Thursday, July 12, 2007

We can’t stop here! This is bat country!

Top Ten Favorite Books of All Time

So often, Your Gleemonex is all about hatin, which is fun and indescribably good for one’s constitution. But this list is about love, people — LOVE. Honest affection and warmed heart-cockles. Witness, if you dare, the softer side of Damn Kids, Get off My Lawn:

Pride & Prejudice: I could largely take or leave the rest of the Austens, and certainly the Brontes — I mean, I like ‘em fine, mostly, but this is the one I’m taking to my desert island. (Jane Austen, 1813)

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas: Like nothing else ever written. The funniest, most fucked-up and possibly most important semi-novel in American lit — Kerouac and Salinger can just step off. (Hunter S. Thompson, 1971)

To Kill a Mockingbird: If I were forced to pick the #1, this would be it. (Harper Lee, 1960)

Ballet Shoes: Perfect and beautiful, from the first page to the last. (Noel Streatfeild, 1936)

The Stand: I have four copies (including one hardback, and one signed by Steve himself thanks to the good offices of Mr. Gleemonex), just in case I lose one. (Stephen King, 1990 edition)

Song of Years: I haven’t liked BSA’s other stuff as much — all of them except for this one are, I dunno, laden with pointless sadness — but I like prairie shit (witness the shelf of Laura Ingalls Wilder), and this is the best of the best. (Bess Streeter Aldrich, 1939)

Generation X: Coupland’s best (with Microserfs a close second, IMO). Maybe I just read it at the exact right time in my life (summer of 1995), but it really got to me and has stayed with me ever since. (Douglas Coupland, 1991)

Rebecca: So beautifully crafted, so tense and doomed, such a completely realized world — just amazing. (Daphne du Maurier, 1938)

Here is New York: If time travel ever becomes possible, y’all can look for me in New York City in 1948, cause I’m going there and I’m staying there. (E.B. White, 1948)

Emily Post’s Etiquette, 1945 edition: Section headings like “The House With Only One Maid,” “When He Is From the Wrong Side of the Tracks,” and “A Real Thoroughbred Despises Cheapness;” rules for throwing the best house party weekend at your place in the country; advice for conducting oneself in modern business situations; the proper way to express condolences — what’s not to love? Open this book to any page, and you’re in another galaxy — sure it’s sexist and aimed at a social strata that has nothing to do with me (or you, most likely, if you’re reading this blog), but it’s such a fantastic look into the minutiae of a time and place long gone in so many ways. Practically speaking, the basic precepts still hold true, and we could all do with a little more graciousness, don’t you think?

Photo ©2006 Mark Chang. Original is here.

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Blogger Princess Sparkle Pants said...

OOOH! Me too! I love these books as if they were people or pets or something! Especially Rebecca and Pride and Prejudice, I LOVE those the most. Great taste!

6:03 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Thanks, PSP! Clearly you are a personage of refinement, like moi. ;-)

9:10 AM  
Blogger Panda!!!! said...

I don't know if we've discussed this, but how did "The Great Gatsby" not make your list? One day I want my voice to sound like money. Or maybe change for a fiver.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Gatsby didn't make the top ten for the same reason a lot of the Top 100 didn't -- I love it, I reread it often, I admire it and revere it ... but there's only room for 10, yo. Apologies also to Ray Bradbury, cause I couldn't pick just one. (F'rinstance.)

11:46 AM  

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