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Today is my Birthday – I Would Like for You to Read One of These Books

I’m 34 today. If you have been wringing your hands about what to get me, or you forgot entirely, here’s what you can do:

Just read one of these books and then tell me later if you enjoyed it.

A Confederacy of Dunces  by John Kennedy Toole

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

The Angry Clam by Erik Quisling

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Graid by Douglas Hofstadter (at least try the puzzles)

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Dicamillo

The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

The Acme Novelty Library by Chrise Ware

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

This is Water by DAvid Foster Wallace

The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

O Jerusalem! by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapiere

Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

The Art of Expressing the Human Body by Bruce Lee.

Now, if you’ve already read them all just tell me which one you liked best.

I’ll be traveling and speaking over the next few days but I’ll be checking in occasionally to belittle you, beat you down, and tell you how wrong you are about your comments. Unless you’re right, of course.

Also, by reading this post you have committed to buy my book in 2013. I’m going to hold you to it.

Thanks as always, for being part of my life, which, judging by the candles, has been going on for some time now.





Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey December 1, 2011, 5:14 pm

    Found the David Foster Wallace commencement online here http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/david-foster-wallace-in-his-own-words I love commencement speeches, recently saw one from Vonnegut and liked it a great deal Happy Birthday

  • Pauline December 1, 2011, 7:53 pm

    I read (or began to read) Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter 25 years ago. I can hardly remember it, so I guess I’ll try again.

    The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Suess is great. I used to read it aloud to my sixth grade students. They loved it, I loved it.

  • Boris B December 1, 2011, 9:09 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!!!

    I’ve been reading Blood Meridian for a while now – enjoy it, but get distracted. It doesn’t speak to me the way The Road did.

    I don’t think I could ever like anything more than Man’s Search For Meaning, but I haven’t read that Dr. Seuss book yet…

  • Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave December 2, 2011, 5:54 am

    A most Happy Birthday to you! What a wonderfully eclectic list that speaks volumes. But then who wouldn’t love a list that includes Twain, Gorey and Seuss!

  • Gustavo| Frugal Science December 2, 2011, 8:29 am

    Viva el cumpleañero! Sure I’ll buy your book. My mom told be to always buy the book of people taller than me.

  • Justin December 2, 2011, 8:57 am

    “A Confederacy of Dunces” is one of the funniest, most clever books I’ve ever read.

    “Don Quixote” was great and I need to read it again.

  • Wanderlust December 2, 2011, 9:06 am

    Happiest of birthdays to you! You know what, I am printing out your list. I loooooove good literature and I’m always looking for hidden gems (or classics to re-read). I was just thinking I wanted something delicious to dig into over the holidays.

  • Spencer December 2, 2011, 5:19 pm

    I have a copy of The Innocents Abroad that is calling my name. Love Angry Clam. I’m actively reading Blood Meridian. I like what I’ve read of Nabokov. Confederacy of Dunces…

    • Josh Hanagarne December 2, 2011, 8:14 pm

      You’re going to get such a beating when I see you in February. I will beat the love of Confederacy of Dunes into your dark heart.

  • Spencer December 2, 2011, 5:19 pm

    P.S. How do I get my picture on here? I’m sick of the anonymous and rounded little grey and white fellow!

  • DC5 December 2, 2011, 9:42 pm

    I’ve already read several of the books on your list. Of all, I’d have to pick Sagan’s ‘The Demon Haunted World’ as my fave. That book brought me back to a reality—a reality more interesting than the wildest flights of fancy.

  • DeAnne December 9, 2011, 11:29 am

    I recently read all of Kate DiCamillo’s books for a project, and my hands-down fav was the Magician’s Elephant. Have you read it?
    Happy late birthday!