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I like books.


That’s a pretty lame statement, isn’t it? It’s kind of like, “I like puppies.” or “I like ice cream.” Wait, though, if you’re lactose intolerant, I guess the “I like ice cream” bit wouldn’t be obvious, would it? Unless maybe it’s soy ice cream? But is it still “ice cream” then?


There are a lot of great sci-fi books. A lot of great literary novels. A lot of great biographies, fantasies, mysteries, and any other “ies” you can think of. I love them all.

Well, not all. But the remainder of this post is dedicated to ten books that I do love for…reasons. If I’m inspired to offer one of those reasons, I will. Some books, though, have just left an indefinable impression on me.

So, here they are.

1. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. A funny, moving, impressive tale of several individuals with nothing in common except they all showed up on a bridge at the same time to kill themselves.
2. Redshirts by John Scalzi. Part wink and nod to the tropes of modern sci-fi, especially “Star Trek”, part compelling sci-fi in its own right. I smiled through they whole thing.
3. Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States, by Dave Barry. When I’m asked what my favorite book is, this is the one I give. Why? Because it was the first book I read, around seventh grade, where I really thought about what the author was thinking when he wrote it, where I realized that writing could be fun, not just something that I did. Until then, I had written a lot, without really thinking about why. This book made me do that.
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Read it years ago and it still lingers. Bleak and gripping at the same time.
5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Magical, moving, and momentous.
6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Fun. Absurd. Fun and absurd.
7. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Yes, this is actually a play, but I’m including its script here because I thought it was awesome. I’ve never even seen the play. It’s a retelling of Hamlet from the point of view of these two minor characters. It rocks. And I’m not even all that big a Shakespeare fan.
8. Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson
9. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I’m not generally a big elves and swords guy, but I couldn’t not include this seminal work of fantasy fiction. (Plus, I got to say “seminal”. Har har.)
10. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. Also funny and absurd. But also weirdly believable and heartfelt.

So, Blog-reader-types, where do you stand of the whole this is the best book ever debate? Speak up, you!


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