A reading list bounced through my feeds, with a weird title like, “What college freshman are reading this summer.” I clicked through the list, briefly. Made me consider what I’ve read that mattered.
None of these books were required by school, and yet each one shaped my thinking, my style. What I hold as true?
Stranger in a Strange Land
Previously? Think that caught it all — here.
I’m really late to this party. One of my fishing buddies had extolled, at length, the virtues of Blood Meridian, and at the time, think trailer park in South Austin, I had that novel on my bookshelf, trying to look erudite. Realizing it was a retelling of another border tale made it that much more gripping. I’m pretty sure I read the origins story first. That style of writing, sparse and minimalistic, stark, in a way, while it is a powerful way to convey meaning? It’s also, for me, most of the time, a difficult read. Thus noted? Of the lot, Blood Meridian would have to be the most accessible, the one I would be most likely to re-read, and the pick to include in this list. However?
Honorable Mention: No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy
Just recall loving it. A lot.
Honorable Mention: As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
One of the funniest books.
Re-reading Faulkner, why?
Mark Twain, the quote was from Mark Twain, in particular book, I still have a text, I think.
When I was faced with Mark Twain’s novella, Pudn’head Wilson in an American Lit class at college, after rereading it, I went through and carefully transcribed all the aphorisms, known as “Pudn’head Wilson’s Calendar.”
All of those are collected in my Pink Cake.
In light of race relations, a topic I rarely — if ever — touch, Huck Finn is always a worthy novel. A solid pillar of the great American pantheon of literature. Part of it is linguistic, part of it is plot, part of its greatness is a willingness to approach what was then a highly controversial topic. Reading — or rereading — is always rewarding.
Two more books that changed my life.
Plus Marcus Aurelius, for meditations.