surfing the stardust

Greeve’s Favorite Books

I started off as trying to get some inputs from classmates on their favorite books but soon realized that favorite “authors” were more appropriate.  These are all really good authors.  You can tell I love suspense novels.  Graham Greene used to differentiate between literature and “entertainments” – that makes no sense to me. I will not read if the book does not hold my interest – if it holds my interest I am entertained.
I also like a historical background and pure history too, especially wars. But, except for spy novels, I can’t recall many WW I or II novels I think are really good. I have read scores of books about the 20th Century wars – the 8 or 9 authors here give a fine start to the “questions without answers” of “why”.  I have read many Vietnam War novels but none compare to the movie “Platoon”.  I have not read Churchill’s “History of the English Speaking People”
On the Civil War, I think I’ve read about 8-10 Lincoln biographies but non really stood out – I guess with such an amazing character and life many are good. Sandburg’s Lincoln is the place to start for the whole view.  Grant’s wonderful biography by Jean Smith makes sense of all the shenanigans of the other generals.
Science fiction is almost always suspense.  Far away places and exploration also entertain me.  I went through a period when mountaineering was a big thing in my life and boating has always been fun.  I have re-read almost all of these books.  I continue to be perplexed why there are no great German writers – I guess with Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven who needs to read?
                                                                          The best book I ever read:

Top ~85 Authors to Read:
I have sometimes picked one or two titles which I recall were especially good.  All of these authors’s complete work are worth a try – as usual there will be a lemon or three. If I marked it ++ I highly recommend you give all the author’s works a try.

Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurty (this is really my favorite)
My Early Life – Winston Churchill++
The Search for Karla Triolgy – John LaCarre++ (no this one is)
The Indian Creek Chronicles – Pete Fromm
The Robot Novels – Isaac Asimov++
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson (Jenny and My favorite)
The Guns of August – Barbara Tuchman++ (Dan’s and my Favorite)
The Collected Stories (1950) – Willam Faulkner
Anna Karenina/War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (yes this is it)
The Winds of War/Caine Mutiny – Herman Wouk 
Hawaii – James Michener
Contact – Carl Sagan
The Rise and The Fall of the Third Reich – William Shirer
Hell in a Very Small Place – Bernard Fall 
A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
Rain and other South Sea Stories -Collected Somerset Maugham++
Undaunted Courage – Steven Ambrose++
All The Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy++
My Antonia – Willa Cather
Inside the Third Reich – Albert Speer
The Snow Leopard – Henry Matthiessen++
Two Years Before the Mast – Richard Dana
Straight Man – Richard Russo
That Willder Image –  James Flexner 
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Chichikov’s Journey – Nikolai Gogol
Out Of Africa – Isak Dinesen
The Heart of the MAtter – Graham Greene++
Crime and Punishment – Dostoyevsky++
The White Spider – Reinhold Meissner
Nanda Devi: The Tragic Expedition – John Roskelley 
The Great Railway Bazaar – Paul Theroux
Napolean – Vincent Kronin
Dreadnought – Robert Massie (and all his Russian biographies)++
The Blue NIle – Alan Moorehead
Sportsman’s Sketches – Turgenev
The River at the Center of the World – Simon Winchester
P&P, S&S – Jane Austin
Everything by – Elmore Leonard++
Little Men/Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

Neuromancer – William Gibson

Grant – Jean Edward Smith
The Story of Crime (10 novel Martin Beck series) – Sjowall & Wahloo
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

City of Djinns – W. Dalrymple
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
L’Assommoir/Germinal – Emile zola
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Trilogy) – S. Larsson 
Ten Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Zafon

“Electric Mist etc” – James Lee Burke
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Kim – Rudyard Kipling
The Call of the Wild – Jack London
Stranger in a Strange Land –  R. Heinlein
The Castle – F. Kafka 
Ringworld – Larry Niven
Mount Everest, The Reconnaissance – George Mallory
A Gentleman in Moscow – A. Towles
The Outsiders  – S.E. Hinton
Richard Wetherill: Anasazi – F. McNitt 
The Hobbit & LOTR –  JRR Tolkien
Out Stealing Horses – Per Petterson
 The Catcher in the Rye/Franny and Zooey- JD Salinger
Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
Lincoln Biographies – Carl Sandburg
Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
Boys in the Boat – DJ Brown
Three Men in a Boat – Jerome Jerome
The Six Mountain Travel Books – Eric Shipton
Aubrey-Maturin Series – Patrick O’Brian
All Novels – Evelyn Waugh
All Jeeves and Bertie Books – P.G. Wodehouse
Collected Sherlock Holmes – AC Doyle
All “Thriller & Crime”  by E. Leonard, H Mankill, D Hammit, R Chandler, J Kanon, M Connelly, J Ellroy, Alan Furst, Lee Childs

Nominee’s from non 1966 grads
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Laura Ingalls Wilder books (my favorite is Farmer Boy)
The Emerald Mile – K. Fedarco

Kids books

Winnie the Poo
Hat in the Cat
The Polar Express
Charlotte’s Web
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
The Wind in the Willows
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

others considered
F. Scott FitzGerald, Dos Passos, Stegner
Thomas Mann, the Latin American authors
Numerous French authors
HG Wells
The 50’s american east coast writers Updike, Roth,  Bellow, Singer Malamud, Styron etc
Crane, Cooper, Melville (do like lots of Moby Dick, especially the beginning – “wow”), Walter Scott, Dickens
other thriller and police: Philip Kerr, Christopher Buckley, other US police procedurals,  etc etc etc etc etc…thanks for reading down this far! Ciao

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: