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Friday Meme Time

Booklist game
List 15 books you've read that will always stick with you: list the first 15 you can recall in 15 minutes. Don't take too long to think about it.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Traveller in Black, John Brunner
This is a small book, a collection of stories, but it's kept an unusually strong place in my mind even though I've never figured out why it counts as particularly better than all the other fantasy works I read at the time.

3. Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
I think this counts as another "d'uh".

4. Dracula, Bram Stoker
Vampires! Victorian England! Pseudoscience! And really, a wonderful format of journal entries and newspaper clippings. One year I deliberately read it date by date.

5. The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle & William Baring-Gould
Who knew that notes could be so fascinating? This was like having a Holmesian Wiki, before wikis existed.

6. The Swords Trilogy & The Chronicles of Corum, Michael Moorcock
7. Jurgen, and others, James Branch Cabell
8. The Fafhrd & Gray Mouser books, Fritz Leiber
These three are together for a reason. It was Jhary-a-conel and his winged cat that made the Corum books a favorite for me. It was Horvendile that I kept looking for in Cabell's books. I like the "companions to heroes" better than heroes themselves, the jester who acts as a guide, the self-aware and intentionally self-serving and reluctantly heroic antiheroes. They're just more fun.

9. The Once & Future King, T. H. White
Which is great itself, but also a stand-in for a bunch of retold Arthurian tales.

10. Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
Third d'uh.

11. Puck of Pook's Hill, Rudyard Kipling
By Oak & Ash & Thorn, oh yes!   To revisit the past as it was (or should have been!) and that way see better the past in the present.

12. The Ship Who Sang, Anne McCaffrey
Yes, the Pern books, too, but this one is more special to me.

13. Mythology, Edith Hamilton
And Bullfinch, and another whose name I can't remember, but this one first.

14. The Story of Civilization, Will & Ariel Durant
I read these at too young an age to understand the  purpose of them, but old enough to appreciate that they wanted people to understand the flow of history, the influences on various cultures, and the impact of specific people's actions and personalities, and not just dry dates and places and events. And they were the first to tell me Alexander the Great was gay, which was a great revelation to someone growing up Catholic in conservative Virginia even if it was the 60s.

15. Costume and Fashion, Herbert Norris
Okay, these are bad books for doing historical costuming.  Everyone knows that now.  But when I first found them, we didn't know, and they were the hard-to-find best source of truth.  So that's part of why they'll stick with me, as a reminder of how knowledge changes (even of things long gone, which ought to make it the more stable).

And that's my fifteen.. or so.  



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2009 10:00 am (UTC)

It's too hard. 15 only ? I could do 15 albums but too many books to list.
Jun. 14th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
It's supposed to be the first 15 that pop into your head when you start thinking about influential books, not ALL of the ones that were/are important to you. :-) And even so, I think if you count the separate volumes of the sets and series I've listed, I actually covered about 30-40 books.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )