After I wrote about the books I love from childhood, a friend suggested I write about the books I love in adulthood.
Of course, I'm still reading. And I’m still an adult. (Well, sometimes I wonder. As do others.)
One of my favorite questions is about a person's favorite books. And recently, at a dinner gathering, I asked my table what they were reading. (Result: Awkward silence.) So my friend's recommendation is one I decided to take with one caveat: There might be a part two of this post somewhere down the line.
I missed many books in this compilation, I'm sure. And I culled a number off my original list, because it was just too long. (So this is a list of the favorites among the favorites.) Third, I am still voraciously reading. Who knows what I’ll encounter in coming years that I would add to the list below?
Much as with my childhood books post, I limited the list to books that socked me in the chest or the gut, that I learned from, that I still think about today, and that I'd recommend to anyone without hesitation. Juicy, meaty, books that I’m in love with--not just books I love.
Because I can't possibly order these books by value or importance, and I'm not sure of the date I read them, I've ordered them alphabetically by title:
- All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
- Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
- A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
- The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
- Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall
- Brick Lane, by Monica Ali
- East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
- Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
- Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
- Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, by David Simon
- Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
- Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
- The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
- One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Private Life, by Jane Smiley
- Property, by Valerie Martin
- Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach
- Winkie, by Clifford Chase
I'd planned to write a note with each book, explaining the reason for my love, but then I realized that I might project my opinions onto yours--and sometimes it's best to approach something with a clear mind. But after you've read any of these--if you do--I'd love to discuss it.
Or if you've already read one or more, what did you think?
And what are the seminal books of your adult reading life?