August 31, 2019

Favorite Books

Favorite Books

My wife and I were at a dinner party last night and the subject of favorite books came up. On the spot I couldn't think of many. The first couple books that came to mind were Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey (non-fiction), and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (fiction).

We also briefly discussed the merits of each broad category. I am of the opinion that non-fiction "teaches and informs" whereas fiction really "expands the mind" via immersion in another brain and world. Of course that is an over-simplification and many books in either category can be said to have the qualities of the other. The real differences really, I think, are in the categories' respective points of emphasis. And then there is memoir. Memoir really is more akin to fiction. Similarly, some science and historical fiction can really spend a lot of time flirting with the realm of non-fiction.

Here is my list of favorites (divided up into non-fiction and fiction). It's what I could come up with in a relatively short period of time. Not exhaustive, nor definitive, and I will probably edit this over time. I probably could also whittle these down to a few favorite-favorites, but that's not really instructive. Here you go. Some of my favorite books:

Non-Fiction

A sampling of authors, non-fiction, left-to-right: (1) Hubbell, Abbey, Elliott, King, Diamond, Keith. (2) Dillard, Sagan, Taubes, The Monks of New Skete. (3) Zimmer, Isaacson, Berry, Peterson, Carroll, Muir.
A sampling of authors, non-fiction, left-to-right: (1) Hubbell, Abbey, Elliott, King, Diamond, Keith. (2) Dillard, Sagan, Taubes, The Monks of New Skete. (3) Zimmer, Isaacson, Berry, Peterson, Carroll, Muir.

(ordered by date published)

Fiction

A sampling of authors, fiction, left-to-right: (1) Hemingway, Doctorow, Halderman, Bradley, London. (2) Hosseini, Twain, Berry, Orwell, Pinker. (3) Howey, McCarthy, Elliott, Heinlein, Remarque, Asimov.
A sampling of authors, fiction, left-to-right: (1) Hemingway, Doctorow, Halderman, Bradley, London. (2) Hosseini, Twain, Berry, Orwell, Pinker. (3) Howey, McCarthy, Elliott, Heinlein, Remarque, Asimov.

(ordered by date published)

If I were to be stuck on a desert island with ONE book, I would (a) die before making that decision, but (b) hope it was maybe something more introspective, like perhaps Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, A Man Made of Elk, or A Country Year. Or maybe something rather dense, complex, yet escapist and makes you think, like The Mists of Avalon, All Quiet on the Western Front, or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Let's hope I don't get stuck on a desert island. I suspect I should rather hope for a more helpful book like Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook, published by Hesperian Health Guides.

Enjoy! -t

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