Top 25 Books
Last month for Halloween, I posted a list of my favorite ten horror novels that I had written in 2015. That reminded me of another list I had compiled for my blog back in 2010, my top 25 books of all time.
As always, in case it bears repeating, this is a list of favorites, not 'best' and it is completely my opinion. In fact, it's my opinion from six years ago. If I were to think it over now I'm sure some of these would be different, but that's the nature of these lists.
Without further ado, I present to you the 2010 me's favorite 25 favorite books.
The following is a list of my 25 favorite books, with an additional few 'honorable mentions'
'Honorable Mentions' (in no particular order)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Shining by Stephen King
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Criminal Macabre by Steve Niles
25) The Icewind Dale Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore
24) Lord of the Flies by William Golding
23) The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
22) The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
21) Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
20) Kingdom Come by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross
19) Smoker by Greg Rucka
18) Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton
17) Slaughterhouse V by Kurt Vonnegut
16) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
15) The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
14) The Princess Bride by William Goldman
13) The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
12) The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
11) Demon in a Bottle by David Michlinie and Bob Layton
10) Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
09) The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
08) Paradise Lost by John Milton
07) The Odyssey by Homer
06) Dracula by Bram Stoker
05) Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
Easily the greatest graphic novel I've ever read. It truly redefined the Batman mythos by focusing on the villains and their place in the world, instead of just being about Batman himself. Grant Morrison crafted a wonderful story taking place primarily within the walls of the asylum Batman himself filled, with beautiful art by Dave McKean. This is a strong a recommendation for anyone who's ever wondered what the hype over comics is all about. I promise you won't be dissapointed.
04) Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Whether you want to believe Shakespeare was a single author or a group of authors writing under a shared pseudonym, he/they have crafted some of the greatest stories of all time. Many of said stories could easily have made this, or anyone's greatest, list. However, for me, the choice was easy. Hamlet, Othello, Romero and Juliet, the many sonnets, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and the list goes on, but Macbeth has always been my favorite. The intricacies of the prophecies and play between characters made for an incredible read. Lady Macbeth's slow decent into madness is some of the finest writing you'll likely ever have the opportunity to read. If you somehow made it through high school and/or college without reading this, your school system has failed you. Make up for that, now!
03) The Occult Detective by C.J. Henderson
Chances are few, if any, of you reading this has ever heard of C.J. Henderson, but he ranks so high up on this list because his work has been influential to my own writing. He writes with great poise and a real world grit that makes the paranormal and supernatural feel so relatable in an odd, yet comfortable way. While he's not as widely known as he should be, other authors in his genre respect his talents to the point where he's been commissioned to continue the work of H.P. Lovecraft. Another recommendation to anyone who hasn't had a chance to read him. (since initially writing this, CJ has sadly lost his battle to cancer in 2014. I learned this at my very first book signing for Nightmare Noir as I sold a copy of my book to a friend of his. While still saddened by his passing, I hope to live up to his legacy.)
02) The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
I don't think there's anything I can say about this that hasn't been said a million times over. With that said, if you haven't read the Divine Comedy yet, you're truly doing yourself a disservice. It's considered one of the greatest works of literature of all time for obvious reasons. Read and follow one man's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven that touches on every part of the human condition.
01) A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Movie and book alike rank the top of my lists, for simple reasons. Anthony Burgess created his own slang for the novella which came out in 1962, so at times it may be a difficult read, however I can't give a stronger recommendation to read this book. Although the book takes place in the 'future' the social commentary it relates to is heavily relevant especially in today's political climate, and 'discussions' of censorship.
Putting this list together, a few things surprised me. For one, I find it interesting that Stephen King didn't make the list, although he's easily one of my favorite authors. Same goes for Edgar Alan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mark Twain, all of whom are some of my favorite authors, but no one work stands out enough to rate higher on the list.
If there's a book you think should be on this list, or want to recommend for a read feel free to comment.