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The Sunday Backtrack: Your Favorite Books

A couple of days ago I asked you all what your favorite books were.  The response was great so I thought you might enjoy seeing what other World’s Strongest Librarian readers said were there favorites. Some of these were on the initial lists.  Others were from PS messages and emails.

It’s a very eclectic list, just like the group of people we have visiting and writing for the blog.

  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  • The Secret history by Donna Tartt
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Riding Rockets by John Mulane
  • Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Cardinal of the Kermlin by Tom Clancy
  • Dauntless by Jack Campbell
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas
  • Song of Solomon from the Peshitta translation
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Garcia Marquez
  • The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
  • Pablo Neurda’s love sonnets
  • Filth by Irvine Welsh
  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  • The Beach by Alex Garland
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
  • Straight Man by Richard Russo
  • Bloodthirsty by Marshall Karp
  • Any Joe Lansdale
  • Dark Descent – Edited by Hartwell
  • The Illuminatus – Shea/Wilson
  • The Mind’s Eye – Hofstadter/Dennet
  • The Ashley Book of Knots – Ashley
  • The Inner life by Thomas Kempis
  • Warrior Of The Light by Paul Coelho
  • 11 Minuets by Paul Coelho
  • Scientific Healing Affirmations by Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  • Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce
  • Generation Kill by Evan Wright
  • The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  • Enemy of God by Bernard Cornwell
  • Preacher graphic novels by Garth Ennis
  • The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
  • Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • The World According To Garp by John Irving
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
  • Bleak House – Dickens
  • The Iliad – Homer and Robert Fagles
  • Moby Dick – Melville
  • Bel Canto – Patchett
  • Alexandria Quartet – Durrell
  • War and Peace – Tolstoy
  • Anna Karenina – Tolstoy

Please feel free to discuss and condemn and praise each other within the bounds of good taste and civility.


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  • Vanessa July 12, 2009, 1:38 pm

    I learned from your latest blog that I guess I really Must read a Confederacy of Dunces. And how or why did I skip Blood Meridian?
    Also thank you for the reccomendations, all have been perfect. I found the coolest original copy of The Neverending Story complete with illustrations and the red/green font. You’re like a high-end tailor for readers. Corny!

    • Josh Hanagarne July 12, 2009, 3:39 pm

      I can’t wait to hear what you think of them both. As many or more people hate them as love them. Especially with Confederacy. When Humor lets someone down, they really lash out.

  • TheWordWire July 12, 2009, 10:22 pm

    Confederacy of Dunces topped my list of favorites even before I lived in New Orleans. I’ve re-read it a few times since, and love it as much every time. Other all-time faves: Jailbird — Kurt Vonnegut, Invisible Man — Ralph Ellison, The World According to Garp — John Irving, Me Talk Pretty One Day — David Sedaris, Jitterbug Purfume — Tom Robbins. Thanks for publishing this list — I’m not familiar with all of these titles, but will check some out!

    • Josh Hanagarne July 12, 2009, 10:27 pm

      All right Wordwire, you’re my new favorite and I love you madly. Thanks for the kind words. I’ll add your picks to the list!

  • We Fly Spitfires July 13, 2009, 1:58 am

    Huge mix of books there. Goes to show how varied people’s interests are! I’d be curious to see what genres your readers are most into – how about a poll for readers to pick their favourite? I’d be a fantasy or sci-fi geek, no doubt!

  • Vanessa July 15, 2009, 1:01 pm

    How could I forget Down All the Days! The autobiography of Christie Brown! They based the movie My Left Foot off his book. Amazing story of a boy growing to a man with Cerebral Palsy. Simply triumphant.