Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 books for a better 2010

I’ve never posted a blog before and frankly it feels kind of strange and possibly a bit pretentious. But then I suppose I am rather pretentious. I’m making the assumption that what I say in the following list is of value and that you would be better for having read it. What could be more pretentious than that?

What I am offering to you, my fine reader, is a list of ten books which you really should read at some point in your life. Why not in 2010? Perhaps you have already read some or all of them in the past. Read them again. Some of them are better the second time through. These are not necessarily my ten favorite books of all time or anything of that nature. They are just ten books that I think would be good for you to read and would help maximize your enjoyment of the year ahead, while broadening your literary horizons. So visit your local used book store and get started. You can read them in no particular order.

1. The Winter of our Discontent – By John Steinbeck

This is an outstanding book from my favorite author. It is a must read for every human. Are you human? Then read this book.

2. The Areas of my Expertise – By John Hodgeman
I laughed a great deal. You will laugh too unless you have no sense of humor. Do you want to be thought of as a person with no sense of humor? Then read this book and find it funny. I especially enjoyed discovering the truth about squirrels. It’s shocking.

3. Bridges with Spirit – By Adam Voith
This is a little known book that is truly an amazing read. You can usually find used copies online. I bought my own copy at a Pedro the Lion concert. The author had a table set up in the back of the venue.

4. Cat’s Cradle – By Kurt Vonnegut
I discovered Vonnegut for the first time in 2009 and promptly read a more than a dozen of his books. Cat’s Cradle is very unique and, while it doesn’t have quite the impact of Slaughter-House five, it is an extremely enjoyable book.

5. East of Eden – by John Steinbeck
This one is asking a lot out of you because it is a book of Epic proportions and is a commitment to read. If you survive and make it to the end, you are rewarded by such profundity as is rarely realized. It can be a life altering experience and quite liberating.

6. Ecclesiastes – by Solomon
Dust off your Bible and turn to a little known book towards the center. You can read this one in about an hour. It’s rather depressing until the end. Then you are enlightened, though still slightly depressed. I recommend reading it from the New International Version of the Bible. It has a nice flow in that translation.

7. Till We Have Faces – by C. S. Lewis
This retelling of the myth of Cupid is fascinating to read and quite unlike anything else written by Mr. Lewis.

8. For Whom the Bell Tolls – by Ernest Hemingway
Everyone should read some Hemingway at some point in their life. If you are alive and have not read any Hemingway, then you should keep in mind that you might die soon and miss this opportunity. This is my favorite Hemingway novel. Maybe it will be yours as well.

9. Nine Stories – by J. D. Salinger
Okay, so technically this one isn’t a novel. This is a collection of nine short stories by Mr. Salinger and is unbelievably depressing to read. The last story in the book, “Teddy” is one of the greatest short stories ever written. You should read one of the greatest short stories ever written. Everyone should.

10. Pillars of the Earth – by Ken Follett
This is not the normal Follett in that its setting is medieval. I got angry a lot while reading this book. I’m not a fan of injustice. No one should be a fan of injustice. So unless you are a criminal, you should read and enjoy this book.

So there you have it. Ten books for a better 2010. Reading is good for you.

Many Blessings.


  1. they're all old. anything recent?

  2. Come on. Hodgeman, Voith and Follett are current. Vonnegut and Salinger are still breathing, though Salinger hasn't written anything in decades.

  3. Update. Vonnegut has been dead a few years but I missed that. Salinger died since this posting. So...they are MOSTLY old.