap with the 2006 list, but not as much as I would have suspected.  The titles are listed in the order that I wrote them down and are not necessarily a ranking:

1.  Vladimir Nabokov, Ada

2.  Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun (omnibus)


3.  Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

4.  Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed

5.  Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song

6.  John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

7.  Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

8.  Gabriel García Márquez, Cien años de soledad

9.  Roberto Bolaño, 2666

10.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (both parts)

11.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince

12.  Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel

13.  Téa Obreht, The Tiger's Wife

14.  M. John Harrison, The Course of the Heart

15.  Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus

16.  Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper

17.  Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

18.  Michael Cisco, The Narrator

19.  Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

20.  John Crowley, Ægypt Cycle (series)

21.  Milorad Pavić, Landscape Painted With Tea

22.  Zoran Živković, Escher's Loops

23.  Thomas Liggoti, The Nightmare Factory

24.  Flannery O'Connor, Collected Works (Library of America edition)

25.  William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

26.  Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again

27.  David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

28.  Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

29.  Herman Melville, Moby Dick

30.  Sadegh Hedayat, The Blind Owl

31.  Mark Danielewski, House of Leaves

32.  John Keats, Poems 


33.  Jorge Luis Borges, El Aleph  


34.  Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow 

35.  Ben Okri, The Famished Road 


36.  Henry David Thoreau, Walden  

37.  Edward Whittemore, Jerusalem Quartet (series)


38.  T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland 

39.  Franz Kafka, The Trial 


40.  Julio Cortázar, Rayuela (Hopscotch

41.  José Saramago, Blindness 


42.  Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso 

43.  Art Spiegelman, Maus 


44.  Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being 

45.  Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse 


46.  James Joyce, Ulysses 

47.  Jeff VanderMeer, Shriek:  An Afterword 


48.  J.G. Ballard, The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard 

49.  Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain 


50.  Dino Buzzati, The Tartar Steppe 


Which ones of these have you read?  Any you want to know more about, whether it be in the form of a full review or a short comment?  Feel free to try and discern patterns here, if that is what you enjoy doing.

8 comments:

David Soares said...

Hello.

Great list. I've read most of them, myself.

I loved the way you wrote the title "House of Leaves". Anyone that have read the novel will figure out why.

Cheers.
David Soares

S.M.D. said...

I've read The Dispossessed, but it's strange that I haven't read most of the others. I've read books by authors on the list, though (The Road by McCarthy, City of Saints and Madmen by VanderMeer, a few collections by Zivkovic, etc.). This is a good list, though.

James said...

I have read The Tiger's Wife, The Narrator, Shriek: An Afterword, and the first "book" of 2666. I have begun reading, but not yet finished (for whatever reason) The Book of the New Sun, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Infinite Jest. There are a few books on that list that I have had on my to-read list for a while, but have not due to unavailability at the local library/not enough funds--in particular, the Harrison, Carter, Pynchon, and Ballard. I am far more interested in reading Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, but I only have The Baron in the Trees.

Jason said...

Nice list!

Since I think about Infinite Jest almost every day, and I'm currently rereading Book of the New Sun, this list has some credibility by me; I might try to read more from it. Ada is on my bookshelf, eyeing me hopefully.

Jason said...

Nice list!

Since I think about Infinite Jest almost every day, and I'm currently rereading Book of the New Sun, this list has some credibility by me; I might try to read more from it. Ada is on my bookshelf, eyeing me hopefully.

ishouldbeking said...

Book of the New Sun, Blood Meridian, 2666, Aegypt Cycle, most of Ballard's stories. I do own quite a few of the rest. Having read the vast majority of those authors, though, your list resonates with my personal taste quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

I've read about twenty of them. What I find more interesting is that there's about a half dozen I haven't heard of.

NYCfan

Mark Lawrence said...

1. Vladimir Nabokov - Author but not the book
2. Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun (omnibus)
3. Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
4. Ursula Le Guin, Author but not the book
6. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
11. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince
20. John Crowley, Author but not the book
25. William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
28. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
29. Herman Melville, Moby Dick
32. John Keats, Poems
34. Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
38. T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland
39. Franz Kafka, The Trial
45. Virginia Woolf, Author but not the book
46. James Joyce, Ulysses

 
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