My Favorite Things

June 18, 2012 9:50 am | Tags: , , | No Comments

Over the weekend, I was asked for my top five favorite books of all time. This is the equivalent of giving a starving man a menu. Nonetheless, once the day’s writing is done and the basketball or running or lifting are complete, I don’t really want to work in the yard anyway. So I sat down and started scrawling a list of potential top five books—ignoring nonfiction and story collections for the sake of simplicity (which I changed my mind about later)—and quickly had it narrowed down to twenty three “top five” books.

I’ve tried to list my favorite books below. Loosely, they are in some sort of chronological order, but just barely. I forced myself to choose only one book per writer so that you don’t have to read me listing F. Scott Fitzgerald over and over again. I’m sure I’m forgetting something really obvious.

Without additional winding up:


Moby Dick; Or, The Whale by Herman Melville

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Washington Square by Henry James

1984 by George Orwell

Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter

Desperate Characters by Paula Fox

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker

Brief Interviews with Hideous Man by David Foster Wallace

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Soul Thief by Charles Baxter

The Millionaires by Inman Majors

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

The Privileges by Jonathan Dee

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