My Favorite Books - Then and Now

  • Favorite Books of My Childhood
  • The Wayside School Series by Louis Sachar - I decided to start off with some of my favorite books of my youth. I loved these Wayside School books. They were a riot. Less funny, but more gripping, was...
  • Holes by Louis Sachar - Loved it!
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin - I read this in 4th grade, and it's probably too young for me now...but I'll always remember how much I absolutely loved this book. But is this considered to be more of a children's book? I don't really know. I would highly recommend it, though, even to adults, for its humorous yet suspenseful tale. The ending took me completely by surprise as well.
  • Some of My Favorite Books Now
  • Thank you for Smoking by Christopher Buckley - This is a more adult book. A biting satire on the tobacco industry. I couldn't put it down. The cynical, bitter world that the twisted characters live in was amazing.
  • The Harry Potter series - Yes, I must admit, I'm hooked. I'm sure you've all heard of the books, and there's little I can say that hasn't already been said, so there's no real need for me to comment.
  • 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell - 1984 is a haunting masterpiece, while Animal Farm is lighter but still pretty biting. These satires of government are two of the most well-written books I've ever written.
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - A beautifully written masterpiece of storytelling. It's about war, but it's more about the complexities of the characters and the poetry of O'Brien's words. I thank my school for forcing me to read this over the summer.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - A witty parody of science fiction that held my attention and kept me laughing. Unfortunately, I liked the series less with the 2nd book, and even less with the 3rd book, so I probably won't read the last two (or three?). The first book was great though, and I'd recommend it.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - The language isn't confusing, yet the story was captivating, and the book had a lot to say. I read this book in school, and I was glad I did.
  • Candide by Voltaire - Who knew a classic with so much to say could be so caustically funny? I had to read this book for school, and we talked about all that Voltaire had to say - he was quite an opinionated man! Yet, this book is also very funny. I especially like when two hungry soldiers who are supposed to be protecting this woman end up becoming so famished that they eat the woman's butt cheek.
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - This is a great science-fiction book that really delves into the mind of Ender, a man destined to be a hero but with moral dilemmas. I also love the video game that he plays. Highly recommended.
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - Sedaris is bitingly satirical as he recounts his misadventures through New York (Part One) and Paris (Part Deux). This book is often very funny; however, it's main flaw is that, as Sedaris is a homosexual drug addict, sometimes I couldn't identify with the narrator. But no matter, I loved this book anyway.
  • Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut - Vonnegut is often called a dark humorist, but many of these short stories are really much lighter. One that springs to mind is "A Long Walk to Forever." In any case, almost all of the stories are very witty. My favorites are "Who Am I This Time?", "Next Door", and "The Euphio Question" (runners-up include "Harrison Bergeron", "Epicac", and "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow"). A highly recommended book if you like tongue-in-cheek humor.
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - I finally finished "Catch-22"! And I loved every page of it (except page 156). I never have time to read during school, but over winter break, I was finally able to finish it. The book was good for laughs (any mention of Washington Irving) and horrors (when Yossarian wanders around Rome). I'd highly recommend "Catch-22"; it's one of the greatest books I've ever read.
  • The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut - I'm usually a very slow reader; I don't think I've ever read a book as quickly as I read this one (except maybe "Big Trouble" by Dave Barry). An awesome, awesome book. I love Vonnegut. "Sirens of Titan" is just so damn clever, I can't get over it.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - OK, my school forced me to read this, but I'm really glad they did. This is such an amazing book. The plot is so simple, and yet, how it is presented is magnificent. Truly a Great American Novel.
  • Well, I can't really think of too many more that I've finished. Here are a few books that I'm in the middle of and am loving so far (Don't hold your breath on these - I don't have too much time to read during the school year):
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • Mort by Terry Pratchett
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • And here are some books that I MUST get around to reading...eventually...:
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • Lord of the Rings (the whole trilogy) by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Author Comments: 

LOL, I just noticed my typo for "1984" and "Animal Farm." I bet you didn't know that I wrote those two books, did you? I think I'll leave it there, but I just wanted to alert y'all that I'm not crazy and don't actually think that I wrote "1984" and "Animal Farm."

Hey, I'm looking forward to what you have to say about Confederacy of Dunces. That is probably the funniest book I've ever read. Catch-22 comes close though...

Johnny Waco

Hey, that's pretty cool. Maybe I'll hold off on "Mort" and "A Walk in the Woods" and start on "Confederacy."