An unordered list of some books I have enjoyed reading. I admit it's painfully adolescent, if not pre-adolescent. I am what I am.

The Silmarillion
J.R.R. Tolkien
For the deeply demented Tolkien enthusiast only. My copy is broken beyond repair from constant re-reading.

A Friend of the Earth
T.C. Boyle
"And then, for no reason that I can think of, I can't help adding, 'And I am a human being.'"

Money
Martin Amis
A cruel novel. Cruel, but fair.

Et Tu, Babe
Mark Leyner
It's hard for me to believe that this novel lampooning our celebrity culture came out in 1992. Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton had not even been invented yet.

Catch-22
Joseph Heller
Crabapples! Cotton! Black-eyes! Major Major Major Major! Washington Irving! "But what if everyone felt the way that you do?" "Then I'd certainly be a damn fool to feel any other way."

Leave it to Psmith
P.G. Wodehouse
A more romantic Wodehouse, before the perpetual bachelor Bertie Wooster took over. Psmith remains my ideal man. When will I meet my Sue? *

A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula K. Le Guin
Absolutely top-notch adolescent fantasy. First book of a trilogy that are all wonderful to read.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of course I loved Love in the Time of the Cholera but this novella is even more wonderful.

A Mathematician's Apology
G.H. Hardy
Painfully honest lament for the loss of creativity. I wish I could have ever experienced it. (First work of non-fiction here.)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams
Impossibly funny book form of the radio show/movie/tv show/video game/breakfast cereal franchise.

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
The definitive romance. I am far from the biggest Austen fan, but I see no reason not to start here. I know Emma is considered deeper or richer or something, but so what?

Nice Work
David Lodge
Criticism of Lodge is that he writes the same novel over and over. I guess. If I had his talent, I would too. This is my favorite version.

The Mythical Man Month
Fred Brooks
One book from my profession (computer programming) that I would recommend to anyone. If one woman can have a baby in nine months, can nine women do it in one month?

The Pushcart War
Jean Merrill
My favorite children's novel. Who doesn't love peanut butter? Maybe this explains why I have never owned a car. (Or a truck.)

American Stories
Calvin Trillin
Superb collection of non-fiction short stories from a great contemporary writer. I have given this as a gift many times.

Pudd'nhead Wilson
Mark Twain
My favorite Twain. I rank it above Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, or The Mysterious Stranger. "If I owned half that dog, I'd shoot my half."


* - I met my Sue. Her name turned out to be Louisa.